(US-ca) Vegetarianism is not a fad, has meaty history
- [Daily 49er - opinion]
My first encounter with the death of an animal was years ago, but it
was so emotional that it still affects me so much that it still
influences my diet today. I was on a train that made a stop much
earlier than announced. Confused, I looked outside and saw something
that still haunts me to this day - the sight of fresh blood splattered
throughout a 5-foot radius and an herd of agonized cows severed
beneath the train.
Under my tears, I felt an impossible sadness and wished never to see a
dying animal again. A vegetarian diet has been my way of life since
then - a decision which has invoked all types of remarks. Among the
most notable of the remarks is how vegetarianism is just a new fad and
I'll grow out of it eventually. I quell my desire to call them out on
their uneducated assumption, and opt for a polite nod.
The truth is that vegetarianism has a very long history, and is
nothing new. An agreement that the history of vegetarianism even
classifies as intellectual history has yet to be accepted, perhaps
because it's the same very people that disregard "rights" for animals,
that denies any "history" for animals.
However, the vegetarian movement has been tried and tested, with
varying degrees of success and owes its rockiness to the fact that
there has not been a single compelling argument in favor of
vegetarianism that hasn't been countered by one against it, both of
What makes this movement so fascinating are all the different reasons
throughout history that have inspired people to take on a vegetarian
diet. Its should be noted that health was at some pinnacle of the
reasoning for many years, as a plant based diet was often a remedy to
But whatever the reason, whether religious affairs, moral or health,
the notion of a vegetarian diet has been embraced by some of history's
most significant and influential thinkers, such as Albert Einstein,
Leonardo DiVinci, Mahatma Gandhi made a whole religion based on it,
Isaac Newton, Plato, Socrates, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas
Edison, César Chavez and countless other prominent people throughout
world history. Embarassingly, so was Adolf Hitler.
People who wanted to contribute abstract thought, and analysis of what
consequences human actions have set out with a vision for a better
life, improvement of society's status quo.
Vegetarianism is not a new trend, but a continuing struggle for an
enhanced moral life. I think it's fair to say then that vegetarians
would be good company - people with a desire to question the world and
attempt to better it.
Celine Dilfer is a senior communications major.
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