My plea to you, as an intelligent and compassionate person, is to consider eliminating all animal products from your life. It’s not as hard as it sounds. You may already be, as I was, a vegetarian. But things have been changing over the last 30 years that we aren’t aware of.
It’s not your grandmother’s farm any more. Animals destined for food production live, for the most part, miserable lives on factory farms (I won’t sully this email with descriptions of the conditions, you can do a web search and see for yourself if you have the guts.) The concept that vegetarians are operating on, that the animal doesn’t get killed for their eggs or milk, is no longer true. Not only do they get sent to the slaughterhouse when they outlive their productiveness, they are imprisoned for the short time they are exploited.
Organic and similar terms have surfaced lately to quell our uneasiness about factory farming. While the end result may be better for the consumer, the animals still go to the same slaughterhouse in the end.
On a political level, consider that the US government subsidizes the meat/dairy/poultry industries. Without that aid, the cost of producing the lowest cut of meat would be around $35 per pound. The impact on the environment is significant as well, with gallons of water and pounds of grain being fed to cattle and dairy cows to produce an insignificant amount of meat or milk. The slaughter industry pollutes as well. The recent ecoli outbreak was likely the result of spinach absorbing microbes from the feces of animals on a neighboring factory farm.
Veganism does not extend only to food animals, but with compassion for all living things. By eliminating the need for milk, eggs, meat, poultry, leather and other byproducts of the meat/dairy/poultry industries, we can start a shift that will ultimately allow us to experience the interconnectedness of all beings. I truly believe that one cannot experience the joy of enlightenment while participating in the enslavement and murder of our fellow animals, birds and fish.
OK, getting off my soapbox now! Feel free to call or write with any questions.