Many non-vegetarians wonder what drives vegetarians to give
up meat and adopt a completely different lifestyle.
There is no single answer to this question. Non-vegetarians
become vegetarians for lots of different reasons - some
even for multiple reasons.
Most vegetarians claim that they became a vegetarian for
one of three reasons.
(1) The first reason, which most vegetarians claim, is that
they have ethical problems with eating meat. Most don't agree
with how chickens are debeaked, forced to live in small
cages, and are then slaughtered when they do not produce
eggs fast enough.
Most vegetarians also disagree with the crowded and
stressful environments animals are forced into; and
the hormone-laden feed used to make them grow faster
and produce more.
People who become vegetarians for this purpose often
draw ethical boundaries in different spots, depending on
their personal beliefs. For instance, some staunch vegans
wont consume yeast, wear wool, or even eat certain
vegetables, such as carrots, that require killing the
plant to harvest.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some vegetarians--
sometimes referred to as pseudo-vegetarians--will actually
eat fish and chicken on a regular basis.
(2) The second biggest reason vegetarians claim for not eating
meat is that it conflicts with their dietary preferences.
Some of these vegetarians simply do not like the texture
and taste of meat; others do not eat it because it is high
in cholesterol and often contains high concentrations
of hormones and preservatives.
(3) The third and smallest group of vegetarians cite
environmental reasons for not consuming meat. They complain
that consumption of meat causes farmers to continually
deforest land to create grazing land for cattle.
In addition to these three major groups, there are a number
of other smaller groups of vegetarians who stopped eating
meat for entirely different reasons.