Those who know me could say that my favorite animal is, by far, a pig. When I was four years old, I got a stuffed pig from a department store, named it “Browvin”, and he sits on my bed to this day, 17 years later. Anything about pigs makes me squeal with excitement.
Except for when pigs are squealing for their lives in the industrial farms that supply a staggering amount of the meat we use every single day.
I know you’ve seen the pictures, or at least heard of animal cruelty in food production, the brand Monsanto, GMOs, etc. But did you bother learning about them, or did all of it just interfere with the next story on your newsfeed?
I’m not going to act like I cared before. I couldn’t be bothered to grab a fruit for lunch, much less an organically produced fruit. Bacon isn’t typically eaten in my home, but not by choice – mostly due to price. Did I care about where that bacon came from on Easter morning? If anything, I prided myself on not typically having bacon; I knew it was bad for my cholesterol levels anyway.
A year ago, I found a video of Tyson farm workers beating a piglet against a concrete floor. I’m sorry for placing the image in your head, but it’s a reality at some farms in America, and would you even know? I sent a email to the company (although knowing I’d receive some generic response) about my disgust over the video, and did receive a response. They claimed their partnership with that farm was terminated.
But – my question – why did it take a viral video of gross behavior to make you cut ties with that farm? (if it did)
What made me write this post is the fact that I don’t know where my food, clothing, etc. is coming from, and society has made it that way. A guest speaker in one of my classes today said that it is Human Abstraction, meaning that we are totally removed from information about what is in our food, how it grown, how the workers are treated, etc., and this is probably what makes us not care about it all. I, personally, would have rather believed that the government has my best interest in mind and is protecting me (and my health) from danger. I’ve given up this belief.
I don’t care much for meat, so I’ve considered cutting it out entirely once I fully educate myself on the amount of nutrients I need to replace what I get through meat. Hearing myself say this, it almost seems like a cop-out – someday I’ll cut out meat… someday I’ll research organic farms…
I feel that now that I know the sketchy things going on with my food, I can’t help but be forced to make a decision between the foods I’ve always eaten and taking the time to find healthier, ethical alternatives, which requires more than just putting an apple in my lunch instead of a cupcake. I now need to make sure that apple is organic and doesn’t pose its own threat to my health or the lives of ethical farmers.
I didn’t intend to scare you, or make you regret sitting down to the steak dinner you’ve earned through your hard work this week. I believe that all across the globe humans are becoming more aware of what these industrial farms and profit-driven corporations are doing, and society is taking a stand.
Consider your body, consider the effort of innocent workers making indecent wages for your meal, and please consider the well-being and ethical butchering of the animals that made your meal possible. We’d all have a fit if someone beat our cat or dog off of the concrete.
-Photo retrieved from collectivelyconscious.net