Summary: You became a vegetarian by choice. Perhaps your children should have that same choice.
I first tried being a vegetarian during my senior year of high school in 1984. I was living in Mesa Arizona at the time: a place of extremely wide, straight, flat streets punctuated by strip malls with names like “Poca Fiesta”, “Fiesta Village” and “Fiesta Mall” (I swear I’m not making this up!) I lived in a planned community called Saratoga Lakes in the Dobson Ranch area which was literally a cattle ranch back in the day before it was paved over with suburbia. So just about everything around me (my home, my school, shopping centers, parks, streets, etc) was less than twenty years old and most of it less than ten years old. My entire neighborhood and school district was less than 7 years old.
We had very few “local” businesses. Pretty much everything was a chain store. Natural food stores just simply didn’t exist anywhere in the valley. Same with vegetarian restaurants.
My reasons for trying vegetarianism were not related to any moral or ethical issues about killing and eating animals. I didn’t then, and I still don’t now, have any ethical problems with the killing of animals for food as long as the animals are raised in healthy humane conditions and their deaths are as quick and trauma free as possible. No, my reason for trying vegetarianism was a quest for better health. Over the years I had noticed a pattern. Eat meat, get heartburn. Not always, but it was the only food that repeatedly caused problems. So why did it take me seventeen years to notice this pattern and do something about it. Conditioning is the culprit. Continue reading