I have been in New York since 2012, and I have met a huge number of vegetarians here. Why are there thousands of vegetarians in New York? It is always an interesting experience for me to meet someone who is vegetarian because I did not meet any vegetarians or even know the word “vegetarian” when I lived in Tokyo. Everyone has different reasons why they do not eat meat. For instance, some people simply cannot eat meat because of their religion; some people just stop eating meat to stay healthy, while other people do not want to kill animals. I never before took vegetarianism seriously, and no one convinced me to become a vegetarian.

I feel there is a big movement of vegetarianism in New York right now. After spending my first year in New York, unfortunately, I gained twenty pounds because I like American culture especially food. I went to fast food chain restaurants, which offer inexpensive and convenient meals, and had a hamburger every day. Surprisingly, they serve supersized foods and sodas, which I had never seen in Tokyo. For example a medium sized meal would be a large in Japan. It is one of the reasons why the number of obese people in the United States is high, obesity related diseases are dramatically growing, and so many children suffer and die from type II diabetes. Type II diabetes primarily occurs in middle or older age people as a result of obesity and lack of exercise. I hypothesize that eating animal meat is not healthy for human beings and also environmentally unsustainable.