Chances are you’ve had times when something in your life changed completely. Whether it be a belief, a behavior or a habit.
You learned something that shifted the way you view a situation… forever.
Such is the case with me. As of yesterday, I’ve made a conscious choice to never eat meat again. Ever!
I’ve been a meat eater from way back. I never recall a time when meat wasn’t a staple in my diet.
Growing up, Sunday dinners at our home were a special occasion with a huge roast beef dinner, mashed potatoes, salad and a side of vegetables being the standard menu.
It is with great fondness I remember Sunday dinners.
Fast forward to today…
Although I’ve given up meat for short periods of time, mostly to give my digestive tract a break, I was never 100% committed to the decision… until now.
A couple of days ago, I watched a documentary called Food Choices. I’m not quite sure what prompted me to watch now other than the fact I’ve gotten bored with what’s on “regular” television.
What started with one documentary turned into several including Cowspiracy; Sugar Coated; Hungry for a Change; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead; and Vegucated.
The common thread in each film is how much our health has declined due to food choices. Each film showed how much water, land and food it takes to get one pound of beef, chicken, bacon or whatever type of meat we consume. As well, each film producer showed how quickly we can reverse negative impacts to our health by adding in more plant based foods.
Priding myself on being very healthy for a woman in my sixties, I incorporated juicing and green smoothies into my daily routine quite some time ago.
Until I watched back-to-back documentaries about how detrimental eating meat actually is, I had not hit the point of no return in making a final decision on giving up meat … for good.
The facts are shocking. With the world population growing beyond what our resources can sustain at the current rate of consumption, there are key factors we must consider when choosing what to eat (or not).
A Few Considerations
With an ever-increasing number of adults and children joining the ranks of obese individual, we must take responsibility for the choices we make. The fact is, many diseases are a direct result of obesity.
With water in dangerously short supply in many areas of the world, most people would be shocked beyond belief at how much water it takes to produce one pound of beef that ends up on the dinner table.
If these facts weren’t enough, the thing that took me over the line is how truly inhumane the actual process is that the animals must go through to become a meal.
Times Have Changed
One thing to keep in mind is how dramatically things have changed with how animals go from farm to table. What used to be relatively humane treatment, is now beyond deplorable.
According to Peta.org, “On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. These animals will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests.”
There’s a good chance some people will balk at information from PETA, claiming they are too radical. Yet, you don’t have to go too far to find lots of proof to find out how severe the cruelty to animals actually is.
A piece that appeared on the PBS site gives more detail as to the cruelty animals face for us to satisfy our desire to have meat as part of our diet.
The Blinders are Off
When I took off my blinders and got honest about how unaligned I have been, I had one of two choices; ignore the information or make a change…fast.
The fact that I’m an animal enthusiast and into animal rescue on the one hand, and love eating meat on the other, I made the decision to stop eating meat … for good.
I’m not doing anything to prep for the change like wait until Monday or set a New Year’s resolution. This is far too important to me to justify any delay in choosing to go meatless.
My individual decision won’t end climate warming, fix the world water problem, end obesity or stop the inhumane treatment of animals forever, but it will allow me to live in alignment and integrity with my love of animals.
My decision is a personal one. Included in this decision is to add in more plant based foods in order to get the proper nutrients my body requires. Not only are my choices better for the environment, they are healthier on so many levels.
According to the most recent data on http://stateofobesity.org/rates/, adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in four states, 30 percent in 25 states and are above 20 percent in all states. Louisiana has the highest adult obesity rate at 36.2 percent and Colorado has the lowest at 20.2 percent.
The fact is, an increase in a plant based diet would dramatically improve these numbers.
Globally, agricultural production accounts for 92 percent of our water footprint. In the United States, meat consumption alone accounts for a whopping 30 percent of our water footprint.
The amount of land required to produce one pound of meat compared to one pound of plant-based food is astronomical.
Livestock production requires enormous amounts of energy. We put far more energy into animals per unit of food than we do for any plant crop. The main reason is that cattle consume 16 times more grain than they produce as meat, so right there we have 16 times as much energy just to grow those crops, just so we can waste them on livestock.
But the energy use doesn’t end there. The livestock themselves take energy to process beyond the energy that goes into their feed. And then there’s refrigeration, including during transport, necessary for meat but not for grains and beans.
Source: Energy Use and Global Warming
If the previous information is not enough to convince someone to at least consider making changes, the lack of compassionate care for the animals likely will.
It sure did for me. This is the main reason I decided to write this post. I want my community to make informed choices about what they eat, their health and the love and care of animals.
The fact is, the amount of cruelty to animals is beyond comprehension. Out of all the documentaries I binge watched, the one that left the greatest impression is Vegucated.
All the films gave excellent insights into why going meatless is a great idea, Vegucated went way beyond this.
They showed actual slaughtering of cows, chickens and pigs. There was also footage of treatment pre-slaughter.
To read or hear about something is one thing. To see it is something completely different. Once you see something it’s difficult to make the images go away.
Truth be told, I don’t want to forget the visceral feeling I got watching in horror what, up this point, I had no idea is as bad as it actually is.
I can promise you this; if you have the willingness to put an hour aside to watch Vegucated I seriously doubt you will ever view eating meat the same way again.
When We Know The Truth, There’s No Going Back
It’s easy to continue a behavior if we don’t have all the information, but once a truth as been revealed, it’s difficult to continue “business as usual.”
Becoming aware and making appropriate changes allows us to live our lives with more purpose and passion. Without a doubt, my commitment to the animals and raising awareness around our health choices has increased.
I have crossed a line that I cannot go back on. I encourage you to take as much responsibility for your own health, peace of mind, care of the planet and the well-being of animals as you possibly can.
We can no longer rely on others to do the right thing. The right thing begins right where you reside.
Please share this post with others who love animals and need to know the truth. Click any of the share buttons below.