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Eat Me

I watched Food, Inc. While eating dinner. Then I stopped eating dinner and started crying.

Ya’all may not know this, but I have an aversion bordering on phobia of animal carcass. This includes chicken, beef, pork, etc. that you would get in the grocery store. I know that meat contains many bacteria that can harm me, and am extremely careful of cross contamination. I don’t like to eat meat off the bone and prefer to see it ready to cook and eat. I do eat sushi and rare meat only because I know it has been handled well and am educated in food safety practices.

So watching animals get slaughtered was a bit much for me. Knowing where the meat came from, and how it got there, and how awful it is –it made me sick. The worst was the pigs. And the screaming. I honestly couldn’t tell if they were screaming or if I was.

There is absolutely nothing humane or honorable in our production of meat. That animal is not a creature of the Gods, but a product–nothing more than an arrangement of biology. That’s what a factory system believes.

Our food is being genetically modified and patented. Big corporations are suing farmers out of business or keeping them like slaves, always owing the company to keep up with upgrades. It is inhumane to people as wages are minuscule and people are taken advantage of until they are useless, then thrown away. Upton Sinclair is still relevant in the way we process foods.

I want to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. So how does a small person take on a giant corporation? We vote. With money. I will no longer spend my money to support this disgusting system. I will vote for representatives and legislation which shares my values. I’m going to do my best to eat local, whole food–food that was treated with honor–food that is nutritious, not technological.

If you’ll excuse me, culture, I’ve got a planet to save.

Does your religious beliefs influence the way you think about these topics?

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  1. Bonnie
    August 4, 2010 at 4:13 am

    I completely agree. My daughter asked me to watch Food Inc. I am a vegetarian now and I check for organic and free-range when it comes to milk products and cheese. I shop at local farmers markets for most of my perishables. I was outraged and I also want to change the food industry. I look around and it’s easy to see how the American diet is killing people (my mom of colon cancer)… What percentage of Americans over 40 don’t have heartburn, kidney stones, diabetes, high cholesterol, overweight or some other food related health problems? The problem is that young people in their 20’s and 30’s haven’t really seen these health problems and they are the ones raising children under the same bad model. Convincing 40 something’s is easy, but how do you reach the young? It is sick the disregarded that these companies have for humans and animals all for a buck.
    Now what are we going to do about it!?

  2. Camine
    August 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Religious beliefs, no. But I do believe there is a current and ever-growing movement to create a separate meat food chain from farms that are certified as being humane. The food industry has begun to recognize that there is a growing number of consumers that will pay a little more to know that their animals were humanely treated and killed. Me, I still believe and hold firm in the old adage “if you couldn’t kill it, don’t eat it”. I try my darndest to eat local food, food from a farmer I know.
    When is the last time you saw a looked into the eyes of a live pig, or a chicken, or let alone saw a freshly laid egg? To know where your meat came from, and how it was treated, is very hard to do. Meat comes from the grocery store, where it is cut and packaged to look as little like parts of animals as possible. The disappearance of animals from our lives (and that of all nature as well) has opened a space in which there’s no reality check, either on the sentiment or the brutality.

  3. August 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Jamie,

    My religious beliefs were a huge part in my becoming a vegan. Not because of a belief in the divinity of animals or a desire not to kill them, but because of a belief in my responsibility for my actions and my responsibility to my body. First, if I don’t agree with the way something is being done, giving money to have someone else do it is wrong to me. So because I don’t agree with the way animals are treated at meat processing plants, I won’t buy from them. Secondly, when I took a break from buying this processing-plant meat, I felt so much better without it that I had to honor my body and continue to eat in this way. It’s not much of a sacrifice to feel better than ever and eat very tasty food that just happens not to include meat, eggs, or dairy.

    But I am struggling a bit with this idea of looking at the negatives to change instead of the positives. Actually, the last article in my blog is about this. While seeing all the bad in processed meats may have helped me to change at least initially, I’m trying to make more changes now based on the good of what I can do instead. For example, I’m not ready to give up long distance airplane flights even as I watch the destruction of my home state’s forests caused by global warming. I need to find a way to make it fun and better than what I had before from all angles. Not just “less bad.” And I think that’s the way to inspire others as well. We certainly know that yelling “murderer” and other judgmental things at people tends to just get them more entrenched in their beliefs.

    Thanks for the timely post.
    Hope to see you soon when I’m back in Washington,
    Rhiannon

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