I went to the VegDC VegFest with my kids yesterday. I never really had any trouble convincing them to be vegetarian, I always just said, "The animals are our friends, that's why we don't eat them". We enjoyed the cooking demo and talk by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, she has got a great blog, she is really quite hilarious on stage. I joined the VegDC as a member and got a overly tight T-Shirt, which my son said makes me look muscly, I think he was being extremely kind with his words :) I was a bit disappointed with the food, if you want to turn people into vegetarians, you really need better tasting food on sale! My daughter complained to my wife when we got home, my wife responded "You have spoilt taste buds!".
They say if you want to see what a person is, you simply have to see what goes into the mouth and what comes out of the mouth.
The quality of a person's thoughts usually manifests in the what the person desires to eat, or what the person says. Iyenger talks about building sensitivity, sensitivity to your own body, your own thoughts, your own feelings, the implications of your actions and integrating this through yoga.
You will find that yogis or meditators who build this sensitivity start practicing self leadership, they start being more in tune with the intelligence of the soul. I like to think that everyone has an internal golden compass, that tells you always what the right things to do and say. Its a matter of being able to connect with yourself, listen, and then act. Yoga after all is about integrating spirit, mind, body into one.
Back to the being vegetarian, diet is a sensitive topic, instead of talking about vegetarian, lets talk in general first and circle back around. Every action that we take has direct implications on the world around us. Lets take a simple example.
Suppose I have a friend who is selling stolen goods, I could play ignorant, and still buy the goods for a bargain. Even though I have not stolen the goods, when I buy them and use them, I create a market for more goods to be stolen. On the other end someone is impacted, as their hard earned money is lost, and they are hurt by the violation of privacy, and fear what else could have happened in the process. Even though I was not involved, by purchasing the stolen goods, I am now indirectly directly involved.
This is the same with vegetarianism, you get indirectly directly involved with the slaughter of millions of animals. This places an enormous tax on our environment, in terms of competing land, food, water requirements and production of methane. Methane is 21 times stronger as a greenhouse gas than CO2. 100 million tons of methane is produced every year 85% of this comes from livestock. There are far reaching implications of your actions, just by what you choose to put in your mouth!
Also worth a read is the China Study, which statistically proves that eliminating animal proteins from your diet switches off cancer cells somehow.
Please consider reducing or eliminating meat from your diet, it could save your life, it could save the world!