Friday, March 19, 2010

Maybe Mom Was Right

"Eat your veggies!" you hear moms sing-songing the phrase everywhere, but maybe, just maybe it is that simple. I finally finished the book Eating Animals (it was a rough week, headache-wise, even for an audiobook), and I am left thinking that maybe vegetarian is the way to go for me. Was that Foer's intention with his book? Probably. Nonetheless, in my current state, I am left with little ammunition to argue with. There are three things I know about myself, that make me an especially weak opponent:

1. I strive to do right by my planet - I recycle, I am conscious of wall warts, I try to limit use of electricity, water and other utilities. I use a refillable water bottle. I planted a ginko biloba tree in my backyard in support of Million Trees NYC ( last year. So what about my food? How do I argue the numbers (I am a math teacher after all!): it takes approximately 26 calories of grain feed, to produce 1 calorie of meat. How can I argue that all of the land devoted to feed for livestock could be devoted to food for the hungry? What about the toxic fumes, waste and land created by factory farms?

2. I love animals - I have two dogs and two fish of my own right now. My neighbors bring me the hurt duck, the seagull caught in plastic, the baby duckling separated from its mother... I am the crazy girl that chased a wild sparrow around her kitchen after nursing it back to health. In fact, I am also the one who, with her husband, protected baby possums in the backyard from tht their own hunting beagles by creating safe-havens and, at one point, even standing guard, armed with flashlights. I am the girl who cried when she hit a bird that flew into the hood of her car on a highway. Then, I ask you, who am I to be selective about that compassion and love of animals? THIS is question of my conscience that makes this seem like a simple decision. If I could trust that meat was coming to me in some sort of natural way, and, not produced for me, perhaps it would not be as simple a decision, but that is not the case, is it?

3. I want to be healthy - This is not something that I am right now, sadly, but it is something I once was and it was wonderful. I want it back. I am not suggesting that all meat is bad for all people, but I think, right now, it might not be so great for me. It is easy and convenient for me, but not my best option. The meat I am eating right now (because everything I have in my house is some product of some factory farming), is not the quality of food my body needs - it has been exposed to antibiotics, disease and, if I truly wish to look at all energies possibly influencing me, the meat has been exposed to some seriously bad chi! How do I, who has been unable to work a full day's work all this week, who can no longer read, drive or plan to have children the way she would be doing right now, how does this obviously unhealthy person have the right to argue that what she's been doing all along is perfectly fine? Why not try something dramatically different?

So, while the decision may be an easy one, the actual undertaking seems nearly impossible. I am not sure where to begin, or when to begin (while RIGHT NOW seems like the obvious choice, I still can't bring myself to trashing all of the meat in the house). I guess it is time for me to research a transition plan for me.

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