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    Posted February 28, 2014 by
    San Pedro City, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Do you eat ethically?

    More from Sergiom

    Why I’m Now Eating Ethically

    I actually became interested in vegetarianism when I became a member of a community group here in the Philippines called “Yoga For Humanity”. The said volunteer group donates clothes, vitamin supplements and books to street-children and former street kids. The members of “Yoga For Humanity” also provide feeding programs, fun games (parlor games) and free yoga lessons to street-children and former street-kids in the cities of San Pedro and Muntinlupa. Though I have been with the said group since 2007, it was only in 2010 that I started eating ethically.

    The yoga teacher in the said group, Elmer Padilla, taught me to eat “vegetarian meat products” as a way of respecting animal rights and achieving good karma. Though I was already eating vegetarian meat in 2008 as a process of strengthening my yoga exercises, it was around 2010 when I was enlightened about ‘ethical eating’. In 2010 Elmer Padilla, my yoga teacher, persuaded me to eat more vegetarian foods than red meat. He also convinced me to eat organic foods during the same year. Eating organic foods will help protect the environment from pesticides and pollutants. Mr. Elmer Padilla also explained to me the notion that if I can’t avoid eating red meat due to certain circumstances, then I must choose meat that came from animals that had been slaughtered properly. In 2011 I became aware of the fact that some processed food-items being sold in the market were manufactured through modern-day slavery. Since then I became quite selective in buying processed and non-processed food-items.

    Today I’m now conscious about the foods that I buy from the market. I do make sure that the processed food-items that I’ll buy are not listed as ‘products of modern-day slavery’. I became quite choosy in selecting milk and chocolate products that my family and I will consume. I boycott processed food-items that have been identified as ‘products of modern-day slavery’. I patronize ‘organic foods’ because producing and consuming organic foods do help in maintaining the ecological balance in our planet. Also, I only eat meat that have been certified as ‘clean’ by monitoring agencies and came from animals that had been slaughtered properly.

    I’m a lover now of ‘vegetarian meat’ and would rather have nutritious foods on the table than pick up foods that are heavily loaded with cholesterol and unhealthy fats. I’m also avoiding obesity because I want to be a good role-model to my nieces, nephews and own children when it comes to eating foods. I want such kids to grow up with good health and become strong senior citizens in the future. That’s why I do watch my intake of calories and I eat healthy foods. Besides, eating healthy foods like organic fruits and vegetables will protect me from illnesses and depression.

    Upon learning the reality that growing up organic foods will help our environment, I put up my own small garden where I can harvest some organic vegetables and tomatoes in 2012. The garden is not that big but it does give me the opportunity to pick up some fresh vegetables that have been grown organically. Besides, eating organic vegetables that grew up from my own small garden gives me satisfaction and clear conscience. I gain satisfaction from eating organic vegetables that grew up from my small garden since such foods are ‘fruits of my own labor’. Eating such foods give me clear conscience because growing up and eating organic vegetables will certainly protect the environment and ensure me of good health. I do ‘ethical eating’ to protect the environment, ensure my self of good health, fight modern-day slavery, avoid obesity, and gain good karma.

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