Friday, May 02, 2008

"Meet Your Meat" Changed My Life

A little video, available at YouTube, called "Meet Your Meat," changed my life, although, the transformation took a little time to percolate.

I've been mentioning raw food lately, and it's been an interesting path that has led me here finally. It started a long, long time ago when my mother became, what many friends and family members jokingly (for the most part) referred to as a "health nut." But that story is too long for today, so I'll cut to the chase.

Somehow today I came across Pam Anderson's video (honestly, I think it was a link from a link from a blog or some kind of internet surfing scenario) about "Kentucky Fried Cruelty." It seems PETA is after KFC to change it's torturous treatment of chickens. If you love animals at all, you'll agree it's torturous.

See here:


Watch more videos at KentuckyFriedCruelty.com.


But something bothered me. Why was it only KFC?? What about Chick-fil-A? Church's? Popeye's? Yes, the South runs rampant with chicken "joints" that serve up lots and lots of chicken. (In fact, my husband brought some Popeye's home the other day, much to my dismay, and yet, I was weak and I ate of it and am ashamed.) So I did a little searching, and REALLY, it's the chicken processing plants that are doling out the torture, the biggest offender allegedly being Tyson. Now, all I could think of were all the people who made their living at the Tyson plant down the street from where I lived in rural Mississippi! People or chickens, people or chickens?

Ok, so chicken "farmers" and processors are to blame. So again, in my searches to find more answers, I came across the "Meet Your Meat" video that I had stumbled upon two years ago. I tried to make myself watch it again, but after about four minues or so, I was in tears. And then, I heard a line I had forgotten. Narrator Alec Baldwin said, "If you drink milk, you are supporting the veal industry." And that made me come here to just get this off my chest.

I've lived my whole life feeling guilty if I ate veal, and have only done so about 3 times (a couple of the parmesan variety, and a picatta). And I've heard BUNCHES of folks say, no, they don't eat veal because, awww, it's a poor baby. Well guess what? Apparently the milk is making the veal, so to speak. And it makes sense, but I never thought of it (and apparently didn't remember it after the first viewing!).

To keep milk production going, cows are routinely impregnated. The calf is taken away almost immediately and "raised," confined in a "stall," until it is auctioned off and/or slaughtered. Ugh. Now, I did finally switch to organic milk, but I don't know if this is across the board for milk production or what. My uncle's family owned a dairy when I was a kid and I loved cows, and we would visit them, and I never knew that it could be a bad thing. But this was an independent dairy that still DELIVERED fresh milk in glass bottles, so I don't believe it was anything like what is in this video. These cows roamed the fields and ate grass and hay and came home at night, so it seems to be "industrial" in nature. I would think organic dairy farms are more like those of old with cow pastures and all.

So anyway. All those folks who don't eat veal, not because of it's price tag but because of some love for baby cows, beware the milk. Oh goodness, I digress?!

I'm about one step away from being an ovo-vegetarian (my eggs are organic free-range--and now raw!). Before that, any meat I ate was mostly chicken, sometimes a ground turkey spaghetti dinner, an occasional Texas-raised beef steak, and an even rarer pork chop. But I slowly became more and more repulsed when handling meat. Especially chicken. And I was buying Pilgrim Farms "all natural" (no hormones or antibiotics, but not organic though). But after watching this Pam Anderson chicken video and starting "Meet Your Meat" again, I think I'm ready to quit (no, it wouldn't have been very kind to say "cold turkey").

There are all kinds of other statistics out there about the amount of crops raised just to feed the "meat" being so many times the amount that could feed everyone on the planet...cutting down rainforests to do it...CO2 emissions from animals...blah blah blah.

I'm not posting this to change your mind. I'm posting it because I'm simplifying my life and finding my connection to the Great I AM, and the common level of avoiding the truth in our "modern day society" just isn't cutting it for me anymore.

Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," and so I'm practicing being the change. I'm giving myself permission to live the way I believe without worrying about what other people think. I've lived too long hoping that nobody thinks I'm "weird," or "different," or "too sensitive," or that I "think too much."

Well, too bad, I am all of those things according to the inherent peer pressure of acceptable norms I find surrounding me on a daily basis. I would like to experience balance. And peace. In my opinion, there just isn't enough of that in the world these days.

Love baby. That's where it's at. Love ourselves. Love each other. Love the animals. Love the planet that sustains us. For God's sake, if not for our own?

Amen.

7 comments:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I am a vegetarian so this is not new to me. Still it is quite schocking to see the images. Recently (I think on 60 Minutes) there was a segment on the Tuna industry--also rather ghastly. The thing is, we have become accustomed to others doing our killing for us. The Indians and other ancients killed what they needed to eat and were grateful for what the universe provided for them. Many religions still follow the some of those practices with thangstiving before meals. But in our society--huge populations that must be fed--we need to take more responsibility than that. You and Pamela are on the right track. We need to do what we can to minimize cruelty, to minimize (notice I didn't say cut out) eating foods that are provided in cruely or that add to the problems we are having with the environment. In that respect, chicken is better than beef but, Oh my!

Just think of the power that we would have if hundreds of thousands of us cut out one "killing meal" a week.

Best,
Carolyn

Nicole said...

Good idea...like "meatless monday" or something catchy like that.

And you're right, even if I haven't cut out everything yet, at least I'm cutting down. whew!

=)

(I don't always comment on comments, as you know, but I've been feeling like maybe I should do that more? Dunno...usually I go visit the other person's blog or send an email!)

suchlovelyfreckles.com said...

Oh man... I'm so not hungry now. I should show this to my husband. :(

Mrs. G. said...

I am afraid to watch these videos, but I am going to.

Also you painting in process is incredible. I wish I were napping in that room right now.

She Became a Butterfly said...

i've never been a big meat eater, and i recently started thinking about the fact that we eat eggs. that's gross when you think about it.

she

Optimist said...

Hi NIcole - thanks for visiting my blog! (I get so excited! - I'm new to this).

Yep, after "Skinny Bitch", I watched all the videos at goveg.com, then really started doing some reading. John Robbin's book "Diet for a New America" is a must and its follow up, "The Food Revolution" just makes the argument even more solid.

I really appreciate your Raw Food blog! I need help in this area - so far I am figuring out how to do vegan, but I plan to become good at it and start cooking more. I'm lucky in that there is a Whole Foods nearby, as well as a couple of vegan restaurants. (I go there a lot). My family is still as carnivorous as ever, but they are learning that tofu aint all that bad!

Nice to meet you!

xoxo

Nicole said...

Nice to meet you too "Optimist"! Sorry...I don't know your name!! =)

I just went to goveg.com and watched the fish video. Ok, I'm good on fish now. I just posted and said I didn't think I could give up oysters and shrimp (as an intro. to Muppet videos featuring Pepe the Prawn), but now I am concerned. I knew this, but boy the videos really make it REAL for those of us who are visually impacted (which I am horribly!).

Thanks for the new site!