Thanks for the note!
I peel them because the stems are pretty fibrous below the bud parts, at least with a lot of purchased asparagus. It also allows me to cook them for less time because I don't need to soften the fibers. Note: when I had my own asparagus patch and they went from the patch to my gullet within an hour, it wasn't necessary to peel them. It seems like they "toughen up" after they've been harvested.
I also peel things like artichoke stems instead of cutting them off. Same with broccoli as there's a LOT of great flesh in those thick stems.
I, too, don't understand the wastefulness of discarding a major portion of the product.