There is a winner in the vegetarian argument

Karena Ozier, Columnist

I asked my cousin, who is a vegetarian by choice, why he became a vegetarian, and he replied honestly by saying, “It is not because I care about the animals.” After saying this, he then explained the health benefits of being a vegetarian.

This is not the initial response I thought I was going to get. Most other vegetarians that I know who decide to change their diet by choice do it to save animals or because they do not support how animals are treated before they die.

I grew up on a farm where the animals we raised became our dinner. I did not eat store-bought meat unless I went to someone else’s house. In certain meats, I could tell the difference between store bought versus the meat I was used to.

After talking with someone who is a vegetarian because of animal cruelty, I explained how we treated our cows with respect. We fed them apples and lots of good hay because we were preparing them to taste good for one of our meals.

I did not know that vegetarians existed until I started going to school. It is not hard to know who is a vegetarian because they either tell you or they simply do not have any meat on their tray for lunch.

I can respect everyone’s individual wants and needs. If you do not want to eat meat because you do not like how the animals are treated, go ahead. A vegetarian could argue all day with someone else who eats meat all day, but at the end of the day, the argument goes on with one real winner.

Those people that choose to not eat meat maybe have not had the real meat that I grew up on. If vegetarians ate the meat that I was raised on, maybe we would have less vegetarians. They might also realize how much better steak is instead of other foods or for many vegetarians, taking more vitamins to make up for the loss of nutrients.

It is generally known that vegetarians are healthier, but I will take salmon over a veggie burger any day.

I still eat meat. A vegetarian will continue to avoid meat. I get to eat the meat that they refuse to eat, which means more for me. I win.

Karena Ozier is a freshman elementary education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].