Saturday, October 15, 2011

"I Don't Expect This To Do Anything"

Matthew Evans continuously repeated, “I don’t expect this to do anything” as he lectured about the moral dilemma of eating meat. Congratulations Professor Evans, you have a convert.  Well, a convert to a certain extent. I’ve decided to become a pescetarian, meaning I will continue to eat seafood but cut out everything else.

After reading the Basic Argument in James Rachel’s article, it is difficult to not agree that eating meat promotes abhorrent cruelties to animals. Rachel focused on cattle and hog farms. The part that hit me the hardest was his description of the pigpens that factory hogs live in. Unable to move, they end up chewing off the tail of the pig in front of them. Once this occurs, farmers chop off the remaining part of the tail without anesthesia. This is done to animals that have the social and mental abilities equivalent to those of a dog. Can you imagine chopping off Lassie’s tail?

My pescetarian declaration brought a lot of attention on facebook. My friends posted the two videos I provided above. One of my friends who is a body builder and a stereotypical manly man said, “I usually never get grossed out and it was hard for me to watch this whole thing.” I couldn’t finish either.  They both depicted the extreme side of factory farming. My mom and my friends refused to watch either of the videos. As my sorority sister said “I’d rather turn a blind eye.”

My determination to stick with my new diet was tested during fall break. Meat is apart of every family meal. Whether it is turkey burgers for lunch or sausage in pasta sauce, it's just there. I was able to convince my dad to make me separate meals. However, I wasn’t able to convince him in my resolve. He berated me with questions and counterarguments. (He also tried to sneak in organic turkey sausage into dinner one night to see if I'd cave... Thanks for making this easy Dad.)

I love meat though! I love it, I love it, I love it. Fried, baked, sautéed, sous vide, I really don’t care because it all tastes amazing. I grew up in Chicago where the carnivore reigns supreme. There is even a shrine to the stockyards, the most abhorrent demonstration of animal cruelty, in the city. In my opinion, the following equation reflects “Chicagoans’” dream diet:

(Chicagoan = Steak + Potatoes/Italian Beef x Meat Loves Deep Dish)

I just drooled.

I know that I am still being hypocritical for continuing to eat animal products like dairy. My justification at the moment is that I live in an environment where all my food is prepared for me. My financial situational does not allow me to pay a separate meal plan that would accommodate veganism. I know, not the best excuse. I tried though!

It’s not like I have anything against eating meat either. If I were sure that the steak in front of me had been treated humanely, I would eat it. But as Professor Evans said, it is nearly impossible to know. 

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