Saturday, August 7, 2010

Understanding Vegetarianism

Now I don't mean to offend any vegetarians out there, but for my entire life I've always been extremely exasperated with vegetarians. I've always known also that this is ignorant of me, and perhaps "vegetarianist" but I just can't help it. The idea of going a day without meat by choice is unfathomable to me. I mean, it's MEAT for goodness sakes. How could a person go through their entire lives without chicken, steak, burgers, hot dogs, ribs, bacon, pork, turkey, wings, ham, salami, sausage, roast beef and brisket? I mean, they are so delicious. In the United States, I hardly go a single meal without one of the above.
In India overall about a third of the population is vegetarian, but in Gujarat the percentage is much higher, over 2/3. And it's mostly the elder folks that are vegetarians, so really most people eat vegetarian. So, for example, in my household, my brothers and I will eat non-veg, but my parents and grandparents are vegetarians, so really everyone eats vegetarian.
There's this soda shop that I usually go to with Akshay at about 1 in the morning, and at the time of night there are sometimes unusual folks there. Yesterday there was a British Hindu couple and the man in it explained vegetarian philosophy. There are two reasons for it.
1) I'm sure you've guessed one of these is religious. In Hindu religion, God is part of everyone and so if you kill anything, you're killing God or destroying his creation. And cows, of course, are absolutely off-limits.
2) This one I didn't know about. The claims that they have scientific beliefs that biologically, humans should not be eating meat and that eating meat makes us sick. He says that's why humans get ill all of the time and animals don't. He cited examples like how we don't have teeth equipped for ripping meat the way that predators do. He also says that since our intestines are like, 36 feet long if you stretch them out, somehow means that we shouldn't eat meat.

I'm extraordinarily skeptical of the second line of reasoning, but religious reasons, when they're explained to me like that...well I can't really argue with them. And frankly I respect them. This marked the first time in my life I gained a little understanding and respect of the thought of vegetarianism. So that's one eye-opening thing that has happened here at the very least.

Now, if I come back to the states a vegetarian...if you are my friend you will force-feed me a steak. There's a limit to how far this vegetarian stage of my life is going to go. Even if when I get back I cry and scream and beg that I have become vegetarian, change me back. I can let India change me a lot, but Ted Meyer is a carnivore for life.


  1. Ted I absolutely love reading your blog, and I'm really sorry to hear that you can't eat meat that often...I wouldn't survive!! Your blog is so entertaining, can't wait to hear more!!

  2. Hi Ted,
    There is now a third compelling argument for being a vegetarian - to fight global warming! Thanks for keeping us informed. Take care,

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  4. Another excellent post Ted!! I too could not imagine a day without meat. Here's an article I read last week that relates and you may find interesting.

  5. Hilarious, Ted. Josette will be very happy to read this post!

  6. Although you will never convince a dedicated vegetarian, our bodies have evolved (over the last 2.3 million years) to digest meat. Our gut is proportionally shorter than a chimp or gorilla, which often spend 6 hours a day chewing. Meat is a concentrated source of energy that we can devote to the brain, not the gut. We don't have meat-tearing teeth because we developed...TOOLS! Look at this article from NPR: