Wednesday, March 6, 2013

TAKING THE PLEDGE I've finally put on my Big Girl knickers and taken the pledge. Once I clear the last couple of chicken legs out of my freezer, I will officially be eating vegetarian only. The more I see about how megafarms grow our meat the sicker I get. I'm not particularly fond of chickens, but knowing that they spend their lives in tiny cages just so I can have eggs and chicken, has found the "OFF" button for my appetite for meat. Plus, the idea that something has to die so I can chow down on its remains, leaves me cold. Intellectually, I've always felt this way, but it's finally seeped through to my heart. Part of it is seeing all the dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and whatever posted as being in danger of involuntary euthanasia (a polite word for murder)and getting restricted by !@#$! Facebook because they think I'm posting too many too fast. When these creatures have less than 24 hours to live, there IS no "too fast." And if I'm going to weep over a pit bull that has been used as bait in dogfighting, its legs tied so it can't defend itself, I HAVE to look at food animals in a different light. They too are capable of emotion, caring, fear, terror. And don't let the megafarms tell you "oh, they don't feel pain like we do." We're all too young to remember, but there was a time in this country when that was what they said about whipping black slaves. Human beings were treated as animals, used for work and breeding, just as today we are treating farm animals and companion animals. I've always liked a good steak as much as the next guy. But I can no longer in good conscience eat something which, like many slaughterhouse cows, was beaten with bats to get it to go the right way, then had its throat cut and was hung on a hook while its life drained away. There are practical reasons, too. 80% of the antibiotics manufactured are NOT used to fight human disease, but are fed to food animals to enhance their growth. Slaughterhouses routinely ignore FDA rules and allow sick and dying animals into the meat-producing process (think mad cow disease) The countless tons of urine and cowflop produced by cattle in pens are difficult to dispose of, so much of it just seeps into our water supplies. Ooh, yum. I know that the difference I will make is minimal. But the effect on my mental well-being is priceless. And if a whole BUNCH of us made the pledge, we COULD make a difference. And if we can't wean ourselves from eating flesh, we can at least help the many shelters and rescue groups which do everything they can to save animals from being murdered. Oh, 'scuse me, put to sleep. Euthanized. Destroyed. Because some human was too stupid to have their dog or cat neutered (men are especially bad about neutering male dogs - do they think their nuts are at risk too?) or too lazy to feed it properly or too cruel to not use them for profit-making ventures like dog fights and puppy mills. I read some stats the other day about how many million pets are killed each year, and I worked it out to 87 per second. That's EIGHTY SEVEN dogs, cats, rabbits, or other companion animals PER SECOND. Sixty seconds a minute. Sixty minutes per hour. Twenty-four hours per day.......

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