#25: If You Are What You Eat, Then….

Is your body the temple it should be?

My mom asked me once again if I’m vegetarian because it’s healthier or because of the animal cruelty. I said both, and more. Environmental issues are a huge part of it. But when I simply said, “and yes, the way the animals are treated is horrible—beyond horrible,” her response was, “I just don’t want to think about it.”

That is exactly what the farming industry wants. The whole business depends on people not thinking about it. You pick up your perfect-sized Perdue cutlets and they look nothing like the bird they used to be. They’re all the same size, same color, no mess, no muss, sizzle and serve. And thank goodness for that, because if you saw how it really went down, you would NOT want to eat that chicken.

But you won’t see it, because “processing” houses keep things top secret. They don’t want you to see the assembly-line-style killing, or the soup of their own shit the chickens “bathe” in after plucking (a percentage of which, by the way, is allowed by the government to be included in the weight of your shrink-wrapped chicken). It’s very rare that writers are allowed into such places, and if they are, it’s because the processor is one of the very few with nothing to hide. Unfortunately, 99% of the meat this country eats comes from the ones who are hiding. Factory farms have GOT to go. So if you’ve got to eat meat, start paying attention to the sources. It will be harder to find and more expensive, but I’m telling you, it will be worth it. Factory-farmed animals are pumped full of antibiotics, drugs to make them bigger faster, and stress hormones due to their “living” situations. They live (and die) in filth. At least when you buy meat from farms that raise their animals naturally you’ll save your body some of that extra, unwanted “flavor.”

Thank G-d I’m a vegetarian, because the newest idea in feeding the masses on this planet is eating BUGS. Oh, gag. I almost can’t stand to type it. To some it’s a delicacy, to some a dare, and to some it’s just another way to cook up some protein. But I’m telling you, it won’t be long till you see fried grasshopper on the menu.

We do need some protein, but not nearly the amount the US dietary guidelines would have us believe. Are you aware that people from the same organizations that were originally charged with designing the food pyramid were also in charge of selling us meat and dairy? Come on!

Maybe this will prompt you to read a couple of the amazing books out there now about where our food comes from. We spend SO MUCH time and effort eating—shouldn’t we care more about what we’re putting into our bodies? Shouldn’t we make more of a fuss about how the farms are treating the animals we eat? Or how they’re polluting the environment at rates impossible to catch up with—with all that animal crap?

As Barbara Kingsolver wrote in “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”: “…if grabbing fast food is the only way to get the kids to their healthy fresh-air soccer practice on time, that’s an interesting call.” Indeed.