5 Childhood Movies That Probably Drove Me to Vegetarianism

As you all know (or probably don’t know considering I’ve hardly mentioned it), I’ve been a vegetarian for a very long time – just shy of 14 years now.

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And the number one question people ask me when they discover that I stopped eating meat at the ripe old age of six is “How?” Everyone always wants to know how I was able to make that kind of mature decision when most other six year olds were busy stockpiling Beanie Babies and watching Toy Story 2. And because I’m me, I always give them the most thoroughly-examined answer I can possibly offer: “I honestly have no idea.”

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No one ever seems satisfied with that answer though, and sometimes I feel a little embarrassed giving it (shouldn’t I know what was going on in my head at that age?), so I try to follow up that answer with the much more intelligent sounding “I think I just figured out where meat came from and didn’t like it.” Probably.

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But because I myself am not satisfied with that answer, I’ve attempted to dig a little deeper into my six year old psyche and unearth a few more influences that must have been at play. I’m told that I had a shockingly long attention span for a six year old, so much so that I could sit in one spot and do one activity for hours on end. It’s because of this fact that I believe I have found my influences…

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5 Childhood Movies That Probably Drove Me to Vegetarianism

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Chicken Run – (2000)

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Plot: A feisty chicken and her chicken friends attempt to escape from a farm on which they are about to become baked into pies. Stop motion.

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Lesson: Animals have emotions, hopes, and dreams too. They’d much rather frolic in a warm and sunny paradise than be cooked up for dinner. I can relate. I don’t want to be a pie either.

101 Dalmations – (1996)

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Plot: Skunk-headed Cruella De Vil tries to steal and murder 101 adorable puppies so that she can make clothes out of their fur. Live action.

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Lesson: The fur industry is a cruel world, and wearing the skin of a fellow animal is a little creepy (“It rubs the lotion on its skin…”). Don’t wear fur. You might be wearing puppy.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey – (1993)

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Plot: After three pets think they have been abandoned (their owners really just went on vacation), they cross California in the hopes of being reunited with the family they so dearly love. Live action.

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Lesson: Getting into the mind of your pets puts a very different perspective on things. The love and devotion they extend to you should always be reciprocated. Also, leaving your pet anywhere while you go on a trip is likely to make you very, very sad.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest – (1992)

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Plot: A clan of fairies and one human-accidentally-made-fairy-size fight to save their rainforest home from deforestation and a Tim-Curry voiced pollution monster. Animated.

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Lesson: Recycle and take care of the environment. You’re not just killing trees; you’re killing all the life within them. And the brief mentions of animal testing on the lovable Robin Williams-bat character makes me think that that’s probably not a very nice industry either.

The Fox and the Hound – (1981)

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Plot: A really cute fox and a really cute dog grow up as childhood friends but are soon turned natural enemies as adults. Animated.

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Lesson: I can’t get through that scene without crying.

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