(still a work in progress)
I had never been comfortable eating meat. I didn't like the colour, especially the redness of meat.....and that was 30 years ago. I ate meat because that was what was served to me when I was a child. I even went as far as calling lamb, 'Irish chicken' to get my young children to eat it because I knew they would not want to eat, "Mary had a little lamb." That decision is so unsettling to me now.
I liked animals but more so after we purchased a dog for our family. I was never really a dog person. What surprised me after having one was this unconditional love that we all received. I had never experienced it before from any one in my entire life. Unconditional love....is it possible for humans? Yes, perhaps as parents. I found out over time that pigs, cows and chicken were all sentient beings with intelligence and emotions.
I stopped eating meat completely years ago because I really didn't like it, although the rare time, I would split a burger with my husband. As an Environmentalist (anyone can be one if
you in fact love the environment and try to protect it) four years ago I was doing some research and came across factory farming. I had no clue what that was. It was an article on Carnism, the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals. Along with it was a video about Factory Farming. I couldn't get past 5 minutes of watching the video....I was crying so hard. Any one who knows me knows that I do not cry and I like animals but no more than the next person. What hit my heart immediately was the intentional cruelty that animals were exposed to and how us humans, the supposedly superior and intellectual race, would allow this. I was thinking how can we allow this and who is to blame? Is it the fault of you and I, the farmers, the government, our society? Perhaps, it is all of the above.
It is great to blame others but it is more effective to find solutions. Give farmers alternative
business choices because like us, they need to feed their family. Consumers need to know more about where our food comes from and not assume that the methods used are
ethical and sustainable. The most troubling of it all is that our federal and provincial governments allow factory farming with very little regard for the inhumane practices and the devastating environmental impact. How do politicians sleep at night?
There is hope. The tide is changing. Consumers are more aware of the food they eat and
more people are changing to plant based diets. Some farmers and food producers are changing their food productions to reflect these changes. Animal Justice, I found while searching the internet, is Canada's only national animal law advocacy non-profit organization and one of the organizations we are supporting. Their mandate is to protect animal rights and supports the transition to a plant based food system that will greatly benefit animals, our health and the environment. I am still on a plant based journey, looking for food that tastes as good as cheese and fish, the two foods that have been hard for me to give up. There is more encouraging news all the time as new food items are introduced into the market. GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, GOOD FOR ANIMAL WELFARE AND HEALTHY FOR US. It is certainly getting more fun all the time to go into my local grocery store to see all the healthy changes. What about you? Are you on any food journey of your own?
Founder KatEco LIfe