Thursday, May 14, 2009

Going natural, it's a long one

WARNING! This post contains some hot topics to some people so you may want to wait for another post or just dive in and hopefully not feel compelled to castigate me.
Here's the streaker after another bath. He loves going all natural. The things you can get away with while little. I let him run around this way (for now) for a few minutes to air things out. I did it with Bella too. Hell, babies like to run around naked; so I say, let them run free for a while!

To me, babies are what we all should be. They love you unconditionally, whether you are fat, disfigured, poor or insecure. They intuitively know when they are hungry, full or thirsty. They naturally live and appreciate the moment verses stressing over what may happen to come or waste time venting over things that have passed. They find joy in nature and embrace it with all their hearts. They love animals and treat them with respect as equal to themselves.

It's a shame that growing up in this society and culture requires you to cease being a completely compassionate and humble being. I bet a baby raised in the jungle, away from mass media, society brain washing and technology grows up with all of their instincts and sense of the moment still intact. I am a little sad knowing that Kristjan will someday lose a lot of his natural ways due to this crazy world. Bella already at six years old seems much older to me. She's still an innocent child, but I see how television, video games, materialism and competitiveness have taken hold. It's up to me to manage it at a safe pace and hope that she grows up loving life, and realizing that the only moment that matters is right now. Not yesterday and not tomorrow.

So while I'm going off at the mouth I might as well come out of the closet on something. I have been for years tugging at my inner self regarding my meat consumption and my frequent research on where my meat comes from and how it gets to my table. Perhaps some of my previous posts have given you an idea. I have purchased multiple vegetarian and vegan books through the years and read some of them along with using some of their recipes. I would forget about them and go on with life. Then again I am reminded of the animals, and again I lower my meat consumption and research some more.

The more I read, hear, watch and listen the more I realize that I'm doing a great disservice to the animals (Please note: I am talking about myself here). When I learned about the atrocious and inhumane treatment of factory farmed animals I couldn't help but be moved. People say to me "why do you watch those documentaries?" or "You shouldn't watch that." I say, I think we all should know what's really going on. It is disturbing, and perhaps more people would change their way of thinking about the process if they did.

So this past week I have ceased eating land animals. For now I am still consuming seafood, dairy and eggs though. I am aware that seafood is also a hot topic because of over fishing, eggs because of the inhumane treatment of chickens and dairy...well let's see. The dairy industry is almost worse than the meat industry. Veal is a bi-product of the dairy industry. In order for a cow to produce milk she is impregnated. Her calf; if female, will become as her mother. If male, he's either sent for veal production where he is kept in a crate box unable to move until slaughter or sent straight to slaughter. The mother will then be artificially inseminated again. Once she is "spent" and no longer producing enough milk to be profitable, she herself is then sent to slaughter. So to me, the simple act of drinking milk has a lot of cruel factors along with it. One quote that I remember easily from my reading is: "The purpose of cow's milk is to turn a 50 pound calf into a 300 pound cow".

We don't need milk for calcium. That's the power of meat and dairy industry over the years pounding it into our heads that it's a required element to your diet. Because they care about our health? Sure. Right after they collect their billions of dollars. Vegetables supply much more calcium than milk. Unfortunately, the vegetables don't have multi million dollar add campaigns to help support them like the dairy industry does. But wait, that's a whole new post for another time. Crap I lost where I was going...

I learned that the new marketing strategy for the meat and dairy industry is the "guilt free" or "happy meat". I fell into this big time and only purchased these products. I'm referring to the organic milk, free range eggs and grass fed cows. This way we can eat our meat and dairy guilt free. The good part is yes, it's better to have antibiotic free milk, vegetarian fed/organic eggs and meat with higher omega 3's and less saturated fat. So if you eat it, it's best to go that route for sure. The bad part to me is that they still all end up going to the same horrendous slaughter houses in the end. They may be treated better (grass fed cows) and may have Yanni playing in their ears on their way to the slaughter house, but they still ending up dying a horrific death.

The term "free range" is not regulated by the FDA. So, me picturing chickens lovingly roaming and scratching in large plots outdoors under the sun and shade from a nice barn is completely false. They are not in the confinements of the 10" (4 to 5 to a cage) battery cages but instead are all housed in these huge buildings without windows and crammed in there on top of each other. They are forced to stay in darkness and then during certain times of the year, are starved for days to force them to molt in order to lay more eggs. After they are no longer producing enough eggs they are then sent to slaughter. Not what I pictured in my mind.

I am just speaking from my heart here on these issues. They bother me. That's it. It's just me and what I am dealing with. To sum all this babbling up would be my issue with animal welfare. It is no reflection on how anyone else eats or believes. It's hard because before I just lovingly prepared it and ate it, without thought to how it got there and now it's like eating at me that I shouldn't do it. I still feed Kristjan organic milk and I still eat a little feta cheese. I'm going to take this day by day. I know that a plant based diet is superior in nutritional value than the meat based diet and I know that I was told to hold off on animal products by my doctor because of my cholesterol. For now I'll eat a little fish, eggs from my friend Kimberly's chickens and perhaps a little cheese now and then. Maybe later I'll even phase those out too. I have no idea. I have to try and be like a baby and just live for the moment and eat for today.

I asked Bella what she thought and she says she still likes to eat animals. So I'll keep feeding her what she likes that are healthy. Perhaps when she's older she too will do some reading, listening and watching and rethink her eating habits. It's all up to her as far as the meat and dairy issue.
Same with Kristjan - although currently he's only drinking milk and eating vegetables and fruit. He does not seem to like meat. Chris decided to join me and had no problem omitting the meat from land animals and doesn't really eat any cheese except for a little feta or chevre now and then, but he does love his seafood. He still wants his salmon!

For me, it's all about being informed so that I can make a well thought out decision. I don't trust the FDA, the government, Agri business, or any company in the food industry. They are all out for profit. That's it. So I can't just blindly pick up food without thought or research trusting that it's safe, clean and now...humane. I apologize for this being so long, perhaps political or even offensive (some people take offense to not eating meat I found out).

I'm posting this finally fully aware I may receive some potential back lash on the subject. That's ok. I'm different, always have been and I suppose always will be. At least I keep you on your toes. Hell, I'm considered the hippie weirdo at the office as it is so there ya go.

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