Let me start by saying that I do eat meat. However, I buy all my meat and eggs from local farms I have visited, and I know what kind of life the animals live. The quarter of a cow I buy once a year is killed by hand (not a slaughterhouse). But even I did not understand the extent of commercial farming practices shown in this presentation.
Start watching at 28:40 mins for a brief video that whizzes through the various animals’ imprisonment and slaughter. Or, start watching at 24 minutes to see how these animals naturally behave, experience joy, pleasure, etc. before you see the factory farm way:
The really important thing to understand here is that it is crucial where you buy your animal products from, if you eat animals. And to know that every restaurant, ‘normal’ grocery store, or school lunch program you pay money for is directly supporting these devastating practices.
As Melanie Joy points out, not only is agribusiness legal, it is a $125 billion industry – with 20,000 animals being killed every minute. Yes, not every hour, or every week – every minute.
So for those of us that do eat meat, how about we also try to reduce the amount of meat we eat? Since my first book was published in 2000 I have advocated eating meat the way Asian cultures do – with thinly sliced pieces of meat and lots of veggies; rather than a huge slab of meat, potatoes, and 1 veg on the plate.
I firmly believe that the energy of the animal – the way it lived and died – is carried in the meat. Perhaps scientists will eventually discover that animals produce hormones or biochemicals according to their emotions, that validate this belief. Or perhaps the effect is purely energetic. Regardless, how can you seek healing by eating diseased, terrorized, imprisoned flesh? On any level, we can probably understand that doesn’t seem rational, or likely.
The Paleo movement and lifestyle is being presented with such health and vigor. But are ALL the paleo advocates buying directly from farms they know?
I’m not going to turn this into a debate post by getting into the reasons I am not vegan, or vegetarian – I will save that for another post. I just want to challenge those of us who do eat animals, to go the next step by only using our wallet to support healthy, pasture-raised meat that is humanely slaughtered. I would also like to see WAY more people aware that milk cows lose their babies right after birth AND that it’s not necessary! There are farms leaving the calf with the mother and still getting great milk yields
The most humane methods of slaughter I’ve read about are when the animal is killed by a single gunshot to the head. A cow killed in the field, eating next to it’s buddy, will drop dead and the other cow will just keep on eating – no trauma experienced by either. A friend of mine who is attempting to live a self-sustaining life, recently wrote about her experience killing her pigs – I am still thinking about it, weeks later.
Maybe at some point I will figure out a way to maintain optimal health without consuming animal fats; which I feel are more crucial to good health than animal protein. I’m working on it!