Friday, October 28, 2011

Meatless Mondays versus Raising Meat

I was up at some ridiculous hour the other  morning, and decided to go look up some videos on youtube (because we have crappy satellite internet with a 200MB/day cap, except from 2am to 7am.  If you want to do anything fun online- games, videos, music, etc- you have to get up in the middle of the night around here).  Anyway, I came across this documentary, Meat the Truth.  I don't know how to imbed videos, but hopefully the link will get you started.  If not, just search youtube.

Again, not a lot of new to me info, but still thought provoking, and worth watching.  As a general rule, when folks start talking about vegetarian or vegan diets, I just do the smile and nod.  Whatever.

We have a running joke around here, that we are raising carnivores, except for #2, who we like to call 'the rabbit'.  When #1 and #2 were little they'd each eat half their supper, then sit and whine.  You could literally switch plates between them, and they'd both be happy.  The Carnivore and The Rabbit.  Times have changed, and I no longer have to pull teeth to get #1 to eat vegetation, or #2 to eat meat, but their preferences are definitely still obvious.

So I'm watching the movie, and I get it.  I get the whole 'vote with your fork' concept.  I understand the issues with 'factory farms'.  But that's not my life.  Not even close.

And then, "You can't call yourself an environmentalist if you eat meat".

I am insulted.  I am annoyed.  I am really pissed off.

It's like those carbon foot print calculators that you can find online.  No consideration for heating your home with deadfall versus live trees versus oil.  No consideration for not even owning an air conditioner.  No consideration for growing your own food.

I have a big family, I have a big car, I have a huge carbon footprint.  End of story.  No consideration for the attitudes I instill in my children.  No consideration for at least 95% of their needs (clothes, toys, furniture) coming second hand.  No consideration for my car sitting in the driveway constantly for all but 1 or 2 days a month.

So, yeah, throw this at me too.  Why not.  I eat meat.  I am not an environmentalist.

I raise meat.  Not in any way remotely similar to factory farming.  I live in an inhospitable environment for growing my own food, and yet I garden.  Most of my summer is spent in the garden, for very little return.  Raising meat is much more natural in my environment than growing tomatoes.  My animals will eat the grass, the weeds, and the bugs.  I will not.  And not one of my critters drinks any where near as much water as 'they' say is required.  I have no manure overflow issues.  We call that stuff fertilizer.  The cows even walk around and spread it for us.

By 'their' theories I should give up on the chickens and the turkeys, whom I currently have to buy grain for, and eat strictly home raised, grass fed beef.  But I digress...

I do buy a bit of meat from the grocery store.  I don't ask where it came from.  I don't want to know.  Because in the back of my head, I already know.  But it's very little, compared to the whole of our diets, that it's probably doing more harm to me than to the planet.

So what if I stopped.  What if I just stopped buying grocery store meat cold turkey.  What if we ate only what we raise and hunt.   I could be a better environmentalist.

But I'm still insulted.

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