Hayley is a Ghost

I’ve gone two weeks without eating corpses!

Posted on: February 7, 2010

It’s been two weeks since I decided to stop eating meat. I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it for one week, let alone two and yet here I am! Many people have asked why I decided to become a vegetarian; was it for ethical reasons? health? wealth? enviromental reasons?

The reason is quite a simple one, see, I’ve worked in retail for seven years and a month or so ago I became aware of just how much meat was in the store I work in. There are just six aisles in the supermarket I work for and yet as I stood in the store one day I realised there were hundreds of dead animals around me in different forms. It made me feel sick. Especially as I see the amount of products that are thrown away because they go out of date or get damaged.

I realised what a waste it was, a waste of life and such needless cruelty and violence that went into providing the meat that could end up just being thrown away. After that I found it difficult to eat the meat on my plate and suddenly those bacon sandwiches weren’t so appealing. I started to look at the food that I consumed on a regular basis and I was shocked to find that things such as my favourite chocolate contained Rennet which is made by extracting enzymes from the stomachs of young calves. Yikes.

I began looking into how giving up meat would effect me and the world around me. I read lots of literature about how becoming a vegetarian can have benefits on the environment and that seemed like a rather good reason alone, let alone the ethical reasons that had promoted me to make the decision in the first place.

I’ve had many people tell me that I’m a hypocrite for becoming a vegetarian, or that it wont make a difference. In fact, an old school friend of mine Andrew sent me ‘defencive omnivore bingo’ when I first announced I was becoming vegetarian and this is the progress so far (click for full size!):

I thought, as a good way to mark the two week stage I would make a list of the best bits about becoming a vegetarian, as a way to re-inspire myself should my brother taunt me with chocolate I can’t have – or bacon sandwiches. So here goes.

10 good things about starting out as a vegetarian

1 – Over the last two weeks as I’ve given up meat and many animal by-products I’ve read about just how much of a difference I am actually making, even though it seems that one person wont make much of a difference.

2 – I have discovered some amazing food that I’ve never tried before. An example would be a leek and mushroom crumble that I tried which was just lush!

3 – There are hardly any calories in vegetables!

4 – Eating as a vegetarian has made me more aware of the impact I have on the environment around me.

5 – I’ve been able to surprise my family by offering them pieces of the food I have which they’ve liked.

6 – My family, as a whole, has started to eat a much healthier diet (even though they still eat meat.)

7 – I’ve chosen to be moral about what I eat because I care, not because the bible told me to, and it makes me feel like a good person. The god in the bible doesn’t care much about suffering. I do.

8 – I haven’t tried to force anyone I know to give up meat, but by becoming vegetarian I’ve made them consider it.

9 – Becoming vegetarian has brought me closer to some of my friends and family who are also vegetarian and that can only be a good thing.

10 – I don’t feel guilty anymore, because I know a brussel sprout or a carrot doesn’t have a nervous system and doesn’t go through suffering to end up on my plate.

I also recently discovered this video from the Richard Dawkins.net youtube account in which Richard Dawkins talks to Peter Singer. It really helped me to think about the stance I have taken on what I do and do not eat. It’s a long video but there are some absolutely amazing points make in it.

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15 Responses to "I’ve gone two weeks without eating corpses!"

[…] was the best decision I’ve ever made. I love being a vegetarian, not only because it’s an informed choice I made for several reasons but because this year has probably been the only time I’ve really actually put any thought […]

I think that your writing and your blog are wonderful. Keep it up πŸ˜‰

Are you also using cruelty free or non – animal tested products?

Ooh, you may know this since you took the time to link to the rennet wiki page, and it’s been awhile since you wrote this post, but you may be able to find fantastic chocolate that is made with vegetable rennet instead of animal.
I post this post linked to your front page post. Way to go! πŸ™‚

Grr, I *found* this post linked… blah blah, sorry. πŸ™‚

Lovely blog, Hayley, and I’m so happy you feel good about your decision.

When you are ready, please consider all the killing, torture, and waste that go into producing dairy and eggs. In many respects, it is worse than what goes into meat.

Another reason not to feel bad about eating plants: Several pounds of plants must be fed to animals to produce just one pound of meat or eggs or milk. So eating animal foods actually involves destroying more plants than eating plants does! By reducing the amount of animal products in your diet, you’re helping both plants and animals (and humans too)!

Hello Hayley.
I am a farmer, locavore, naturalist, and permaculturist, and I found your post to be very interesting. First of all, I’m not writing this to criticize your decision to switch to vegetarianism, or to give you a list of reasons why being an omnivore is ok. I would just like to say something about the environmental impact of eating or not eating meat.

I realize that as one goes up the trophic pyramid, the amount of energy value decreases, making it easy to say that meat-eating is unsustainable, but there are a few things missing in this equation:
1. Not all land is suitable for growing plant crops for human consumption. As an example, look at the mixed-grass prairie that covers regions of south-western Manitoba and much of Saskatchewan. It’s fertility is relatively poor, and it is a biotic system that has historically been dependent on the presence of fire and grazing to create periodic disturbances. Raising cattle on this type of land gives the advantages of keeping natural prairie from being tilled under and being converted to (poor) cropland, giving cattle a large range to roam, but with more protection from would-be predators, and keeps animals presence in an ecosystem in which they are integral.
2. No ecosystem is complete without an animal component. This is one of the many failures of modern agriculture.
3. In my climate, fresh local plant products are not available in winter, and eating meat is an alternative that is available, local, and energy-rich.
4. Buying organic greens shipped from across the country is not any more eco-friendly than buying meat from a small hobby-farm close to home.
5. Just because the large commercial farms that PETA and others like to condemn are inhumane does not mean that it’s a characteristic of all farms. On our farm, our animals are all raised on grass in summer and locally-grown hay in winter, all have ample outdoor space to roam, and have much safer lives than their wild counterparts. With any slaughter practices that take place on a small farm like ours, the death is instantaneous, and happens so suddenly that the animal is not aware of any pain, which is a far cry from the death experienced by any kind of wild animal.

However, I congratulate you for shifting to vegetarianism to honour your convictions; I know too many omnivores who don’t want to hear about the production of their meat, but who are too morally weak to change their habits to reflect that.
-Benjamin

Pardon the rambling nature of my comment. I just realized that after I began, I did exactly what I said I was not going to do. Sorry.

Not a problem, I love hearing other peoples thoughts on these subjects πŸ™‚

I’ve been vegetarian for a few months and I’m loving it! On my own its really easy to do, but at home with my family, who eat meat, it can be really difficult. Thank you for the vegetarian-pep-talk! I am re-inspired by your blog to be a good vegetarian.

Allena

(Also, I had no idea about rennet! Thanks for the info, I’ll look out for that now.)

Hi,
we have given up meat for nearly three weeks now, to be honest it does not bother me at all as i have never been a really big meat lover, especially the mechanically manufactured meats.

We have started to feel a bit flakey and i think we may have rushed in a little too quick, will multi vitamins help?

Any advice would be welcome.

Many thanks Dave.

What sort of things are you eating?

We are eating a lot of veg and some quorn. Not much fruit to be honest.
Nuts, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, bread, potatoes, dairy products.

[…] I’ve posted about why I don’t eat animal corpses before here and here. […]

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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