Ready for a change

I have an announcement to make. It's a little embarrassing to realize it took so long, but nevertheless, I have decided to quit supporting the meat and dairy industries. It hasn't been an easy overnight decision obviously, the decision is something that's been contemplated, twisted and turned inside of my mind for a year or more, all the while making myself more conscious of the facts. While I always loved and I still love the flavor and taste of a well made meat dish, I have for a long time lived with feelings of guilt almost every time I've eaten a steak or a burger. And I feel that I've now run out of valid excuses to continue supporting an unethical lifestyle.

Just like you, meat lover, I have in my Facebook feed and on other places on the world wide web been exposed to images of maltreated animals crammed onto trucks, without food nor water they're shipped long distances to a mass slaughter. Many die during transport, and others are too sick or weak to walk off the truck after they reach the slaughterhouse. The animals who survive this hellish ordeal are hung upside-down and their throats are slit, often while they're completely conscious. And many of these animals are still alive while they are skinned, hacked into pieces, or scalded in the de-feathering tanks. 

Just like you, I have absorbed some of these images, I've processed them through my mind and quickly thrown them out from my membrane. My defense mechanism as a devoted meat eater made sure not to take these images too seriously, as, c'mon: these images are just propaganda and it can't be that way all the times, and: I never have to meet these animals, and: I will never be involved in the cruelty myself, and: All this vegan/vegetarian ramble seem to be just a silly trend. Seriously, why be so complicated with everything, and why not just leave me to eat my delicious meat if I want to, we're born to do just so!

But then one day not so long ago I suddenly felt the change within me was too overwhelming. I felt, wait a minute: I know these poor defenseless animals are being maltreated, and that only for our egoistic tastes, yet I still continue to support the meat industry by buying into it? I had some sort of wake up call that told me this is so not me, being unable to take such an ethically easy stand. 

Having always been the one who stands up for bullied kids in school when I was younger and made sure to bring justice to the ones who weren't able to speak for themselves. I've always been the one protecting people, not only my friends and family members, but also complete strangers if I knew they were being unfairly treated or hurt. I've also literally been raised on a farm, riding horses all my life, had dogs and cats and mice and rats as my close friends. And now in my adulthood I can look myself in the mirror knowing that for every second that I breathe, 1.680 animals are being viciously slaughtered because a humongous mass of people, including me, pretend to look the other way? It makes me sick only thinking of how brainwashed I have been, and I am thankful for the propaganda that is spread as it helped in awakening me from my ignorance much faster.

Having said all this, I still do believe that human beings are omnivores, meaning we are made to eat a combined diet mixed of plants and meat. We have done it for millions of years and the human pancreas produces a full load of digestive enzymes to digest all sorts of food, including meat. But what is the big difference between a caveman who hunt his rabbit to feed his family some two million years ago, and a modern human being of today? 

The difference is that the caveman went out to hunt his food himself and never took more of mother nature than what was needed to feed him and his peers. No terrible fourteen day delivery needed in inhuman conditions where animals are packed onto each other gasping for air. No force-feeding the rabbit to give the hunter a more enjoyable meal. 

Today we live in a disgustingly greedy, selfish, capitalistic world where the only thing that matters for businesses - slaughterhouses, fur companies and dairy businesses included - is to make as much profit as humanly possible. We live in a fucked up world where people look to gain maximum pleasure and enjoyment without bothering to consider the potential pain and suffering others have to risk on the way.

The meat and dairy industries doesn't give a god damn shit about our well being as they pump the hormones into the animals to give us larger steaks and more effectively be able to milk the cows for our morning cereal. They couldn't care less about how the animals feel when their newborn babies are being taken away from them as the milk of a female cow is supposed to go to said cereal, and not to the poor screaming calf desperate to get back to the comfort of its mother. The meat industry has no empathy whatsoever towards the small male pigs that gets their testicles pulled out by hand, castrated without any painkillers, as long as we get our crispy bacon served with our scrambled eggs each morning.  

Farmed chickens and turkeys spend their brief lives in dark and crowded warehouses, many of them so cramped they can't even turn around or spread a single wing. They are left abandoned in their own waste, the stench of ammonia fills the air and their utter lives are a sad, inhuman proof of how egoistic and greedy the human being has turned into. A greed and suffering for which we ignorant consumers ultimately are to be blamed. Knowing all of this and having made my homework now for a few months (as I needed to go to the bottom of health and ethics before I made my absolute choice) I just know I can't go back to ignorantly eating food merchandised by the factory farming industry. No matter how much I love a delicious tenderloin steak medium rare with a creamy Pommes Dauphinoise and red wine sauce, I can not and will not continue to support the vicious circle that the greedy meat business stands for.

Raising animals on factory farms is not only cruel and unethical, but also ecologically devastating as well as bad for our health. Imagine all those hormones that are being injected into your favorite meat, the daunting mixture of meats and chemicals packed into your hot dog, and nowadays they're even sweetening your milk with aspartame, all of which the blissfully unknowing consumer have no idea whatsoever.

Just a few more numbers before I let it go this time: Every year in the U.S, more than 27 billion animals are slaughtered for food. Just take a second and think about that number. 27 billion animals that are born, raised and killed only to please your tastebuds. I am using the US as an example, as it is the largest meat eating country in the world, with 125 kilos/275 pounds of meat being consumed per person each year. 

If I'd have my on farm or if I with assurance knew that the meat I was offered came from a happy, well fed and well treated animal who had to give up its life because of age or illness, then I'll still go for it. Until that happens, I'll stick to my new vegetarian diet with as little dairy as possible, sometimes mixing it with fish and seafood. I am taking slow steps to begin with, but it is a great relief having made the decision to completely stop supporting the greedy and disgusting factory farming industry.

Please have a look at this one if you have the time. It made even the meat lover number one in our home more understanding to the unnecessary cruelty, and he has now agreed on me withdrawing meat completely from my home made meals as long as fish and seafood still is an option.