[Minnesota Daily - opinion]

In our society, we often only seriously consider an event if it directly affects ourselves or our loved ones. It is the "what's in it for us" mentality. I find this attitude deeply troubling, especially in a society where the populace claims to be guided by morals. Vegetarianism, for many, is a moral choice, but often it's considered as a way to enhance personal health rather than an extension of moral choices.
As creatures who pride ourselves on our progress and superior intellect, it is our duty to act as stewards for the environment. Eating fewer animal products or being vegetarian is effective in helping protect the earth and its natural resources. The process of mass-producing animals for meat is inefficient and contributes to air and water pollution, extinction of other species and their habitats, and the creation of greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.
I urge people not to think "what's in it for me?" but to look beyond themselves to see that farm animals are suffering unnecessary cruelties and deaths. If anything, we should know that the benefit of vegetarianism has to do with more than the health of an individual - it is extending the compassion that we have to all living beings.

Chance McMahon is a University student. Please send comments to

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