I've decided to explore vegetarianism.
I've been thinking about it a lot lately. It all started when I walked into Chipotle and there were signs everywhere touting "food with integrity" and I know they source most of their meet from free range farms when possible and, where not possible, farms that have humane conditions for the animals in both death and life. I saw Avatar and thought about what it would be like if I had to hunt my meals myself in order to live and it really touched me how they prayed for the animals they had to kill for food, gave them almost a last rites of sorts...similar to the native Americans I suppose. I think that, if I had to, hunting would be like that for me. There would be no thrill of the hunt, no joy in the kill and an immense amount of respect for the animal who had to die so that I could live. It's the circle of life.... How horrible is it then that, just because I didn't have to kill it myself, I go out an eat hoards and hoards of meat every day with NO respect for the animals who died to feed me or thought to the conditions of their life and death that lead to the meal on my plate. I kind of disgust myself.
I know that there are some farms that do respect the lives of their animals and who do end their lives in a humane way and I honestly don't feel angry at those farms at all. I know that the people here in the city have access to all of that meat....but I'm not so sure I would have access to anything like that in Moranbah. I just don't know. Right now I don't know much about the processes at all, I'm still exploring so, for now, I'm going to be meat free until I have more education. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'd ever be that person who spouts off self-righteous statements like "I could never eat anything with a face" or "meat is murder" and so on....but I think it's just and right for me to respect every living thing and stop taking their lives for granted just because it's convenient for me.
I've always had a problem with food that still looks like a carcass. Whole chickens for example, unpeeled shrimp, bone-in steaks. I get REALLY grossed out eating chicken wings and I can feel a vein stuck between my teeth. It makes me want to vomit and cry at the same time. It's always been an out of sight out of mind kind of thing for me. Like, if I pretend it was never alive and it doesn't look like any distinguishable living thing then maybe I can just believe that it always was dead. Like this veal on my plate was never a precious doe-eyed calf with lashes a mile long and beating heart. But it was...
For me this choice is more about being conscious of what I'm eating and respecting the lives of the animals rather than eating meat at every meal because it's easy to come by. I don't think I could even call myself a vegetarian...for instance, if a friend of ours didn't know about our life choice and slaved over a beautiful meal I would never refuse to eat it just because of the meat! I think the aussie BBQ tradition is going to make things a bit more difficult...but hopefully people won't mind if I bring a veggie dish to share and opt out of the steak and sausage. Regardless of what I come across in social settings, I'll definitely be skipping the meat at home and at restaurants unless I know absolutely where it came from. I know the RSPCA has a Seal of Approval program so that should make things easier on eggs and dairy byproducts. I just want my impact on other living things to be as humane as possible. There's so many other readily available sources of food it seems almost crazy to turn to the meat every time.
Those are my thoughts. :)