In Argentina, a culturally carnivorous country, my approach to the vegetarian, vegan, and fruitarian ideas had to wait many years because there was nothing in the surrounding world able to provoke in me this kind of preference. For people of these latitudes daily ingestion of meat is a fact as natural as the sight of snow is for a Nordic inhabitant. Why did I eat meat? Because my ancestors had been doing so century after century and they received identical cultural transmission from their ancestors.

When in a culture a determined bias has got such a complete approval, this means that those who put it in practice dont even need its acceptance at all. In the same way, it is not a controversial subject the language one is going to speak through life. So, being carnivorous in the country where I was born is not an idea or a matter of convictions, but only a nutritional way, just as Spanish is my idiomatic mean.

It is all about something that greatly exceeds the border between Good and Evil, for in order to speak in that terms, there must exist previously the option of choice. And as we see, nobody can choose that which he/she doesnt know. In fact, I will never forget the impression that produced me the first readings about the subject. They used to enfatically state that as far as the scientist knowledge comprove meat is not necessary to survive when our teachers at school proclaimed its use drilling my ears since I was a child, praising the advantage of animal proteins over vegetal ones.

How could it be possible that meat was unnecesary to get a healthy life, when I was told that meat and dairy procucts where the basic bricks in my diet? Could it be really factible to avoid the animal slaughter without putting in danger my health, taking in mind that at elementary school the only official accepted teaching had convinced me that, inside the Food Chain, each link is where it has to be. That animals are not in the world to satisfy our stomachs caprice or to dress our naked bodies, when the prevailing teaching doesn't give up proclaiming from birth to death that all what is over the earth is for the human being to make use of it. Because as we all know our paternal God allows it and so he/she has wanted always and forever.

With such an adverse atmosphere, does anybody believe possible that a child, thoughtful as it can be, may even suspect the possibility of a different nutritional way from the previousely described one? The problem is that someday childhood ends. As one grows up, one has the chance to face a searing process of step by step individualization which consists on confirming the validity of a lot of principles we have learned and to remove (how painfully!) many of them.

There is no greater paradox in human behavior than the following: to want (and have to be) at the same time oneself and oneselfs tribe. As far as I am concerned, this process of spiritual tearing began with the suspicion that there is no valid excuse to inflict suffering to a living being which I see capable of love, courage, loyalty and sometimes to give me such a perfect and radiant beauty that can bewitch my mind. After all, wasnt I an animated living being that would suffer as they suffer if someone hurts me, tortures me and removes me away from my habitat and my beloved ones, and at last they kill me, quarter and sell me to others to boil, roast and flavore me?

As soon as I became aware of all this burning matter thing were the same no longer. In fact, it changed so completely my point of view about animal rights, that it became gradually for me much more a conviction than a perplex complaining in my heart. The moment to act had arrived, to put in practice my new ideas and to create arguments capable to incite others to walk the same path. This meant for me the need to study subjects related to vegetarianism and veganism (nutrition, laws that protect the meat industries and others, experts opinions, alternative medicines) and over all the complete and rampant evidence of the health and longevity showed off by many renowned vegetarians like my admired Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw. Or to talk about the effort that cost me learning about the possibility that cosmetic and beauty personal products dont take the life or the suffering of an animal whose little body has ended as a mere experiment object penned up in a cold and dark laboratorys cell.

By Luchi

Back to personal stories.