“That’s alright, I will make lamb.”
Happy Thursday bats! Have any of you seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?” That is where the title quote has come from.
I feel that quote demonstrates the still very common misconceptions that exist in our world about vegetarianism and veganism. Many people are still confused about what it is, what it entails, and why a person would choose to live in a way that can be so drastically different from the norm.
There are a million and a half reasons to exclude meat and dairy products from your diet. This post is in no way going to be an extensive list, but merely MY list of reasons for not including animals in my diet.
1) Sutra 2:35 – Ahimsa Pratisthayam tat samnidhau vaira tyagah- In the presence of one firmly established in non-violence, all hostilities cease. – From the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda.
Everything about the way meat and dairy is produced now a days, is violent. Cows are kept in tiny steel cages with concrete floors, never seeing the light of day. They are fed “enriched feed” which contains ground up parts of OTHER COWS in order to fatten them up faster. They are abused physically and sexually. They are then taken to a plant, hung upside down by one led, and murdered by a swift slice to the throat. Milking cows are constantly raped (by the hands of humans with a syringe) and impregnated to cause them to produce milk. They then give birth, and are not even allowed to give milk to their young. Their udders become so full and swollen, often times covered in and infection. They are trapped in steel cages until they are deemed useless. They are then shipped off to the slaughter-house where they are hung and slit by the throat. Their un-born fetuses are ripped from their uterus’ and skinned for “veal Leather.”
Chickens are kept in rows upon rows of metal cages, where they are force-fed feed with ground up cow brain and spinal cord. Their talons and feet often grow into the cage floors, their flesh full of wounds from the constant chafing of their small home. Birds are very organized and intelligent creatures. Chickens can keep track of the “pecking order,” so to speak, of up to about ninety birds. When they are forced to live in pens with thousands of other birds, they are not able to keep track of who is above who, and they go crazy. They often peck each other, and themselves, to death. In order to stop this, it is common practice for farmers to burn their beaks off. When chickens are fat enough for slaughter (often due to the large amount of saline injected into their flesh to increase its weight) they are usually so heavy that their legs cannot hold them up. They are then hung upside down and “dipped” into an electrically charged bath. This stuns and quiets the birds, but they are still very much alive and aware. They are then dipped in scalding water, burned alive, to remove their feathers. After that they are killed, and weighed and sold for their flesh.
These are just two examples of the horrific events that take place in slaughter houses all around this country, nation and globe of ours. Animals raised for their flesh or their “by-products” live violent lives, and have violent deaths. I choose not to support such practices with my dollar.
2) Animals are alive. They have brains and hearts and emotions. They have nervous systems and neural-transmitters that feel and perceive pain. Have you ever seen an injured dog? Does it act like nothing has happened, or does it whimper in pain? Fish have such complex nervous systems, that they can sense all the other fish swimming around them, and this is what makes it so that they don’t bump into each other when they are swimming in large schools. Sting rays can be communicating a flirtatious message to another sting ray with one side of its body, while telling another sting ray to back off with the other side. Pigs can cry. Dolphins have sex for pleasure. Animals are not objects to be abused or objectified or captured by us. They are living, breathing, feeling beings that deserve life. I do not treat animals as slaves, just as I do not support the slavery of people.
3) Meat and dairy consumption has been linked to all the major diseases of our time. Heart disease, cancer, arthritis, dementia, even schizophrenia and ADD have been linked to the consumption of animals. Animal flesh rots in our intestines, because they are too long. True carnivores have very short intestinal tracks so that the meat is in an out within a matter of hours. Meat can purify in our colons, sitting in there for days at a time.
My bottom line is that I do not believe that animals are mine to exploit, use, or ingest. I know that I can get every nutrient that my body requires from plants. I am voting with my dollar against I system I find to be totally unnecessary.
There are many more environmental and humanitarian reasons that I do not eat meat or dairy. If you would like more information I recommend reading “Diet For A New America” by John Robbins, and “Yoga and Vegetarianism” by Sharron Ganon. Or feel free to drop me an e-mail!
If you feel offended by this post, good! You should feel offended. Do your own research and reading. Look into this. It is better to be informed than to remain ignorant. Our planet cannot afford our ignorance.
I love fruit.