I’ve been trying to formulate in my mind just where the disconnect around food comes from. Now, as anyone who has struggled with food issues will tell you, your brain knows that if you eat that Snickers bar, extra poundage is going straight to your thighs, but somehow there’s a part of ourselves that refuses to believe it. Down the hatch. And then we wonder why we’re fat.
The same thing happens when we can ooh and aah over pictures of cute little piglets on the internet while eating a ham sandwich. We turn our eyes away from the television when the ad for the SPCA comes on that shows those poor animals, cold and scared and injured, and then get up to fix ourselves a plate of leftover turkey dinner. We can wince when we hear that male chicks hatched in a factory farm are ground up alive, while we put eggs in a pan and make ourselves an omelet. And somehow we can pour milk on our cereal in the morning and not hear the newborn calf bellowing for its mother as it is taken away from her. Somehow, we just don’t make the connection. We don’t seem to see that that piece of meat/poultry/fish on our plates isn’t just a piece of meat. It was once a living, breathing, sentient, conscious creature that had a face, a mother, a bowel movement.
Animals are just like us. They feel emotions, discomfort, pain, boredom, loss. They cry when their babies are taken away from them. The get angry when locked in a crate for days, months at a time, with no outlet to do the things God has created them to do. They feel sorrow and depression. And they feel fear, they feel terror. They feel hopelessness.
Obesity is an epidemic in this country, and we complain because the schools are trying to serve healthier meals. Meat/poultry/fish/dairy has been PROVEN to be detrimental to our health and health of our very planet, but God forbid that anyone should suggest that a plant-based diet is better for us, for our children, and for future generations. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes…all can be avoided/treated with a switch to a plant-based diet. But heaven’s no, we can’t do that. That’s too extreme. We can’t ask people to give up their steak, their hamburgers, their frittatas.
When are we going to wake up? Billions and billions of animals are killed every year in the most gruesome way imaginable. They live lives of torment every single moment they’re living, and we turn our heads and refuse to see. When we stand at the judgement seat of God, what are we going to say? “Oh, I knew it was going on, but I wanted milk on my cereal?” or “Oh, those things don’t really happen. Besides, I liked my cheeseburgers too much to give them up?”
A friend of mine once took offense when I tried to bring the truth to her attention. Basically she told me to educate myself. So I did. Rather than isolated incidents, cruelty is standard operating procedure. There are none so blind as those who will not see. And God help us, that seems to be most of us.
So, what can we do? It’s so simple. Just stop it. Stop eating meat/poultry/fish/eggs/dairy. Just stop it. There are alternatives that aren’t going to kill one of God’s creatures and will be better for you and the planet at the same time. Just stop it.
Educate yourself. Watch the videos. Read the literature. Don’t turn a blind eye.
The season of Lent is right around the corner. It’s the perfect opportunity to make the change. Do it for yourself. Do it for the planet. Do it for the lives you’ll save.