Today I posted the following comment (links added for this blog now) on Mother's Jone's Blue Marble blog in response to the post, Should You Buy Beef To Help US Ranchers Survive the Drought? —By Kiera Butler:
So, friends, readers, Tweeps, and just plain curious stumbling upon-ers, let's remember that every day we can make decisions based on ethical and responsible choices, and as we do so, we will become more the change we wish to see in the world, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi. Let go of wondering how much of an impact collectively your changes might have; just make them! You know animals suffer in today's agribusiness factory farms. You also know that the cute family farm with the red barn and silo and happy animals about is a dying entity. You may know someone who humanely raises and slaughters their meat animals. Chances are, however, that even such a responsible farmer takes his livestock to be slaughtered elsewhere, and that may not be as humane as he or we would hope. The so-called free range eggs you buy by law can be called such if the animals have an open window or door within so many feet but may never leave the production floor. If you don't buy them off the farm after touring the small-farm's coop, you cannot be sure cruelty was not involved. And besides, animal reproductive products such as cow's milk and chicken eggs were never intended for human consumption. We are meant to ingest human breast milk during the first year or two of life, and that's it for dairy. We are not meant to swill gallons of animal mammary fluids and make cheeses and other products out of them. You ought to hear Dr. Neal Barnard's comments on the very addictive quality of cheese (and other foods such as chocolate, meat and sugar). The eggs chickens produce are intended to bring more chickens into the world. What actually happens on factory farms is that female chicks are kept for laying more eggs and the male chicks are often ground into feed, and fed to chickens! Euthanasia? Please! No thought is given to their feelings at the time of their cruel and violent death. By the way, the typical beef steer or cow is "euthanized" by blunt trauma to the head, and the industry considers this humane. There is some pressure to change this, from the public mostly, so that mass suffocation in large chambers where oxygen is removed is considered better and a goal the industry hopes to attain. Are we nuts? As long as we pretend we are not a party to the cruelty, and to the slurry ponds filled with animal waste that contaminates nearby water supplies, and to the misappropriation of much of the planet's crops to feed those meat animals on factory farms, and to the growing obesity epidemic as we fall for the seductive temptation of the food porn thrust at us by pizza, fast food and seafood chains, we help cause it!
Want to try the vegan lifestyle on for size? I did at age 57 and haven't looked back since, over three and a half years ago. Check the word cloud somewhere on the right side of this page and click on any of the topics to read my experience, strength and hope. If I can do this, I'll bet you can too!
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