We do see animals like chickens, pigs and cows everyday……..on our plates!
I think the majority of americans choose to ignore the real facts of the meat industry as it is today.
That saying “ignorance is bliss” is true my friends.
As an undergrad at University of Connecticut, I was required to take a Biology course, and so I reluctantly did. I found out I would have to dissect a fetal pig as part of the course. I was outraged, I cried to my professor, told her I couldn’t do it. I asked if I could opt out. I told her I would go to the president of the school, they couldn’t force me, how could they do that to unborn baby pigs.
She explained that fetal pigs are a by-product of the meat industry and that the University is simple using getting them instead of them going in the trash. They would never live anyway. Some commercially sold pork is the meat from pregnant sows, they are killed while still pregnant because that meat is said to be more tender. I was horrified.
They use the fetal pigs in Universities because their organ closely resemble ours. So I joined a group but told them I wouldn’t touch, look or do anything to that fetal pig, I would write our paper for the group. It was an experience I will never forget. I still have the paper, and the diagram of our fetal pig.
I’m Puerto Rican, I grew up eating pig roast, its part of our culture. My grandfather had pigs, chickens, and cows. I had my own two hens. I used to feed them and talk to them. These animals lived in the backyard, had their own pen, some mud to bathe in and grass to stand on, they saw the sun rise every day and heard the rooster sing. I’ve seen a pig and a cow give birth, it was amazing. That is the way they are supposed to live.
I never saw them being abused or treated cruelly. Animals in factory farms never see the light of day, lived in cramped conditions and are treated with no respect. Most suffer from painful infections and diseases that are never treated properly before they are slaughtered in a painful, horrible way.
I became fixated, as I often do on a topic. I was working in a dance studio at the time and a coworker, a dancer/yoga teacher gave me the book ” Fast Food Nation”. I read it, went on a quest to inform myself, and stopped eating meat. I read so many books that attested to the fact that the meat industry was not only being cruel to animals but to its workers, our environment and us, the consumer!
Since then, there have been a lot published on the topic and numerous documentaries done.
“The Omnivores Dilemma” and “Fast Food Nation” are my two favorites.
One of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver wrote “Animal, Vegetable, Dream” about growing and rasing everything her family ate for a full year.
“Food Inc.” and “Forks over Knifes” are two great documentaries to watch.
According to the organization Animal Sanctuary, Factory farms, which hold tens of thousands of animals per facility in windowless warehouses throughout the country, are responsible for more than 18% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
This vastly outstrips the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.
37% of those gases are derived from methane (which has 23 times the global warming impact of CO2)
I have gone back to eating meat, I guess you can say I’m a part-time vegetarian or a weekday veg, whatever you want to call it.
Some people criticize that but I could care less. You can eat shit……..and you probably are!
It takes work to be the “perfect” vegetarian, and after three years I started to get lazy! So I have to find something that worked for me. I’m still figuring it all out.
I do my part in that I’m informed about the meat I eat. I only buy local or organic. I don’t eat fast food. I reduce my overall intake of animal products.
Most importantly I don’t eat meat everyday which reduces my carbon footprint and is healthier in the long run.
But I’m not perfect, I do what I can, because I’m a true believer that every little bit helps!
As a consumer, I know every time I buy something, I’m sending a message about what I care about, there is where my power lies.
A few years ago, you couldn’t get organic products at the “regular” supermarket. I had to go to Whole Foods or Traders Joes for even little things like milk.
Now all major supermarkets carry at least the basic organic products and some have organic isles or sections.
I would love to see our federal government put some strict guidelines into place for the meat-packing industry.
I would love to go back to small family farming that is better for the animals, the environment and our own health.
It’s up to us, the consumer, to show them that we care!
I know there are a lot politics involved in this because like everything else in America, it always comes down to money $$$
The current meat-packing industry produces their product at a very cheap price for maximum profits!
Even if the cost is our own health and the well-being of our planet.
We visited an animal sanctuary in upstate NY a couple of summers ago, all the pictures of the animals in the blog are from our visit there.
This video is from Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit organization, they recently celebrated their 25th year!