A while ago I wrote about becoming Vegan / Vegetarian / Pescatarian. And I was. For a moment. And then life happened and ever so gradually, I forgot about the cruelty. Put it away and filed it under ‘Things I don’t really think about or consider’.
Fast forward to now and 100% of the time, I will physically stop at a shop to buy 100% genuine meat over the freezer full of very expensive vegetarian options that are all that is left over of that one brief moment.
Second by second, over a relatively short span of time, life reverted right back to the way it was. A study in meat with every meal, biltong as a snack (similar to beef jerky in America), ham on my sandwiches, etc.
A slow descent into all the things I abhor.
I find the concept of gelatine in sweets actually nauseating. Except my brain very nicely likes to forget that pertinent fact while it is busy munching on a packet of fruit pastilles.
So I brought myself back to this video – Beyond Carnism. The ideas expressed and wholeheartedly embraced in this Tedx Talks documentary make so much sense to me I cannot even begin to tell you. This movement and ideology is the first I have come across in a very long time that actually talks to my soul.
Every day I chose to eat meat, is one more day my brain does its weird shifty dance around the concept of separating a cow from a dog. A sheep from a cat. A parrot from a chicken. And again – I do not deny that as humans, we were more than likely supposed to get our protein from meat back in the day. The whole hunter gatherer thing.
My issue with the whole deal is three fold.
- The scale of it. We, as the dominant species on the planet, have managed to elevate protein consumption to a level that is actually gross. I am sure my ancestors, back when things were grunts and growls, ate what crossed their – as it were – plate. Animal / vegetable / plant in various amounts based on effort to gather. I am sure that if times were tough, they even munched the odd cricket and were grateful for it.
- The cruelty of it. Sjoe – I could write for hours and hours about the capacity humans have for cruelty. Sometimes I think that cruelty is something that comes easier to us than kindness and compassion. It takes a special kind of evil to shove a creature in a gestation crate, throw male chicks into a shredder while they are still alive, and put toxic chemicals in the eyes of rabbits. Oh I could carry on. So many paragraphs dedicated to the capacity of a human to be cruel to other living beings.
- The brain fart of it. The gymnastics we put ourselves through in order for us as humans to justify eating a piglet vs. a much loved family dog, a chicken vs. a beloved parrot, a calf vs. an adorable kitten – I cannot even begin to fathom it. There is some serious ‘twistedness’ going on in our grey matter that enables us to draw distinctions between different kind of edible meat. Because when you think about it logically – Meat is Meat.
So I think I shall set myself a new challenge. To eat what I can justify right in this moment. Perhaps this moment will lead to another moment. And a sting of moments will lead to a conviction and a lifestyle that I wholeheartedly agree with. A lifestyle I could very easily embrace if my brain would just stop farting about and remember two very important things –
I would never eat Muffin. So why eat a pig?
And does everything living thing on this earth not have just as much right as I do to live?
There is a saying. You are what you eat, eats.
I’d really rather not actually.