“I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience,” said Einstein, one of the greatest blokes we know of. And he became a vegetarian for the last part of his life.
Recently I stopped eating meat forever. The decision was made one morning watching a very interesting video on YouTube when I was supposed to be in the shower getting ready for work. It was called The Secret Reason We Eat Meat – Dr Melanie Joy. I watched it and like a flick of a switch I was suddenly a vegetarian running late for work.
But I’m not here to be preachy.
I do that sometimes, it’s annoying, I know. I’m not the boss of humanity, yarda yarda. I know there’s no point. I’ve eaten meat my entire life and I know the mind frame well enough to know that a blogging poindexter with an opinion isn’t going to make you put down your ham sandwich. I’d just like to spread a little awareness about a few things on behalf of animals because they can’t blog. I don’t even mind if you tuck into a chicken leg while you read this. I’m currently giving a can of “mock duck” a whirl, so you do your thing and I’ll do mine. Let’s agree not to judge each other.
My moral dilemma.
I’ve known about the violent mistreatment of the animals we keep captive for a long time and I’ve never been buzzed about it. But the video demonstrated how conditioned by society I had become in thinking it’s okay to eat animals that have to suffer greatly to get on my plate. I questioned my ethics and wondered why I was pretending it wasn’t happening. And I thought to myself: would I have stood up and said anything if I had been around when society was enjoying themselves some slaves?
People were totally conditioned into thinking slavery was normal when it clear-as-crystal wasn’t. The food industry is doing the same thing now, they brutally butcher cute sheep and pull the wool over our eyes.
I actually have no doubt in my mind that a lot of us are going to look back in about 50 years and think, holy moly, I can’t believe we did that to actual emotionally and socially aware beings. Not least because science has started to develop lab-grown meat, prompted by the prediction that meat consumption will double in the next 30 years. The idea is to use the stem cells from a minimal amount of slaughtered cows to grow loads of labby meat to feed the masses. Kind of like when Jesus killed those five pieces of bread to feed that big hungry crowd.
I think it’s when everyone’s kicking back enjoying their science burgers that we’ll have the open-mindedness to reflect on the dire history of the victims of the meat industry. You know, when no hippy vegan bastards are trying to tell you what to do and take away your medium rare-rights.
Being an omnivore.
Now, speaking from personal experience, I feel like my human body is a healthier human body when it’s not being forced to break down the constitutions of a carcass. And the argument of whether or not we’re naturally supposed to be chewing flesh will go back and forth for time to come. All I know is that us homo sapient types love to defy nature, so whether or not we needed meat to become who we are today is an argument I’m happy to let other people have.
The problem is that we’ve taken it too far and it’s causing bad things to happen now. What might have started as a few adventurous vegetarian cave men having a crack at some bone marrow has turned into a dangerous multi-billion dollar industry run by technology and assholes.
What we consume and the way we consume it is dangerous to our health, dangerous to the environment and dangerous to other species. Including ones proven to have more intelligence and sophistication than your dog and three-year-old human child.
Got milk? I hope not.
We’re not baby cows so drinking milk is weird. We’re the only known species on the planet that grow into adults and go after the creamy juices of a lactating mammal.
Dairy cows have it just as tough as the animals bred for your fork. They’re repetitively impregnated by artificial insemination which, let me just say, is a little rapey. They’re also relatively young the first time they get pregnant, so that’s child bride. And mothers and babies are usually torn from each other within 24-48 hours after birth. That’s emotional torture by anyone’s standards (bar psychopaths).
Mother cows have been known to break out of fields and then walk for miles to be reunited with calves taken to auction.
The lactating cows then go on to spend about 10 months stuck in a pen, with red raw nipples, constantly producing milk for humans’ cereal. Once they’re milked dry, they’re uncomfortably impregnated again to go through the same awful process, without any time to put their feet up. It’s taxing on their minds and bodies and I don’t think they like it.
But at least we have milk in our tea.
So what’s a vegan-ish vegetarian?
It’s someone going through a process. I won’t eat meat again because that’s easy when you’re not a lion. And I’m not buying egg or dairy products from the supermarket because their range of vegan alternatives is outstanding.
However, I’ll try not to beat myself up if I’m out to dinner and the (V) menu option is between a creamy bowl of gnocchi and a bowl of lettuce.
And look, I also own leather, buy palm oil products and live with people who put cardboard in the general rubbish. We simply can’t fight all the battles, it’s a process and change starts with awareness.
What we can do is vote every time we go through the checkout. The food industry works on supply and demand, so if we buy the organic options or the meat and dairy alternatives, then that’s what we’ll see more of. At cheaper prices too.
And if the fact that animals have feelings won’t get you off the t-bones, have a little read about the detrimental environmental issues that caused Richard Branson to stop eating beef.
Don’t forget our boy Einstein either. This is why he had that guilty conscience: