Call me an extremist. Say that I’m a hippy, vegan, vegetarian, fanatical, idealist. Tell me that these views are unrealistic and going to destroy the lives of countless farmers. Tell me this is just crazy. Make a joke about it.
It’s hard to talk about eating animals without getting defensive,
angry, sad and judgmental. I feel it. You feel it. So let’s all, you and
me both, take a step back, take a deep breath and look at what is
really going on here.
Fact: Livestock production is destroying the earth.
If you need a reason to change your diet that’s more than the unbearable torturing of animals, then here it is: 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock production. Compare that to the 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide that come from transport. Holy shit, right?
To produce animal products, up to ten times more land is needed than
to produce vegetable products. It takes about six to seven kilograms of
feed to create just one kilogram of meat. How inefficient is this? Land
is being ploughed down and destroyed just to create space to grow grains
to feed animals. Did you know this?
Fact: Animals are being tortured so that you can eat steak, drink milk, have bacon and eat cheese.
Piglets are castrated after birth and have their tails cropped without anesthetic. Egg producing hens have their sensitive beaks clipped and are moved around on factory belts like playthings. Chickens and turkeys often become crippled under their own weight, selectively bred to grow fatter than is naturally possible.
Dairy cows are stripped of their newborns, forced to give milk even
when they have infected, sore udders. Even the organic, free range
proclamations are so often a tragic myth. In many cases, the only
difference between factory farmed organic meat and dairy is the lack of
hormones and antibiotics. It’s not all green pastures and happy living
for most. How does this make you feel?
Fact: Cats, dogs, pigs, goats, chickens – they’re all animals and they’re all sentient beings.
Why is there so much uproar when domestic animal abuse is uncovered but barely any attention is paid to the horror that is breeding sows, kept in cages too small to turn around or even greet their new babies?
Dare I say it: eating a pork chop is the same as eating your cat. All animals’ lives matter and when someone says, “I love animals” while eating a hamburger, there’s just too much disassociation there for me to bear.
Deep breath. Non-judgment.
Fact: You don’t need meat and dairy to be strong and healthy.
What you’ve grown up believing is a myth. In fact, a plant-based diet can give you everything you need and more. The important thing to note is that it’s not simply about taking away the steak and eating what’s left.
or vegan means learning about food. It’s a chance to get creative, to
try new things and to make empowered decisions about what you choose to
consume. With a plant-based diet, you’ll be reducing your risk of
obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, colon cancer and a slew of
other health related problems. You’ll poop more often and I’m willing to
wager life will be sweeter.
Fact: It might be hard to change but you can do it.
You’re capable of so much and if you choose, you can change the way you consume food. You’re boundlessly compassionate and empathetic and you’re not interested in being a part of a torture chain / planet destruction scheme. I believe this about you.
With knowledge comes power.
I know life is hard enough. There’s so much to think about and manage
and so many things we work hard for and feel like we deserve. But what
happens when getting what you want comes with a great big bad toll? Is
it worth it then to turn a blind eye?
Hey yogis. Here are some good resources to watch and read. Power to the animals, both human and non. Love you.
- What is Factory Farming?
- A Most Inconvenient Truth
- The Meatrix
- Consequences of increased global meat consumption on the global environment — trade in virtual water, energy & nutrients
- Why Everyone Should Be Angry About Factory Farming
You can also find this article on The Huffington Post.
With over 2600 likes and 800 comments (and counting), I’d say it’s a topic worth discussing