With the world pushing towards a more socially conscious society, issues like global warming and natural conservation have gained exceptionally larger amounts of news coverage as they have had in the past. An important, underlying issue that significantly affects both these issues but has yet to grab the press coverage it deserves is the food industry and the it’s practices.
In the latest book by Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals, he discusses his own experiences with food, the dilemma of eating meat, and some of the shocking and heartbreaking practices of the food industry. I will throw out a couple of facts that I found incredible. Livestock (the animals that are grown so we can eat them, and food industry) contributes 40% more to the roots of global warming than all of the transportation in the entire world. Also, chickens are bred in to two sub-categories, those for meat production and those for eggs. If a chicken bred to lay eggs, gives birth to a male chicken it is destroyed (murdered in the most inhumane of ways) because male “egg” chickens cannot lay eggs, and because they do not grow quickly enough, it is just an economic liability to keep them alive.
Just with these couple of small facts, I could not help but take a serious look in the middle and reconsider my eating habits. I have considered vegetarianism in the past but the call of meat was just so compelling and delicious. As a friend of mine has said, “I just love meat so much.” But such practices are hard to defend and with plenty of alternatives now readily available it does not seem like a good enough of an excuse.
But my counter argument that I have kept close (and have continually used it, if only in my head, to make myself feel a bit less guilty), is that plants are living creatures, too. They grow and have evolved and reproduce, even if in methods that are not readily relatable to humans. If you play music and talk to a plant it will improve it’s growth. To ignore these green beings seems just as unfair as it would be to over look cows or pigs.
With all that being said, we must eat something. Serious changes need to be made in the food industry. All creatures deserve a decent standard of living, no matter what becomes of them.
I will leave with a small request to look in to where your food comes from and try to take small efforts to support more organic, humane companies and food practices.