Last month I attended “Feira Alternativa” in Lisbon, an event dedicated to the well being, personal growth, healing and health matters. At his speech “Shamanism, the individual, the tribe and the Earth”, António Paiva challenged the crowd to rethink how can we use the death of animals to feed our own life. Death-Life.
At the age of 15, I became what they call “pescetarian”. You may be wondering “What do you mean, pescetarian?”. Pescetarianism, or pesco-vegetarianism, is a branch of vegetarianism which one cuts out red meat and poultry from the diet (like vegetarians), but does not cut out fish and seafood.
When I made the decision, family and friends couldn’t understand my reasons. Even today, people often ask me “Why are you doing that? I couldn’t live without meat!”.
Here are 3 arguments I use to defend this life-changing decision:
1. Benefits our planet
Based on Cowspiracy documentary (2014), below find a few facts about animal agriculture we must reflect about:
- 45% of the Earth’s land mass is used for animal agriculture;
- Uses 55% of the water in the USA;
- It’s the source of 51% of all greenhouse gases;
- It’s the lead cause of deforestation, water pollution and species extinction.
2. Less animal cruelty
Most of people have an idea about what’s behind of the doors of slaughterhouses of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. However, it’s comfortable not to think of it. It’s not about death itself, but all the process until it gets to our plates. I find it against nature.
3. Health is the priority
“What about fish?”. What about vegetarians who need to take fish oil capsules to maintain their level of omega-3 acids? Keeping fish in your diet gives you more alternatives and freedom to have a balanced diet. Moreover, eating with pleasure feeds your mind and soul, I believe.
Your intentions with worldwide problems may be good, but an unbalanced diet may be the reflection of an unbalanced life. Doing good to yourself is the first step to do something good for the world.
Then I ask again… What did REALLY make me change the way I was eating everyday?
The answer is simple: the gut feeling, or instinct.
Although I see truth in the 3 given arguments, I must confess that it’s not the whole story. The shift happened when I felt that I don’t need meat anymore. It’s like your body is rejecting something and you’re not sure why.
What I want to share with you is that we should be authentic with ourselves. We tend to underestimate decisions based on our intuition because we cannot clearly justify them. What we are really doing is to give an answer that satisfies and makes sense to the listener.
I’m not trying to convince anyone to change their diet. We live in a world of diversity and it’s one of its beauties. 🙂
Enjoy your Sunday!