Monday, March 21, 2011
Vegan - Sometimes - Vegetarian - Always
When it comes to eating meat, Edwards and I have been “localvores” for a year and before that we had cut out fish due to mercury and over-fishing. Because of the articles and books we read, and documentary films we watch, already our diets are relatively healthy, informed, and restricted. Then, one day, Edwards handed me a copy of the PETA magazine and I had a further change of heart.
The magazine didn’t tell me anything I wasn’t already vaguely aware of, but it heightened my awareness and gave me a solution to the largest problem to ever arise in my life: What to do about the death of Miss Manners? You will need to refer to my previous post about her death to understand the gravity of the situation, and the gravity of not having a clear legal solution to the problem – actually – any solution to the problem.
PETA offered a solution. Become a VEGAN. Something grotesquely violent happened to a member of my family and the only way to end violence is to stop perpetuating it. For this, I can start with the obvious. I can remove myself from behaviors that lead to violence against animals, or remove myself from the industrial meat and dairy industries.
Just like my ignorant neighbor, who seems to have not understood that it would be WRONG to beat a dog the way he did, there are innocent people who can no longer tell that their jobs are violent. This is not only terrible for the farm animals, it is terrible for the people who work in these environments. We should be able to live and eat in a world where the difference between right and wrong is obvious.
My decision to be vegan doesn’t end this, but it distances me from it. Free from food violence, I will also be able to focus on ending the violence I commit against people through judgments, critiques, and rude comments.
For my new lifestyle, I am constructing my personal vegan’ness around an end to violence, not an end to the use of animal products. If I hear of a local farmer with happy, free-range, hormone -free chickens who love the farmer and lay eggs for the farmer… I will buy and consume those eggs. Also, I do not believe the local honey industry to be violent, and local bees, help support local agriculture, so I will continue to enjoy my local raw honey. Finally, I can visit the farm where the dairy cows are raised and milked for the Raw Milk that is sold locally at Real Foods Market. This will remain a treat. I don’t mind the dairy industry when it is clearly nonviolent. The things I will be inflexible on… animal death. I don’t need to eat meat. I don’t need to eat an animal once alive, now dead no matter how it was killed.
I guess this makes me an always vegetarian sometimes a vegan. Meaning, when I have all the information I need to make a decision on the violence of an animals’ life, I will just be vegetarian, but when I am unsure of the violence surrounding how an animal was raised and use, I will be vegan.
I hope this makes me a better person and I hope this helps heal my heart of things that Manners' death brought to the surface. I miss, Miss Manners and I hurt for all the violence that the human race and animal kingdom have to experience every day.
* The above trailer is for a positive movie on the food industry. One that I enjoyed very much and was extremely informative. I looked for some shock-and-awe videos, but I couldn't watch them and didn't want to subject my friends to them.