Will I not get enough protein if I don't eat meat?
That is completely false. The recommended diet (at least in America) generally
consists of about 700% of your daily protein requirement. The rest of that is
usually just passed through your system. A small bowl of spinach provides you
with 100% of your daily needs. The yardstick that nutritionists used to come
up with that were based on studies on Rats in the 1960's. And, if you are reading
this right now, YOU ARE (obviously) NOT A RAT!
Don't I need to drink milk to grow strong healthy bones?
You should drink a lot of milk if your goal is to get as fat as possible. The purpose
of cow's milk is to fatten up baby cows at an accelerated rate so that they can survive
the winter. As far as your bones go, milk does not add to your long term calcium
deposits, actually it drains them because it causes an acidic reaction in your stomach
and your body retrieves the base elements it needs from your bones to break it down.
Women, if you wish to avoid Osteoporosis, don't drink milk! [Not Milk!]
But what about the Four Food Groups and all the other stuff I learned in school?
Who do you think paid for all of those nice big glossy posters that were up on your wall
and all those cute little handouts with pictures of cows and chickens and glasses of milk?
Hmm? Would you be surprised to learn it was the Association of Dairy Farmers,
Pork Farmers of America, the Meat Council and all those other "concerned nutritionists?"
You're not slamming farmers are you? The poor families living in the heartland of America?
Sorry. The days of the family farm are nearly all gone. Most animals are raised in
concerns governed by huge corporations. There is no "family" to really speak of other than
the one's whose farms got bought out by these groups. The effect these factory farms have
on the environment is just devastating. Not to mention the cruel methods employed to raise
and slaughter animals on these farms. Pain and suffering are not taken into consideration
when easing it would affect the bottom line.
What do you mean? What kinds of things go on at these factory farms?
Well, for one, cows are more often killed according to "Kosher" methods, even though most of
the cow meat sold in this country is not necessarily labeled as such. It's just a
matter of simplifying the automation of the assembly line at the slaughter house and keeping
the bottom line in check. Hence, cows are first hoisted up by their back leg by a machine
(causing their leg to break as it can't support their weight that way, and of course, causing them
excruciating pain) and brought around to another machine (slowly) that cuts their throat while
they are still fully conscious (as required to get that Kosher label).
(Note: Sadly, this goes against the whole idea behind the religious reasons behind "kosher"
requirements, which was intended to cause the animal as little pain as possible. But, when big
business meets religious standards, something has to give, and the resulting introversion, ends
up causing the animals more pain. Fortunately, many rabbis are now speaking out against this.)
What about chickens? They're better off right?
Baby chickens have their beaks cut off with no anesthesia. This is done to prevent them
from pecking each other, which they tend to do, growing up in these crowded torturous
environments they are raised in (it's called going insane, people do the same thing when put
in similar environments, read up on history for examples). I could go on an on, forbid
I mention the horrible things they do to pigs.
I never really thought of it that way.
Don't worry. It's easy to do. Think about how when you were growing up, everything
already had a name. No one ate "pig." It was always bacon, sausage, ham, pork
chops. Anything to take the "face" and identity away from the dead animal you were
eating. Do you ever remember your parents ordering cow? No, they always gave you
a hamburger, a steak, beef tips, a roast. By the time you're old enough to really think
about things, any semblance of compassion you would have for the "product" on your table is
all gone. You don't recognize that a pig (who happens to be smarter than a dog), has
any of the same sentient qualities as your cat or dog.
You're not going to tell me about what they do to pigs now, are you?
Suffice to say that it's horrible. The most disheartening thing I saw was not what actually
happens to them, but a lesson in human attitude. My neighbor and her little girl had stopped
to talk to me. She told me how much she and her daughter (age 5) loved the movie
"Babe." She was telling me that her little girl liked it so much, she was going to take
her to see it again. She then excused herself to go back in the house, as she was making
her daughter a BLT sandwich and had just thrown the "bacon" (the B in BLT) on the grill.
I was at a loss.
Come to think of it, this can't be healthy, right?
Definitely not. Recent campaigns to at least provide standards for handling "downed" animals
(those too sick or weak to move) by slaughterhouses have met with stiff resistance from the
food industry and surprisingly, the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture, you know, those
guys who are supposed to look out for us). Shockingly, one USDA response was "condemning
all meat and meat products from a carcass with any degree of disease would have a serious
This is terrible, but going vegetarian sounds so hard. How could I ever even go about it?