Friday, October 17, 2008

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World

There has been a lot swirling in my mind lately but something that has taken up a lot of space is how my lifestyle and the things I purchase and eat effect the world, or at least effect my conscience.

Most of you know that Kev is vegan and a big animal rights activist so I hear information all the time about how our choices effect other beings. For some reason this last couple weeks it is weighing on my mind quite heavily. I choose to be vegetarian, partly for the HORRID way that animals are treated, partly for the effect that raising that many animals has on the earth (environmentally), and partly for the fact that it just grosses me out to eat dead animals, especially when we have so many other food choices.

The thing that has been weighing on me though is that even though I don't eat meat I eat cheese and some other dairy products, I have a down jacket, and ewwwwww, even leather furniture. All those choices add up to the same horrible treatment of animals that eating meat does. I just want to become more aware of EVERY choice I make, the products I buy, etc. We quit feeding the dogs IAMS because of their reputation for inhumane treatment of animals, yet I'm wearing a down jacket; just doesn't add up for me. I'm warm, I'll give you that, but at what cost?

Just to clarify, I don't judge others for eating meat but do you know where your meat comes from and how it is processed? I believe that most people would be vegetarian if they were forced to watch their food be processed. I understand that people have been eating animals from the beginning of time but I also believe that every being has a right to live a life free from pain and suffering until they die. I understand that nature can be cruel but to purposely treat another living being so horribly just because they are animals? Do you really believe that they don't feel pain? Do you honestly believe they don't have a right to live a good life just because we are more powerful than they? And it's funny that most people would find it disgusting to kill their pet rabbit or dog, for that matter, to eat but what is the difference? That you have a more emotional connection to them? Maybe spend some time researching where your food comes from and how it is processed and see if it changes how you feel about your food.

Getting back to the vegetarian thing; dairy farms treat their animals just as cruely as the slaughterhouses, so every time I take a bite of ice cream, eat cheese, etc. I am supporting the industry that treats these animals so horribly. I can choose to buy organic/free range- that would help. I could also buy from local farms that farm humanely. I just want to be more conscious of the choices I am making.

Sometimes it seems that the choices I make, as an individual, don't really make that big of a difference and it probably doesn't but I keep coming back to my favorite quote, "BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD." Ghandi I want to make my corner of the world as joyful and peaceful as possible. It might not make any difference at all but I do it because, as my sister once said, "It's the right thing to do, damnit."

6 comments:

hahamommy said...

just the other day Hayden asked for Burger King... (we've *seriously* reduced our fast-food intake by having a plethora of better, local options available) I was totally willing to pick up whatever he wanted. He mused and then decided he really wanted a burger from Block 15 (local grill), because their meat is traceable :D
We worship the cows (Hamburger & Helper or Lenny/Squiggy & Lenny/Carl, depending on whom you ask) who live across the street. I'm sure to thank them daily, sometimes silently, sometimes out loud, for the burger/sofa/shoes they will provide our community & I wish them well on their next incarnation ♥
I imagine they answer me much like the cow in "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" :::bg:::
I'm just glad we're *thinking* :D I'm gonna make a law about required consideration when I'm Benevolent Xar of America, hee hee hee

hahamommy said...

oh, and should the need arise, I've given everyone I know full permission to consume my flesh in whatever means necessary to prolong/improve their life ♥

Ren said...

I'm glad you mentioned local farms because eating animals or dairy doesn't have to mean cruelty. There ARE responsible, caring farmers and I think it's really great to support those people.

Even better to raise it yourself.:) When that isn't possible we can make the best choice at any given moment. I truly believe the world is going to shift in big ways and make local food the only good choice for the main part of our diets.

There are so many free range cattle around here, family farms that have been around for a very long time. Most of them are beef cattle but they have huge, rolling fields in which to live out their lives. What makes me cringe is the way development is slowly eating away at the farms and the rolling hills.

That's one good thing about some of the economic collapse we're witnessing. I have to hope that many of the developers will shut down and those farms will become more important, once again.

JILLBILLY said...

I was referred to you by an unschooling group I am part of. We are fairly new to AK and live near Anchorage. We unschool our 14 ds, 11 dd and 8 dd. I am finding it very difficult meeting older unschoolers. My son is 14 and has yet to meet another same aged unschooler here. Is there a secret club up here? Password we need to say in passing? We RVed for 2 years and now set down roots so we are hoping to meet others with similar ideas.

We are alittle “crunchy” but find it hard here without the access to local organic produce as easy as we are use to. We are about 80% veggie but feeling burdened by the prices and HORRIBLE selection we find at the store we shop at. Besides paying as if the food was gold plated, is there a descent farm to buy from? We were doing Full Circle Farm but stopped due to a vacation and have not yet decided to start back up.

If you ever have time and wanna chit chat with a newbie in AK, please email and maybe we can catch a cup of joe. Just thought I would drop in and say hi. Jill

I really resonated with the concept of "inspire, not require" and it has changed me, as a person, a mother, and a "teacher".
~author unknown~

Debra-Dawn said...

I am right there with you on all points...

as a matter of fact my dog has a lump on her belly...

i let it go because it didn't seem to bother her... she didn't dig in the area or whine...

and I jog her 10km 2 times a week...

but we recently got her a dog sled and i wanted to make sure she was healthy enough to take on the task...

so we took her to the vet yesterday and sure enough the vet suggested it was breast cancer and her advice was surgery...

I'll only allow it this once...

and it was a difficult decision to make...

I dont beleive that animals should be tampered with in the long run...

and at what point do we "save" an animal...

I have raised some eyebrows where i work... they have had to buy veggie hotdogs for company BBQs and then when they had a chili night the caterer wouldnt make a veggie chili so they bought me a salad...

hahahahahaha

yeah, i rarely eat salad...

a vegetarian that rarely eats salad...

imagien that....

Snavleys said...

It's funny though how non-vegetarians think that all vegetarians eat are salads! That is a very small part of my diet. I love salads too but my diet is a little more exciting than that!