Growing up dinners were meat and potatoes. Salad was a side dish. Tasteless iceberg lettuce leaves. And a dalop of bottled dressing. That is how it was.
Now my dinners are salads. Deliciously accessorized. With dried cranberries. Raisins. Almonds. Mandarin orange slices. Chopped apples, carrots and broccoli. The leaves are now spinach. Sometimes, its dabbed with dressing. Homemade.
Truth be Told-My Version
Writing an article of this nature was inconceivable 20 years ago. But personal journeys are too compelling to ignore. And this is one begs to shout out.
Lifetime habits and media marketing convinced me that our bodies would wither without protein. And meat was the only way to get it. Learned behaviors followed. Even raised my adult kids to follow suit. Hotdogs filled with animal beaks, feet, organs, skin. The left overs. The stuff that grosses us out. The jerky and pepperoni sticks. Then there was that Oscar Meyer Wiener Song. Still have that song stuck in my trained head.
Honestly I tried to cut down on meat consumption. “Try” is a word that means “Failed at”. When a spouse is a carnivore. When your children want to fit in. Foregoing meat is asking for a peer reduction. Now, it’s perhaps not as radically alienating as previous times. But people still raise eye brows when saying you don’t eat meat. It’s like announcing you are moving to the Arctic Circle. As in: Why would you do that? Lunch and dinner invites dwindle. It can make others feel uncomfortable. Often friends think us vegetarians are judging them. I don’t. Everyone has their own path for what is right for them. And I tell my friends this often. Even for other topics outside their meal habits.
For the Love of Animals?
My family of origin and the thereafter LOVES animals. We are fanatical about our four legged fur friends. We coddle, hug, and love on our pets. And adamantly claim our love for all animals. Then sit down to dinner and eat one. Somehow we justified this. Because it came wrapped pretty in cellophane. The true story of that cow we ate, was ignored. It never happened. It was easy to separate our fur babies out from those who really kept us alive. I began to wonder. How could I honor my own animals and not these others? Wasn’t it logical to have the same reverence for all animals? This challenging thought began banging around in my head.
Learned habits do not make conscious connections easy. Conduct has its own mindset to which we apparently are puppeteered. Once I entered solo living there came space to examine a whole lot in myself. Such as? My habits. Entrenched learned behaviors. False beliefs. And, ah–yes, robotic thoughts that lead to all that.
Really. I had longed to not eat meat. And. There was no more blaming a family that I no longer had. Morally, intrinsically it felt wrong to cannibalize another living being to use its “protein” to gratify my body. I mean: What was I thinking. More so, what had I been taught?
The Dawning of Differences
As I aligned consciously I began to taste differences. Namely between organic and store bought meats. The latter tasted plastic. As if fed filled with growth hormones or worse. I was aware of feedlots as a child. Specifically when my parents drove by that section on Highway 90. Staring out the back seat window I was horrified. Cows in dung filled lots waiting. Eating their own feces. Waiting some more. I wondered if they knew. It hurt my gut to look upon them knowing. And yet I ate meat. The veil pulled back over my eyes. As long as I chose not to see them as conscious living beings, cow eating was not a sin.
Human consumption of meat is voracious. And, nowadays at an all-time high. Meat animals are now processed no better than fast food. I often wonder if animal souls stand beside their abused bodies while waiting their execution.
Okay. I know about now I’ve lost readers. Maybe even some friends. But know this: I do NOT condemn anyone for the choices they make. I have many meat eating friends; including my children! Does that make them bad people? NO! Truth be told, I fall of my soapbox once in a blue moon. Evolution takes time. Rome was not built in a day.
While pursuing meat free sainthood I discovered amazing side effects. Namely for my health. A plant based diet afforded me far more energy than I ever imagined. Also, clarity of mind. Regular intestinal flow. Okay I’ll say it > BMs. Additionally, I by pass doctors. Haven’t seen one in years.
And to trump popular opinion, it IS less expensive to eat fruit, veggies, nuts, legumes. You’d be surprised where protein can be found in foods. Once I no longer visited the meat counter a whole new world of other foods appeared. Its abundant and plentiful.
Growing animals for food is not earth sustainable. The amount of land rape to accommodate harvesting meat has severe consequences to our climate. The sheer non-logic of what humans do is nonsensical. Humans are genetically designed for a plant diet. Why use an intermediary animal to process plants that are designed to go directly to us? Nowadays animals are not eating proper plant nutrients because they are abused for consumption. Pumped with hormones and faux foods. What is natural about this insanity? Do you realize growing plants vertically in buildings consumes far less resources and land?
The Contrast Continues
Sometimes I think animal consciousness will rebel and co-conspire to poison the human race. But in fact, it is humans who are doing it to themselves via an inhumane model!
This is not one of my soft and sweeter blogs. It’s blatant. I own it. But I do hope its enlightened you to eat less animal meat. Or to buy organic if possible. At the minimum bless and thank the animal you eat each and every time. After all a bit of good intention prevails over none at all. 😉
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No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.