I have always been an advocate for animal and environmental rights. I feel that it is our responsibility as human beings to take care of every single thing, living and non-living, on this planet. It's almost like the line from spider-man - with great power comes great responsibility.
I woke up 9 years ago and I had the sudden realization that I had disagreed with the way animals are raised for meat consumption in this country for years and I had spoken out about it to my friends, family, etc...but I felt powerless to really do anything. So, I had done nothing. I was eating that very meat every day. I was a hypocrite.
From that moment on, I have never eaten another bite of meat that I didn't know where it was raised, how it was raised, and where it was slaughtered.
Yes, I partially do it for my own health. The likelihood of me, or my family, eating unnecessary hormones, antibiotics, etc is very low. But for me, it's about the animals. Yes, I love meat - but I don't love it so much that I am willing to eat it from animals that have been treated in ways that I can not even write about without crying. Makes me sick.
What do we eat when we go out? Well, we eat fish or we eat meatless meals. Does that severely limit our options? Yes, but no more than a vegetarian.
How do we afford it? Yes, it is quite a bit more expensive than just getting meat from the grocery store, but that's okay because we try to eat more fruits and vegetables anyway, so this just makes sure that the meat isn't always the star of the show. And, it is awesome knowing that the money we do spend, goes to small local farmers. In fact, we hand them the money in person. That feels great!
Feel free to stop here, or you can continue reading the article that prompted this soap-box rant of mine.
Warning....this link contains disturbing material...but maybe that's what people need to make them wake up to what's going on with their food supply. Do you think this is the only farm where this is happening? Do you think they'll stop so long as people are buying their meat? When people start caring about the animals instead of getting meat for $0.99/lb, maybe something will change.