Monday, June 23, 2008

Where's the Beef?

Sunday morning I woke up and went to the farmer's market.

I was looking at some baby chicks when I saw a big black dog out of the corner of my eye. I turned and leaned down to pet it, and noticed that I was actually reaching out to touch a calf. These people had a baby cow tied to their truck and it was lying there in the shade.

As I stroked her cheek, she rubbed her head on me like a satisfied cat would, obviously enjoying the love. As I scratched her neck, she rested her head in my arms like we were the best of friends. I stroked her soft little nose and she snuggled in closer to me for more.

It was so sweet. I looked into those deep brown eyes and saw so much personality.

If the guy sitting there had told me that the cow was free, I would've untied her and walked her all the way home. The thought of that sweet creature becoming hamburger one day just kills me.

I was talking to my mom about it and saying that if it was a situation like, "Oh you want a hamburger? Here's this cow, I'll kill it and make you one." I'd be like "Hell no!" and vegetarianism would be easy.

Not long ago I watched "Fast Food Nation" and was horrified at the meat packing scene. OMG. I would really rather not support an industry like that. I had a cheeseburger a few nights after watching it and just felt sick. It wasn't satisfying at all.

The list of things I will eat is already so limited, I don't know if I can cut meat out. I was thinking of just cutting red meat out, but then remembered that pigs are cute too and chickens have personality and are similarly tortured for meat, which would further complicate my moral standpoint on red meat.

So I don't know. Mr. Ashley says I cannot rescue that cow and my parents won't take it either (my dad did say he'll get a miniature cow, but that won't help this particular cow any). I'm not sure I can live without meat, so I'll just continue to be disgusted with myself for eating it and for supporting companies that lack compassion and are just plain dirty.


Joy said...

Well you could always be like us and eat only venison (deer). Not only is it SO much cheaper than beef, I know how it was killed (taken down by hubs guns rather quickly!)

Unknown said...

Ohhh, I could never eat deer. I've never even tried it, never will. They are in our yard all of the time and I wish I could fence them all in to keep them safe.

Lamb is also on the never, ever list.

I told you the list of things I will eat is short.

Unknown said...

I have struggled with my decision to eat or not to eat meat for some time now. The Man refuses to not eat meat and it was extra complicated that I was forced to cook it for him. I've been through the "no red meat" thing and then it occurred to me that I was killing a lot more souls by eating mostly chicken since one chicken only feeds me a few times and one cow would probably feed me for a year. I've agonized over the fact that pigs are just as intelligent as the average 3 year old.

I realize it's not the time for me to go veggie. I realize that while cooking meat for my family and trying to abstain I am only setting myself up for failure. So I've tried to reduce significantly and otherwise I try not to dwell on the meat industry or how smart pigs are. I just can't live in turmoil all the time.

elaines630 said...

Lamb and veal are on my list too! No thank you!

Do you like tofu at all? I think it has a bad rap, but you can use it in tacos instead of meat and mix it with some black beans and season it like you would beef and it is very good. I was pretty skeptical when I made it for my BF the first time, but when I asked him just now if he would rather have ground beef or black beans and tofu, he picked the beans and tofu!

Plus its cheaper than beef!

Haute Mama said...

After reading the book Skinny Bitch, I too debated a vegan lifestyle. My kids love fruit and limited veggies, so I try to prepare dinner with fruits and veggies and use the prepared meat as more of a side dish rather than the main dish. As I quickly learned, it is ridiculously expensive to feed a family of four with just organic and vegan food. I have heard that calves are very similar to dogs in terms of personality and playfulness.

Melodie said...

My meat eating policy is as follows: I don't eat the meat of any animal who's name I know. I love cows and if I owned enough land, I would probably have a couple as pets. And even though I love me some beef, I don't eat pets.
I am totally with you on the lamb and deer issue. I could NEVER eat either one.

Anonymous said...

Staring into the eyes of something you eat is very disturbing. I watched some videos (horrible) and almost vowed to NEVER eat meat again. It was horrible what they did to these animals while they were ALIVE. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to vomit.


Jason said...

Meat is a healthy part of a natural diet.

People weren't meant to eat tofu/bread. Those are processed foods that don't occur naturally.

People were designed to eat meat, fruits and veggies. There is nothing wrong with eating animals. It's just part of the natural order.

Farming animals for consumption is also totally natural. Many species of ants "farm" other insects to consume as food or consume "milk" or "honey" they produce as food.

Organic farming is nice and all but it is not really a solution as a food source for most of the world. Organic crops aren't nearly as productive as traditional methods and would require a near doubling of farm acreage to meet production by traditional means.

Bigger farms = less "natural" habitat.

Meat is yummy and good for you and the environment. Lamb is the best. Young animals are not only cuter but also tastier than their adult counterparts.

Anonymous said...

Do you watch the show "30 Days" on FX? Last week's was about a hunter who went to live with a family of animal rights activists. My hubby is a certified carnivore. But after watching it, he was willing to have a conversation with me about maybe changing the kind of meat we buy (not factory farmed). Good luck with the chickens!


Anonymous said...

I can totally identify with this. I was just thinking the other day that I'll have to stop hanging out in The Closet when you hatch your eggs or there goes that food for me too.

No venison, lamb, veal, fish and I have to try really REALLY hard not to think about where my chicken and steak come from.

I've had pet calves before, and they are so sweet (and I don't mean smothered in A1 ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat... And to add to that-my husband will not-WILL NOT budge on his eating habits AT ALL.

I enjoy meat-but really I'd give it up for a second, because I enjoy animals more.

I'm the one blubbering and crying while driving behind a truck full of baby cows unaware that they are on their way to slaughter...

Never even tried lamb, as I used to raise them (hint-this is a GREAT way to stop eating meat! once you raise them, you will never ever want to eat them. i promise!)

Hypocritical meat eaters unite![in disgust] :(

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you posted this since I just put pictures of our pigs/cows on my blog. It was definitely hard at first to "know" the cows that were being butchered, but over the years I've learned to handle it. My oldest will be showing pigs for the first time in the county fair and then they'll be slaughtered. I'm not looking forward to explaining that one to him, but he's way more of a farmer than I am, so it probably won't even phase him.

Anonymous said...

You guys are crazy. I know this post is late... WAY late... but in case anyone reads it, please know that:

1) It is NOT more expensive to be vegan! When my boyfriend and I became vegan, our grocery bill went from $150 or more per week to less than $50.00! It's also...

2) NOT difficult to make meals! We cook from scratch every night and save time from not having to sanitize everything that raw meat/eggs touched or temping a turkey to make sure it's not underdone.

3) It's ABSURD to differentiate between animals. ALL animals suffer, period. There's no getting around that one. Not eating one animal over another because they're cuter or a baby is ridiculous. If you eat meat, dairy or eggs at all, you're contributing to suffering. Period.

4) Jason, meat is NOT healthy. Vegans live longest. Look it up. I've lost 25 lbs since becoming a vegan... it melted of. I have more energy than ever. People that do Adkins are crazy and will likely die of heart attacks and stroke.