Why we love some.
And why we eat others.
I am a meat eater.
I am an animal lover.
Countless times I have tried to make the transition to vegetarianism. Inevitably, I needed a stronger will. I've been bending my morals to suit my taste for so many years, that the excuses and justifications come rushing back.
I recently watched Melanie Joy speak (author of 'Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows') and she pointed me in the right direction, providing me with a little more ammunition.
Read here: Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows.
or watch here: Presentation
The story that hit me the hardest:
Her calf was either taken to a veal farm, or given the opportunity to grow for two years and become regular beef.
When the calf was taken away, however, this mother dairy cow stopped producing milk.
The farmers couldn't understand why, and did countless tests on her, but remained clueless. This never happened when the other calves were taken away.
A week later, a farmer noticed her going to a remote part of the field, the same spot, everyday. When he investigated, he found that she had given birth to twins, two calves. She had Sophie's choiced it, and gave one up, while hiding the other. She had remembered from previous births, that her calf was going to be taken away, and she had decided to hide the other. This cow, like the other billion that exist on this earth, is a sentient, thoughtful creature and mother.
Did you know that when we eat eggs, a male chick had to die, because males don't produce eggs?
And he doesn't go by way of lethal injection, he rides down a conveyor belt with his buddies into a wood-chipper style machine, alive.
As I walked through Nose Hill Park today, encountering dozens of people and their beloved pets, I thought about the poor case of a dog and cat found last week, starved to death with their mouths taped shut, in an alley. People are outraged. I am outraged. We care so much about our dogs, cats, and the animals at the zoo. But have been taught to ignore the ones on our plates.
Melanie Joy asked, when was the last time you saw a chicken? Or a cow? Or spent time with a pig? There's a reason these animals are hidden away, seen only in the form of meat. Yet, there are billions of them all around us.
But I am a hypocrite.
And I must educate myself, because I cannot blindly go through life, deciding this is ok, and that is not.
If you are interested in spending time with rescued farm animals, and learning about vegetarianism, check out RASTA Rescue & Sanctuary south of Calgary. www.rastarescue.org
(I am not affiliated with RASTA, and these opinions expressed are solely my own)