Life Post #1: VegetarianismPosted: September 6, 2012
The biggest part of my life probably centers around words. Books, thoughts (I know some people think in pictures, which is awesome—I don’t), writing, school; signs, warnings, labels, subtitles; languages, information, questions, answers—my life is basically a huge pile of words. On top of that, I’m artistic. I love art and I love to draw. One would think that vision would be important to my life. But if you were going to view an artistic representation of my life, you wouldn’t need your eyes (except to see the fonts. I love fonts). I could just read it to you.
In light of that, being a vegetarian isn’t very important to my life as a whole. The point of this post, however, is to convince you of two things. One: words have power. And two: meat, unless you’re careful about it, is essentially the same of bringing a creature into the world with the sole purpose of torturing it and ultimately murdering it.
I suppose I’m not exactly qualified to say this, because I never ate much meat in the first place, just chicken. But think about this: Some drunk guy flipped the “power” switch in a farm somewhere. Within 15 minutes, 70,000 chickens were dead. The article comments on the number, as it comments on the “estimated $22,000 loss.” Oh, poor farmers, lost all that money. Uh…hello?? Chickens?? How did they die? The answer is, the air couldn’t circulate. They asphyxiated because they were packed so tightly together that 15 minutes of no a/c suffocated them all to death.
Picture this (and this’ll get graphic, so skip to the paragraph after next if you’re easily upset). A chicken in the possession of a farmer who cuts corners. Often. This would likely result in a cage, which is almost understandable. Animals are often kept in cages. But, continue. This particular chicken is at the top of a stack of cages barely big enough to fit the chicken. This chicken defecates. Follow the excrement down the line. At the very bottom of the stack, this chicken is practically swimming in collective poop. Then the chicken’s slaughtered. It’s probably never walked ten feet in its life. In fact, its legs have probably dangled out through the bottom of the cage its entire life. It might never have stood up under its own power since it was put in that cage.
Animal treatment is sick and twisted. Animal testing is worse. A two-year-old drinks dishwasher detergent (that is clearly labeled: DON’T DRINK, but the two-year-old can’t read). The parents sue the company. The company decides to prove that the two-year-old was an exception and their product is safe. So, they get two thousand rabbits. They force-feed the rabbits this dishwasher detergent and observe them carefully for 2 months. Most rabbits die right away. The rest writhe in excruciating pain until they die.
Done with graphic-ness. I read a book, Man Vs. Beast, that spoke very strongly about this. This book is a large part of why I’m a vegetarian. It’s a large part of why, at parties, I have to ask all my friends, “Is there meat in this food? Can you taste it to tell me?” and when I go to someone’s house, I have to leave large parts of dinner alone because I don’t want to make the parents do extra work. You all have kids, are kids, know kids, or remember being kids. Restaurants? What are the 2 safe things to eat? Pasta and chicken. What if it’s one of those fancy restaurants where the plain pasta is called something ridiculous and everything else has weird ingredients like pork, or strange vegetables? (Yes, I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t like vegetables.) There’s always something. That’s the lesson here. Save animals these tortured, terrible existences. Do me a favor and, next time you eat meat, try to imagine the chicken. Try to think about the fact that you’re biting into muscles that once propelled this leg forward, once flapped this wing, once connected to something that digested grain. At the very least, spend a few extra dollars on the organic/free range meat. You’ll feel good about yourself forever. It’s worth a little inconvenience. What if the aliens swept in and kept us the way we keep our food?