Arjun - 97034, Oregon
Entered on January 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: morality

You may have been a little mislead by the title of my essay. I imagine that when you read it you thought I was talking about my life, or how to live with purpose, but it is far from that. I am here to ask you how much you value your life, and the life of others (even those of an animal). I believe that all life is sacred.

Some kids choose not to eat meat, and some aren’t given meat due to religious reasons or rules of parents. For me, a vegetarian who has never eaten meat

, it is because I value life so much. My parents brought me up as a vegetarian, but not because of our religion, or because my dad was, but because they wanted to give me the choice. When I grew old enough, I would be able to decide whether I wanted to eat meat. As they always said, “you can’t miss something you never had”.

I have always been an animal lover and have wanted a pet since the earliest of ages. Because of this, whenever my friends were eating meat and I thought about the animal they were eating, my stomach turned and I felt a little nauseous. Despite this, between the ages of four and nine, I was still tempted to eat meat. Not because I wasn’t satisfied with my current menu, or because I felt it was unfair I didn’t eat meat, but because I wanted to do what other kids did. It was because I wished that I didn’t have to be different, and that I could just eat what my friends ate. This feeling did not go away swiftly, but left me in the end.

Currently, I am thirteen years old and I feel like I have a clearer view on things. Why do I have to eat something that I don’t really want to, or do it just because I want to fit in? In America, not many people are vegetarian so sometimes I feel a bit out of place, but when I think about India, (my home country) over forty percent of the population is vegetarian, so at least a few must feel like I do about life.