Vegetarian lifestyle results in better choices

Caitlin Holland, Editor-in-chief

About two months ago I decided to change my ways a little bit.
I put down the spare rib, baked beans and burger, and decided to go vegetarian.
It was a personal choice I decided to make. My reasoning behind this lifestyle change is pretty simple: I figured there was a healthier way to eat and I wanted to see if I could actually do without.
Turns out, I can.
It all started when I was watching Oprah the other week (Yes, I do watch Oprah.) Her discussion topic for the show was the documentary Food Inc. I remembered hearing about the movie from some friends who had seen it. I recalled one of my friends saying, “Don’t watch it unless you’re prepared to go vegetarian. It’ll completely gross you out.”
I was hooked.
While I still haven’t watched Food Inc., (I’ll admit I’m scared to) I figured eating meat wasn’t necessary, so why would I bother?
In fact, there’s a good deal of information out there that says the way most of our livestock is handled now, its probably better if we don’t.
Most American cattle are injected with a hormone pellet in the ear that will make them grow faster and heavier in their lifetime. Essentially, it keeps cost down because the product is being produced at a quicker pace and at a greater amount.
There really isn’t much clarity on this issue now. According to the FDA, the six hormones injected into the cows are at safe levels for consumption. In excess, though, three of those six are found to have connections to high cancer risks.
While the hormone levels are probably safe for consumption, I don’t really see the need to risk it if I don’t have to.
Honestly, the biggest difference in my diet has just been thinking through food decisions more carefully. Before I eat something, I not only think about whether or not it contains meat, but the general calorie and fat content as well.
The information out there leaves us with a tough decision to make. The least we can do is pay attention to what’s going on in the processing and preparation of our food.
Or, just drop the corn dog and eat something else.