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Just adding my voice as one who went vegetarian for purely ethical reasons long ago. Good physical health is important, of course, but principled living is far more so. While I'm relatively informed in terms of the health benefits in general, it's very hard for me to approach the subject strictly on that basis .... there's no way I can "delicately avoid" the issue of causing animals to suffer to become food for us, and use instead as the basis of my approach the enhancing of human life.
I wish no one harm, not ever, and hope I don't sound too callous --- but, speaking as a member of this species, I'm not sure human life that seeks only to protect itself without regard to the misery of others is worth protecting, even in the collective sense. From that perspective alone, it's hard to "get on board" with the idea that any discussion of vegetarianism should ever be all about human health benefits. It feels wrong to play that game in order to accommodate people who choose to blind themselves to the bigger picture. The health benefits could be mentioned, but never given as the sole reason. Some of us, for whatever reason, are entrusted with being a voice for animals. To not even mention their suffering in a discussion about a meatless diet seems like a betrayal of them.
Go on to: Comments by Daniel - 16 Feb 2009
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