Since I was a small child I could look at an animal and know if it was sad or in pain and simply assumed that everyone else did the same. At around the age of 7 I was taken one Saturday afternoon to look at some cute lambs and they were so very cute. The day after the dish of the day for lunch was roast lamb which I initially refused to eat as I could not quite process how we could admire something’s beauty and then eat it! I was made to eat up as money was scarce, but it deeply affected me.
If you are a meat eater bear with me here before you label me as some kind of extremist! During that time since I was 7 years of age I have continued to maintain this opinion and as soon as I moved away I had my first attempt at being a vegetarian. This was in the mid 1980’s and before the days of information at our fingertips on the World Wide Web. I managed for a while, but really caved in under peer pressure and lack of knowledge.
I raised my children eating meat, however, tried to educate them on intensive farming and it’s ugly side for animal welfare and the environment. I tried to buy organic meat and veg when I could and when it was available. It wasn’t around much in supermarkets back then.
The reason for this blog is to highlight the emotional and moral tussle that many of us have. I work with animals healing and communicating, I adore them all from Spiders to Elephants and everything in between. I still drive past fields of farm animals and can spot the one in pain or lame in a whole herd, it is like God sticks an illuminated arrow above them for me and all I can do is say a blessing and send healing to the animal.
All being said, how on earth can I justify eating any animal product such as eggs or meat. I will give you the simple answer: survival! I know that this sounds over dramatic but it is true. I was vegetarian for a number of years and I have tried veganism 3 times now and for the first 6 weeks of each I felt quite well although trips to the bathroom were rather too frequent, but then I began to feel ill. Low energy, spots before my eyes, mood swings constant upset tummy. Even then I persevered and did more research. I have read the China Study, I have the Forks Over Knives cook book, have read How Not to Die and have the Daily Dozen phone app and much more besides and totally agree that this is an excellent way to live. But it is not suitable for my body and this is not just me, but others too.
I do believe that intensive Arable farms are just as harmful to the environment as those that are intensively farming our meat. What is the answer to this? I don’t have it, but I have a theory: As a race we need to become much more conscious about everything that we consume. We need to think about the products that we wash our clothes in, put on our skin trying halt the passage of time that might just give away our real age, we need to think about the tablets we take for a headache or other ailments as there is a strong chance that they will have been tested on animals at some point in their evolution and yes we need to think about the food that we consume. Has it been responsibly farmed? Have the crops been pumped full of growth hormone or insecticide – if so this will deplete the nutrients in the soil and have an impact on the wildlife that forms an essential part of our eco system. Is it heavily processed, if so it will have little nutritional value. Have animals been raised with the highest welfare standards available and kept in a drug free environment, if they are not organic then the answer is probably no.
I would like to see a return to the old ways where our food is raised ethically and with the environment and welfare at the heart of the industry. Organic foods particularly meat is more expensive so let’s think about using every part of the animal, let’s give our genuine gratitude for it’s life, let’s think about not eating meat every single day. Let’s just be a bit more conscious about each and every purchase we make. If we all do a little bit it could mount up to a big difference.
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