As I chomped down on my breakfast at the local cafe this morning, again, like every day, I questioned the ethics of my choice. It’s amazing, after two [exhausting] months of intense reflection, research, multiple discussions, and interviews, I think I know my decision…and it comes as a surprise to me, and maybe to you as well. I thought I would be spat out the other end of this thing carrying an entirely different suitcase of convictions than the one I hold now, but here I am, and I am not a vegetarian, and at this point in my life I no longer even wish to consider the possibility. It is not because it was too difficult, and it is not because I just don’t feel like it, it’s because I don’t believe that the solution to the problems we face with regard to food ethics in general, lie entirely here. They do if you support the mistreatment of animals, if you waste your food, and if you over-consume animal products, but I do not practice either of these things. It may be that in my life I will again go months or even years without eating meat, but I will not be a vegetarian. It may be that I go months without eating animal products in general, but I will not be a vegan. I don’t want these adjectives because they restrict who I am, and at times, what I might need. So despite my fear of adjectives, I have now found one for myself that I can commit to, and wear with confidence, and that word is responsible. I want to eat responsibly. Responsible with regards to my health, the environment, to the animals involved in the food process, and to the people involved.
I don’t like killing animals, I don’t, but I have been thinking. We often blame the over-consumption of animal products on the fact that we are so far removed from the source, that we have been desensitised to the process. The culling process. I agree, that we are too far removed from it to appreciate what needs to happen in order to get that bacon next to our eggs, but it goes both ways. Isn’t it also possible that this “removal from the source” has created another group of people that are over-sensitive to the culling of animals? I believe that this separation from our food has created a bipolar society. On one end we have created a large group that eat meat at such a high rate because they don’t understand [or perhaps don’t want to understand] the value of an animal’s life, and on the other end we have created a group of people who cannot bear the thought of killing something and eating it, and who avoid animal products all together. It is important to remember, that just because a lion eats a zebra doesn’t mean that it disrespects it’s life. Disrespect of an animal comes from mistreatment, overuse, and waste, not from eating it.
So what I want to do from hereon in is to start making better choices, and to help you do the same. Choices that support our environment, our animals, and the farmers that love them. We also need to find a way to eradicate bad farming practices. Our society has created such a high demand for cheap and abundant animal products, that many farmers have been forced to compromise their own ethics, and this needs to change. Remember that every time you buy a product, you are voting. So who are you giving your vote to? There is still plenty to discuss, so I hope that I still have your attention.
Take care everyone and enjoy the rest of your weekend.