WHY I AM A VEGETARIAN
To be honest, I WAS a vegetarian because my parents were and that's how they raised me. Now that I am old enough to make my own decisions about what I eat, I AM a vegetarian for spiritual reasons. My parents always taught my sister Kamaal and I that "animals are our friends and we do not eat our friends." That was a simplistic way of explaining our lifestyle to a child. As I grew up, and entered my teenaged years, I began to have a deeper awareness of our choice - the choice for compassionate living and eating. My sister and I still live according to that choice and being vegetarian is part of the very foundation of our lives and shapes the way we exist in this world.
Sure, it is inconvenient at times, especially on road trips where it is hard to find good food. But living according to your principles is not always convenient. That's just life. I am not going to make another creature suffer because I'm inconvenienced., and for me, the benefits of being vegetarian far outweigh the "perceived" disadvantages. I say "perceived" because I honestly cannot think of any true disadvantages to being vegetarian. It's better for your health, the environment, and of course, the animals.
And to top it off, the food is really good! My mother is a great cook and has come up with a system and series of recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and packed with protein. She even taught me how to cook before I went off to college. I don't have my own apartment, so she hooked me up with an electric skillet, a rice cooker, and a hot plate. I eat what I can in the dorm and cook what I want back in my room. Basically, I keep it moving.....
If you need some ideas for recipes or if you want to take a look at how we eat, visit our family's website at www.21stCenturyVegetarians.com. Living this lifestyle is a lot easier than you may think. You can be an athlete, even an elite athlete as the ancient Greeks were years ago, while living a vegetarian lifestyle. The Vegetarian Althete is not an oxymoron - it's who I am.