Monday, March 1, 2010

Personal Reflection on Change: Erica Romero

As a team we decided to each do a personal reflection on a major change that has happened in our life. Here is Erica Romero's reflection on how becoming a Vegetarian has changed her life:

Let’s make one thing clear—I’ve never loved a big, juicy steak. My mother always had an issue come dinnertime, when my father would request a prime rib and I would stare off, barely touching my food. Once I came to college, I knew I had to follow my heart and convert to vegetarianism. Making this change when first entering college was pretty challenging and I admittedly didn’t get the proper nutrients initially, but gradually I’ve learned what to supplement with my meals and couldn’t see eating any other way. I’d love if reading this leadership blog could in some way inspire you, and if it can make you a little closer to realizing that you’d like to become a vegetarian, even better! So what are the main reasons to become a vegetarian??

Our nations top three killers: heart disease, cancer, and strokes. It has been scientifically proven that vegetarians have "lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer".
  • vegetarians have a 20% lower rate of mortality from all causes
  • meat is full of traces of antibiotics, hormones, toxins, etc
  • obesity and its related diseases are very very rare in vegetarians

Clear cutting in forests in order to make room for cattle grazing at our current rate will leave us with NO AMERICAN FORESTS in 50 years. The burning of these forests releases 50-100,000,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere per year. (Along with hazardous CO2 released by burning oil and petrol in factories and abattoirs associated with meat and dairy production). There is much more energy in grain (what is fed to the animals) than energy consumed by the humans that eat these animals. In fact, 20 vegetarians could live off the land required for one meat eater.
  • if all Americans became vegetarian, it would free enough grain to feed 600,000,000 people (the population of INDIA)
  • the water used to produce 10 pounds of steak is equivalent to the average consumption of water for an entire household for an entire year

Easy enough--put yourself in their shoes! No matter your view on our neighbors and co-inhabitants of this planet, no living thing deserves to be treated with the indecency that an average cow or chicken is treated with every second of every day in America.
  • each year 15,000,000,000 land animals are slaughtered for food
  • unwanted male chicks (because they can't lay eggs) are gassed or pulped while their sisters go to the battery sheds
  • cows would naturally live up to 20 years but are slaughtered after 5-7 years when their milk production begins to fall
Going vegetarian is a life choice and not as difficult as you may think. Basically everywhere you go there is an option for you and hopefully all of your vegetarian friends. This article is of course just a friendly suggestion hoping to shed some light on an environmentally friendly “change” to consider.

Photos: (c) Ian Britton -

1 comment:

  1. it is awesome to learn about all the benefits of being a vegetarian, I am sure it will help many consider becoming one or decide to be one! I will make sure to share these facts with others :)