Why I Became a Vegetarian

By James Goff/Sports Editor

If you were to hang out with my friends and I for one day, there would be about a 50% chance you would hear someone say “animals are people too.” That would either come from me, or one of them mocking me. You see, I have beliefs very different from most people. I don’t eat meat or eggs. I try not to walk on grass (with the exception of sports). I loosely practice a religion you probably have never heard of. Humans are my least favorite species. And parts of America’s history disgusts me to a point of nausea. After having been asked upwards of a dozen times why I am a vegetarian, I thought it was about time I answered with more than my usual two words- “animal rights.”

If we are being honest, this article isn’t as much about why I became a vegetarian as it is my attempting to show you new ways of thinking, vegetarianism being a byproduct of these ideas. I believe in Jainism. The main points are as follows: Every being is equal in value. Do not harm any being. Even if you think you have not caused harm or pain, there is a strong chance you have without even knowing. Material items aren’t important. You likely won’t be able to follow every rule, and that’s okay; no one can be perfect, but what matters is you try. The non-violence goes as far as not walking on grass, as even it has a soul just attempting to survive, and you are crushing it. The Jain monks even sweep the ground in front of them while walking to prevent harm to as many microscopic organisms as possible.

I do believe, however, that some meat-eating humans were just in their consumption of animals. The people that lived here before the European Invasion cared about the animals they killed. The most famous example is the buffalo. The buffalo was a significant part of the culture for most First Nations that made the plains in the Midwest their home, such as Cheyenne, Crow, Plains Apache, Shoshone, Sioux, and Tonkawa tribes. The First Nations used every part of the buffalo to ensure none of the kill was wasted. The skin became tipis and clothing. Hide became shields and ropes. Even the muscles were used for moccasins, bow strings, and bags. In many tribes, the buffalo was considered a blessing from their gods. They killed out of necessity, whereas today we kill for sport.

I know. Meat tastes good. Meat contains valuable nutrients that can be difficult to process from other foods. But with the incredible technology we have today, the only reason to continue killing animals is for tradition and fun.

This is where I start beginning to lose faith in our species. Imagine a world untouched by humans. A world without any roads or buildings or lights. Just trees. Trees and fields and animals everywhere. Earth was once a beautiful place. Think of how beautiful the sky is at night when there are no lights around. Then imagine if there were no lights. Like at all. Think of all the animals humans have driven to extinction. A world without humans is a world without skyscrapers and garbage and nuclear waste. But we already know this. We know this and we continue to do nothing about it, but rather purposely do harmful things for the sake of our own convenience, no matter how small the convenience is. So I am sorry, but due to the endless attacking of our planet, I am not very fond of us as a whole.

Oh yeah, and those people I said were actually really chill? Us “civilized”
people killed all of them and stole all of their stuff.

James Goff is a senior and first year journalist. He is the sports editor and participates on both the volleyball team and the record-setting soccer team.