Friday, July 20, 2012

Where's the beef?

I am a proud meat eater. I like pork, chicken, beef, the basics. From time to time I will explore other meats like Bison. Yum.

What I am not proud of is the way I get my meat. I would only hope that others are as well. The fact that some innocent creature needs to die for me to have those delicious General T'so Chicken or BBQ ribs is an unfortunate predicament. For many people, this calls them to become vegetarians and vegans. I don't judge them, I actually commend them for their convictions. As for myself, I do not believe I will become either anytime soon.

I saw a video yesterday about one of Walmart's meat suppliers having what they call gestation crates. It looked pretty gross. I was very concerned about the well-being of the pigs. Many would think, "Why?" Yes, they would still end up on my plate smelling and tasting the same, but think about the conditions your meat just went through. Getting slammed against the floor. Going crazy from boredom. Being immobile. Can you imagine taking a pill that does this to you? Not saying you're going to go crazy from eating this meat, but what can't be good for you is eating something that was raised in poor conditions. Pig gets infected and isn't treated one day. Next day, you're eating it. That's bananas. And I am not for that.

Animal cruelty is a very debated topic. I am an animal lover since childhood, but I have also been a meat eater probably just as long. When I was on my college campus once, a friend sent out a video called "Earthlings". There were many things disturbing about this video. The one that hurt my heart was watching a garbage man throw a limping dog into the garbage truck. How cruel is that? And this video went in and out of my inner circle of friends, only a few swore off meat after. I said I'd eat less pork, but then later that day had a turkey bacon sandwich at Applebee's (will never forget that). It wasn't because I couldn't control myself, it was because I needed to find out more before just changing my lifestyle because of one video. I knew I agreed that animal cruelty was wrong. What I would do about it was the hard part to figure out.

Pet Adoption. Besides smaller animals like fish, hamsters or guinea pigs; I refuse to buy my furry companions. This is a conviction of mine. As many feel about adopting children from foreign countries, why go somewhere else when there are children (or in this case animals) right in your neighborhoods? I do not believe it is wrong to buy a pet, but personally I will not. My current cat, love of my life, was adopted when I was a teenager and I was very adamant about it. We even got a free vet visit included, she was spayed, had all her shots, luckily had no previous medical conditions, and already loved people. I say all this to say, there are a lot of benefits to adopting a pet. Many people have misconceptions of what it means. For example, that your pet will be sick somehow or have traumas you have to deal with. What I have to say about that is, unlike some animal shelters, what pet store do you know will tell you all the medical history of your new friend? Most of the time, these stores are just trying to make a sale (my opinion).

Anyway, humane slaughtering. I say all this to say, I think we should all think about where our meat comes from and if we are okay with putting some brands in our bodies. Some are more pricey than the generic brands that don't take better care of their animals, but I think it may be worth it.

What do you think?

Don't let other make the decision for you. Educate yourself on slaughterhouse procedures, meat providers, free range chickens, organic meat, kosher meat and etc. 

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