Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Going Vegetarian

A blogger I follow has recently read a book about the meat industry and, as a result, has decided to become a vegetarian.  Read her post here.  

As a teenager, I was a vegetarian but somehow, in my twenties, I drifted away and became a carnivore.  However, about eight years ago, I came down with a serious case of food poisoning from some chicken I had eaten.  I began to explore the food industry, read a number of books on the subject, and realized how far I had strayed from my own moral beliefs.  Some of the books I read discussed the conditions under which "factory animals" live and die.  I was horrified and vowed to never eat meat again.

This past year, my husband made the decision to become what he calls a "farmitarian."  He will only eat meat from animals that he has either personally raised or hunted.  That way, he knows the animals lived a normal and decent life before making the ultimate sacrifice to become food on his plate.  II believe if more people know the horrendous conditions of the corporate animal factories, we would have either 1) more vegetarians or 2) a huge public outcry with a demand for more humane treatment of animals.  Further, once you see the condition of factory farms, you'll understand why we have so many food recalls and become very concerned about your health and where your food comes from.

For those interested in this topic, there are a number of books available.  Here are a few titles to get you started, plus a movie to watch:

Slaughterhouse:  The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Market by Gail A. Eisnitz
Mad Cowboy by Howard F. Lyman (made famous by the lawsuit against Oprah)
Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully
Farm Sanctuary:  Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food by Gene Baur
Meat Market:  Animals, Ethics, and Money by Erik Marcus

Fast Food Nation:  The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy

Earthlings is a movie (available for viewing online) that I've heard is called "the vegan maker."  I haven't had the heart to watch it because I already know how we torture and abuse animals.  

Another book, the China Study by T. Colin Campbell exposes the truth behind diets based on animal products and discusses the benefits of a vegan diet.

I hope a few of my readers are open-minded enough to look into this subject, to realize the horror that we're supporting, to possibly become vegetarians, and to share this hidden truth with family and friends.  What you don't know can hurt you - and our furry and feathered friends.


Shona~ LALA dex press said...

Like you I was a vegetarian in my teen years, reverted to meat eating + the thing that did it for me was the fact that all my close friends, the ones I break bread with, are vegan. For awhile I only ate meat from farms that were humane, but keeping up with all that was too much to deal with and I pretty much lost the taste. I'm not a vegan, I do avoid cow dairy + love a good farm fresh egg from one of the many farms in our area.

"Farmitarian" great term- quick, get a trade mark on that!

I clicked on the link for "Earthlings" + quickly hit the back button. Actually, I've been thinking about picking up a copy of "The Jungle"

LRS4AMANDA said...

Hi Cherie,

I gave up red meat in my twenties until I met my ex-husband. Currently red meat is practically non-existent in our household, and on the extremely rare occasion I do buy it, it is only grass fed meat. I also will only buy eggs from cage free chickens. (I read some horrific things during the recent egg recall) About 10 years ago I refused to eat veal after reading about the terrible conditions the animals are raised in.

I read the Omnivore's Dilema and watched Food Inc. which did alter my thinking about eating meat. We probably eat vegetarian at least 4 nights a week now. Although I can't completely do the vegan thing, (I love cheese too much) I put soy milk on my cereal and did recently buy a butter replacement.

Baby steps!


Cherie said...

Shona, I've never tried to go vegan as I know it's very difficult. Perhaps one day....

Do you mean the classic book The Jungle? I've heard of it but never read it. Let me know how it is if you do read it.

Cherie said...

Linda, like you, I love cheese so it would be hard to go vegan. But it is the little steps that add up to major changes - for us and for the animals.

Deanna said...

We've been eating vegetarian for the past several months but decided to suspend that while in New Orleans and just eat what we wanted. By the end of our trip we had both decided to go back to vegetarianism for the most part. Our plan is to eat vegetarian at home and in restaurants but if invited to a meat-eater's home, to eat what is served. In addition, on rare occasions we will indulge in a special meal featuring organic, humanely-raised bison, chicken or turkey. I've ordered a turkey breast for Thanksgiving which will probably cost me a fortune but I figure we save enough by avoiding meat most of the time that I can splurge.

Cherie said...

Deanna, I've been following your vegetarian menus on your blog - they always make me want to go eat at your house!