The War Within – What to Eat?

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Lately I have been thinking a lot about –

1.) What am I Eating?

2.) Why am I Eating It?

I have been a meat eater all of my life and have never really thought about why I enjoy eating innocent living creatures. Do I need to participate in the torture, murder and consumption of animals just to satisfy my tastes which have been conditioned over the course of my life to crave the fat of animals? Like I said, I have never even thought about it before but the topic recently came up and now it has been weighing heavily on me. I must admit that I never considered pigs, chickens and cows to be self-aware beings.

But as someone pointed out to me, that is only my perception of them and how do I know whether they act out of feelings or just instinct. Clearly animals are sentient beings and can feel both pleasure and pain. It is not just the fact that I eat the flesh of other living creatures but what has been bothering me is the wholesale slaughter of animals and the horrible conditions in which they are raised and for only one single purpose, to be killed and devoured. I watched the documentary Food Inc. the other day and it made me never want to eat another steak, pork loin or chicken breast again.

Aside from the ethical argument that killing and eating animals is wrong, there is also the idea that what I am eating is completely unhealthy and laced with all kinds of poisons and toxins. The livestock industry in America is producing some of the worst quality food in the world. The meat we eat is filled with nitrates, antibiotics, pesticides, PCB’s and heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. What is all this stuff? I won’t pretend that I know what it all is but I know that it is not natural.

Some of these statistics are pretty scary to think about.

115 million pigs killed each year in America.

2% of the farms in the US produce 46% of the hogs.

100,000 cows are killed everyday in America. That doesn’t include the ones that die of natural (or unnatural causes) those are just the ones that make it to the slaughter houses still breathing.

9 billion chickens are killed in America every year.

And an average of 50 billion fish are killed every year.

80% of the antibiotics in the US go to animal food production. When I heard that I wondered, why do animals need antibiotics? It is to keep them from getting sick because of the poor diets they are fed and the poor environments in which they are being raised.

In 2002 over 50% of salmonella in meat was antibiotic resistant and the number has only gone up in the last decade.

Ammonia is used to clean 70% of the nations beef of salmonella and is projected to soon be 100%!

Most cows in America are not being fed grass (their natural diet) they are being fed corn which leads to them developing E.coli in their stomach which we then unknowingly consume.

The other thing about the livestock industry is not just the treatment of animals and the toxic flesh of these animals that people are consuming but it is the effect that the livestock industry and the dumping of all the waste and toxins are having on our environment. The livestock industry causes more greenhouse gases than anything. It is not just the respiration of animals, or the waste, or the methane cow farts but it is the burning of fossil fuels to produce mineral fertilizers used in feed production, methane release from the breakdown of the fertilizers and manure, land use changes for feed production and grazing (cutting down trees that suck up carbon dioxide so more animals can graze) and finally the burning of even more fossil fuels for the production, transportation and refrigeration of animal products.

Our planet is being destroyed so that we can eat hamburgers and steaks and pork chops every meals of the day, every day of the week. Meat used to be a luxury but now it is considered a staple of the American diet. Sadly I am guilty of over consuming meat products but after learning about the facts of what I’m putting in my body – I have started to think about what I am eating an why.

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So today I had a salad for lunch. No animal had to be tortured or killed for me to keep on living. Hopefully no chemicals were used to produce my vegetarian meal. But we’ll get into that another time. GMO’s and chemical fertilizers and all the horrible things that big companies like (M******O) are doing to our foods. And it is getting hard to buy organic and natural foods today. But I’m going to do my best to make a change. No longer will my actions cause pain and suffering to others just to satisfy my own instant gratification.

“If you are not part of the solution – you are part of the problem.”

Here is another video I recently watched. If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls!

And I saw this sticker stuck to a wall as I went for a walk today. Food For Thought!

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Wealth Inequality in America

Have you ever thought about what the reality of America’s wealth distribution actually is? I have thought about it but have sadly come to the conclusion that it is easier and more comforting to ignore reality than to face the truth. But every now and then something comes forward to remind me of how unbalanced the wealth distribution is in our country. This video is just the latest brick of harsh reality to fall on my head and wake me from my complacency. I am reminded of an old quote (from whom it came I am unsure) but it goes like this, “Ignorance of reality provides no protection from it.”

Now I’m sure if I did an internet search I could find out from whose mouth this bit of wisdom came but I’ll let you find the source. It doesn’t really matter who said it. The truth in these words are pounding in my brain. Closing my eyes, covering my ears and keeping my mouth shut will never make the situation one bit better. But what can one person do? What can I do? I have never been one to protest. I have never written a letter to any of my state representatives in Washington. If I did protest, if I did write letters or raised a fuss, would anything be done? Probably not but does that mean I shouldn’t even try? If I surrender my voice and become resigned to the current state of things then I am allowing things to go on as they have been.

 

The unequal distribution of wealth in America is just a horrible economic policy. If the top 1% of Americans control 40% of the wealth and the bottom 80% of Americans has only 7% of the wealth than what we have is a scenario being set up for class warfare. The middle class has disappeared and all that is left is the very poor, the barely surviving and the extremely rich. Does the CEO need to make 380x more than his average employee? Where is the money going? If the wealth is being hoarded by a few individuals rather than being circulated back into the economy then the reason for the economic problems that America is experiencing are clear. The problems stem from the unequal distribution of wealth and the elimination of the middle class who America need to keep things moving in the right direction.

Instead of depending on the U.S. government for a welfare check, an unemployment check or any kind of income subsidy, people in America should expect big business to hold up their end of the employer-employee agreement. That is to pay the people a fair, equitable, living wage in which they can support themselves and their families and still enjoy the prosperity that America and a free capitalist economy is supposed to entail. I am the first to admit that I know next to nothing about business or economics or politics but to me the solution to our problems in America is plain and simple. Don’t be so greedy, distribute the wealth to an ideal level.

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