being vegetarian(*) has one serious drawback: during meals, you nearly always need to explain and/or justify why anyone would ever choose such a lifestyle.
|phuket vegetarian festival (credits phuketobserver.com)|
i.) the short answer
- i can easily live without eating animals.
- in my opinion, the factory farming of animals is grotesque and perverse; these are terrible places for the animals and the human workers alike.
- it is simply not possible to feed billions of people with meat (even if you employ factory farming). meat is a very inefficient source of calories and uses disproportionate amounts of resources.
- the seas are in a terrible state (see more).
- i am personally not prepared to kill and slaughter lambs, calves or other animals. contrary to common belief, even very "primitive" animals can display a surprising level of intelligence (see more).
i do not believe everyone should become vegetarian. the issue is more about how often people need to eat meat. and if it is really necessary to always buy the cheapest meat available. for me, it boils down to how one behaves as a consumer in general.
i do not believe a vegetarian lifestyle is necessarily healthier. you can eat very unhealthily, also as a vegetarian. however, i do not believe in the myth, that vegetarians are generally weakly and prone to deficiency symptoms. humans have successfully been vegetarian in various cultures for millennia.
i am not going to bother with giving sources. find out yourself, if you care...
(*) of the many flavours of vegetarianism, i am at the "ovo-lacto" level: no fish, no meat, no chicken.
Edit: trying to be vegan since June 2012.