I’m obviously kind of gangbusters with animal rights issues if you know me or have read previous posts of mine. One of the major issues I have WITH MYSELF and all of the stuff I do online for animal rights and such is the fact that I DO eat meat. Go on, call it hypocrisy, call me full of shit, call me what you like. You’d likely be right, and I’m telling you now that I have a hard time dealing with my diet when it comes to my conscience.
I even tried going vegetarian two years ago. I still ate seafood a few times per week, because I was worried that my system would go into shock after over 35 years of just eating meat, bread, and ice cream. I thought cutting that type of protein out of my life “cold turkey”, if you’ll pardon the phrase, would be harmful to me. So seafood stayed, with plans to phase it out over time.
I was sick for the entire 5 month period. I ate salads and other mostly raw vegetables, ate less junk food, should have been healthier than ever before in my life. But I was weak, tired, ill-feeling, and had cold-like symptoms. I spoke to 2 full-on vegans I worked with about it. Their responses? “Oh, yeah, I was sick for 2 whole years when I gave up meat.” I was like, “There’s no way in Hell I’m going to feel like this for two years….”
I went back to eating meat, and within 2 weeks, I felt like myself. I know it would be easy to say that this was all some self-fulfilling prophesy, that I really wanted to eat meat, wanted to believe I needed it, and so therefor I got what I wanted. Not so. I really wanted to make this change and was convinced I was doing the right thing, “becoming an enlightened person”. I later heard something that people with different blood types require different food types (makes sense, really), and that O blood types require proteins from meat. I am an O Positive blood type. Again, I want to stress that this was a revelation that came AFTER I’d already conceded defeat on the vegetarian diet.
Doing the things I do for animal rights and such, it still eats at my conscience (pardon the use of that phrase, too). I see a lot of things about how food animals are raised and treated. Today I saw a video showing the abuse of chickens by throwing them around, merciless beatings of pigs while they squealed in pain, and cows watching while other cows are hoisted up, thrown onto a table and having their throats cut by hand. The camera closed in on the cow’s eye rolling back while its life left its body. Within the last week I saw a film of a camel that was forced to the ground and had its knees tied into a permanent kneel to hobble it, and then had a guy go forth and repeatedly stab it in the chest.
I’m sorry to drop all of these images on you, but this is, well, what it is. I have given up the eating of pork and lamb, because I’ve seen video and heard stories of both animals being kept as domestic pets. I’ve seen film of pigs and lamb reacting in such cases in ways very similar to my beloved canine species. Since they can be companion animals on that level, I can no longer justify myself consuming them. So I’m down to chicken and beef.
Today I actually had a vegan egg and sausage sandwich for lunch; the doorway is still open for change. Perhaps I will one day make another run at changing what it is on which I subsist, or at least diminish the amount of animal product I consume if not entirely cut it out of my diet.
Don’t beat yourself up too badly. There are a lot of us with blood types that need meat protein and I’m one of them. The Native American Indians have a good outlook on how to respect the food we eat. At each hunt, and this tradition is carried on today, they thank the animal they just killed and use every part of the body so the spirit of that animal lives on. They only hunt what they need.
I have to agree with Marie…done with respect and care, and thanksgiving for what is before you, I have no problems with meat eating! It’s the people who think meat simply arrives in tiny plastic packages, with no freaking clue as to even what part of which animal it comes from..they make me crazy!
Interesting post, I really enjoy reading your insights although I don’t necessarily agree with everything. I eat meat. I am also a veterinary student who has worked on a dairy farm, got my degree in dairy science, and absolutely loves all kinds of animals. I am also about to start on a journey of raising meat goats.
I believe passionately in animals being treated in a humane, stress-free, as well as enriched life. However I also believe that this can be a symbiotic, synergistic relationship in which both parties can win. Animals do not make plans for the future, and so their deaths do not carry the same weight (in my opinion) as compared to humans. As long as they live a contented life, and have as swift and painless a death as possible, I believe that eating animals can and should be a practice that is continued.
Look forward to reading more of your posts. Check out my page, which is going to trace my adventure in raising goats sustainably and humanely, as well as some thoughts on sustainable agriculture and veterinary medicine.