I gave up meat on January 1st and it’s been an incredible pain in the ass — but it’s the right thing to do. Factory farming is bad for the American worker and drives down the cost of doing business by being cruel to animals and humans alike. The industry employs illegal workers in unsafe conditions. Large agricultural industries are pumping animals with drugs and allegedly contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And factory farming pumps money into the political system; corporations contribute to a skewed way in which consumers view food; and the whole thing makes us fat.
When there are more Wendy’s and McDonalds in a small town like Kalamazoo than clean and safe parks, there is something wrong.
I haven’t written about abstaining from meat because I haven’t been perfect. I had three bites of a chicken wing on Super Bowl Sunday. I have inadvertently consumed nearly half-a-dozen dishes that had chicken stock in the ingredient list. And just because something doesn’t have COW or CHICKEN in the ingredients doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain animal byproducts. If you eat jello or pudding, you are eating an animal.
But I’m trying.
I actually don’t crave meat. Not at all. I haven’t once said to myself, “I could go for a big, juicy steak.”
Instead, I often find myself traveling and totally unable to sit down and eat a healthy meal. Some of my hippie friends are like, “You should always keep almonds and dried fruit with you.” WTF? I hate nuts and dried fruit. It makes me gassy (at best) and urgently in need of a bathroom (at worst). This is why hippies can’t have real jobs—they’re always on the toilet having healthy bowel movements.
So all of this is just to say that I’m not looking for recipes or advice on being a vegetarian. I might eat meat at some point in the future if I know it’s humanely raised and killed with some dignity; however, most of us abuse our bodies and we don’t deserve the sacrifice that the cow or chicken or pig makes for our sustenance. We’re not worthy.
Well, I’m not worthy. And while I can’t take up every cause in this world, I don’t want to contribute to the suffering of another animal. That’s not my legacy in life.