The vegetarian and the hunter, part 2

The meat industry is quite disturbing. What's even more disturbing is the fact that the majority of humans either, (1) do not care where their food comes from, or (2) try not to think about where their food comes from.

My husband is one of those Americans. He's one that falls into the second category. I've educated him about what happens on factory farms (where 99% of our meat comes from) - and believe me, have I educated him. He's probably sick of me reading excerpts of the book Eating Animals to him every night before we go to bed. He just doesn't want to stop supporting these factory farms because he likes meat too much. He apparently can't imagine his life without meat. I, however, get sick to my stomach even thinking about meat. It's an unfortunate situation in our house. I'm going to the store. He wants me to buy chicken breasts, hot dogs or some other such tortured dead animal. I have to force myself to do it for him. Why can't he just stop eating meat? I hate meat. Henry won't eat meat. If not for Cory, we'd be a meat-free family. I know I can't force my ideals onto someone else, but I guess I thought after hearing the terrible truth about where his meat comes from, and after seeing the terrible undercover videos, that he'd just want to stop eating meat, ya know?

I've been a vegetarian for one year now. I wish I had given up meat a long time before that, though. The thought that I was supporting such cruelty and suffering for 28 years is truly upsetting. Here are just a few excerpts from the book Eating Animals:

Regarding meat prices:
In the past fifty years, as factory farming spread from poultry to beef, dairy, and pork producers, the average cost of a new house increased nearly 1,500 percent; new cars climbed more than 1,400 percent; but the price of milk is up only 350 percent, and eggs and chicken meat haven't even doubled. Taking inflation into account, animal protein costs less today than at any time in history.

Regarding torture:
Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory - disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.

Regarding illness (words from an actual poultry farmer):
Just the other day, one of the local pediatricians was telling me he's seeing all kinds of illnesses that he never used to see. Not only juvenile diabetes, but inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that a lot of the docs don't even know what to call. And girls are going through puberty much earlier, and kids are allergic to just about everything, and asthma is out of control. Everyone knows it's our food. We're messing with the genes of these animals and then feeding them growth hormones and all kinds of drugs that we really don't know enough about. And then we're eating them. Kids today are the first generation to grow up on this stuff, and we're making a science experiment out of them.

And more torture:
At an industrial pig-breeding facility in North Carolina, videotape taken by undercover investigators showed some workers administering daily beatings, bludgeoning pregnant sows with a wrench, and ramming an iron pole a foot deep into mother pigs' rectums and vaginas...In other videotaped instances at the farm, workers sawed off pigs' legs and skinned them while they were still conscious.

Regarding "runts":
As in any kind of factory, uniformity is essential. Piglets that don't grow fast enough - the runts - are a drain on resources and so have no place on the farm. Picked up by their hind legs, they are swung and then bashed headfirst onto the concrete floor. This common practice is called 'thumping.' 'We've thumped as many as 120 in one day,' said a worker from a Missouri farm. He continues: 'We just swing them, thump them, then toss them aside. Then, after you've thumped ten, twelve, fourteen of them, you take them to the chute room and stack them for the dead truck. And if you go in the chute room and some are still alive, then you have to thump them all over again. There've been times I've walked in that room and they'd be running around with an eyeball hanging down the side of their face, just bleeding like crazy, or their jaw would be broken.' 'They call it euthanasia,' said the Missouri worker's wife.

Really? Maybe we should euthanize you that way.
This is just a small portion of what can be read in the book. I didn't even touch on the facts about food-borne illnesses, how we have genetically altered animals to grow bigger and fatter in much less time and now many have deformities, can't walk and live in constant pain until their awful deaths. And then there is the fact about the pollution caused by factory farms. The massive amounts of feces that come from these farms ends up seeping into the ground water and has the potential to have a huge impact on human health.

The book is really interesting. It reminds me of the movie Food Inc. because it tells an honest tale of where our food is coming from, and it even includes the point-of-view of several farmers. The problem: too many people don't want to hear this truthful tale.
I encourage you to read it, even if it will only cause you to simply change from regular meat to organic meat, it will make a difference. As for my hubby, it looks like we may begin buying our meat from a local natural, organic farmer. More money, but worth it in my opinion.

And finally, a nice little video. This video, which is narrated by my absolute FAV guy, is what initially encouraged me to stop eating meat for good.


  1. So why do you eat dairy? Dairy is NASTY, dirty and terrible for us.

    I like meat but only buy free range, organic and it it's beef, grass fed.

  2. I've considered giving up dairy, but since I've been diagnosed with celiac and can't eat gluten, cheese has become a bigger part of my diet. We buy organic dairy, too. Going completely vegan would be great, but I haven't made that step yet.

  3. Oh wow. What a powerful video. I don't think it's wrong to eat meat but to produce it (and torture and kill) that way is. There has to be a better and healthier way to consume meat. I try to do organic, free range too but I'm sure that's not always as great as they say it is.
    Oh, and I do agree that we (as a society/world) eat way too many animal products and not enough fruits, veggies and grains.


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