|Cow lips- yummy, delicious, and moral|
Some of you are probably aghast at this- why would I have a dream to slaughter animals? Do I have an insatiable blood lust or something? Am I a cruel person who likes blood, guts, and gore?
Not at all.
I was present twice in my life when animals were being slaughtered. It was not a pleasant sight, I'll admit.
I'm really not a blood,guts, and gore type of person. I couldn't make it through the first five minutes of the movie "Saving Private Ryan" and watching my kids getting their blood drawn makes me weak at the knees.
The reason I want to learn how to slaughter animals is not because I relish the idea of being the one to end an animal's life. In fact, the first few times I try to learn how to slaughter would probably make me weak at the knees and a little nauseated.
The reason I want to learn how to slaughter and then slaughter all the meat that ends up on my table is because I feel it is important and the moral thing to do. Animal slaughter is gruesome. It's bloody. It's upsetting.
Buying your meat prepackaged from the butcher store ready to eat instead of slaughtering it yourself is divorcing yourself from the reality that an animal's life was ended- an animal is now dead for the sole purpose of nourishing your body. It is no more morally superior to buy cellophane wrapped chicken breast than to slaughter the chicken yourself.
I want to be the one to slaughter the animal that I eat because I think its very important the people realize that whenever they eating meat, they're eating the flesh of an animal- an animal that died for the sake of nourishing your body.
While vegans will say that the solution to this is to cut out all animal meat from your diet, I don't think it's a good idea to cut out all meat because you don't want to take the life of an animal.
It's a fact that a vegan diet doesn't provide all the necessary nutrients that's a human needs, for example vitamin B12. Other nutrients are not so bio-available when eaten from a plant source but are bio available when from an animal source.
I think it is necessary to eat meat in order to be fully healthy- there are many people who were die hard vegans and despite taking nutritional supplementation got very sick and were required by doctors to start eating animal products again, and once they did, they got their health back.
"Animals are people too", and "Just like you wouldn't dream of eating a person, how can you dream of eating an animal?" - I've heard these sentiment from vegans and other animal lovers.
I think people who say "Animal s are people too", raising animals to the "level of humans" have gotten it all wrong. Animals are not people. In fact, I'd say "People are animals too"- and just like animals eat other animals, so can and should people. Nothing immoral about it. Not any more so than killing a plant and eating it.
And as for the argument of sentience, its been discovered recently in many different studies that plants are more sentient than originally thought, that they communicate with each other, respond to fear and stress, and have kin recognition.
That's the harsh reality of life- that in order to nourish one body, some life, whether animal, bird, fish, or plant, had to be cut short.
A lion killing a gazelle for food- is it immoral? Not anymore than it is for a rabbit to rip up a batch of wild mallow and chomp it down.
Each species has its own type of food that their body needs to function properly. Some people are able to be healthy on a vegan diet, but many people try out vegan diets and their health suffers as a result. I do believe that there are some people that are able to go on a vegan diet healthily, provided they supplement with vitamins B12 and make sure to not eat too much soy and take care to make grains as digestible as possible, etc...
However, some people, even if their health suffers because of their vegan diet, won't eat animal products because of moral reasons. Attempting to go against what your body needs in an effort to be a "good person" is not morality, it's foolishness. Its immoral to hurt yourself. And if you don't care about yourself, and would rather save an animal's life than your own, that's one thing, but if you have kids or a spouse, is it moral to put an animal's life ahead of your own, so that your family will end up suffering when your health suffers as a result? And when its not just yourself that is cutting out meat, but your children eats only vegan because of your moral beliefs, its even more problematic. Is it moral to put an animal's life ahead of the health of your child? I obviously think not.
Now, don't worry, its not that I think morality isn't a factor in eating animals. I certainly do! I'll get to that in a little bit.
But first- what do our bodies say? What types of foods are we built to eat?
Looking at the mouth of an animal tells you what type of foods they should eat. Carnivorous animals like lions have teeth that are all sharp and pointy, meant to rip flesh from bones. Herbivores like horses have incisors for biting off grasses, etc... and then a long row of molars, meant to chew up all the plant material.
Our teeth are not like either the cat- the carnivore (meat eater)- or the horse- the herbivore (the strict vegan).
No, our teeth are most similar to the chimpanzee's teeth- see the picture and compare for yourself, or similarly, the grizzly bear's teeth, both of whom are omnivores- they eat a diet that is largely of plant matter, but 2-10% of their diet is animal products. If we listened to our body and ate what our teeth tell us that our bodies are meant to eat, we'd do the same- eating mostly vegetable products with some meat here and there.
That's how my diet is- probably 3/4 of the meals I eat are vegan, and the rest are animal flesh together with plant matter.
Traditionally, that's how people ate as well. If you want to talk about the "Caveman", they didn't go hunting every day. They didn't eat animal products three meals a day, plus snacks, like most Paleo people do today. They foraged for veggies and fruit and supplemented that with meat, fish, and eggs, but certainly not as much meat every day as people on a Paleo diet do today.
But lets not talk about the caveman. Lets talk about people and how they ate for the last few thousand years, after the rise of agriculture.
It takes a LONG time to raise animals. If people raised their own animals, it would take a while for the animal to be grown long enough to make it worth slaughtering. I know that in my culture, at least in the past few hundred years, people generally slaughtered 1 chicken every week, maybe 2, and a few times a year slaughtered a bigger animal. If people had to raise all the animals they ate in addition to growing or foraging everything else they ate, there's no way on earth they would have been able to eat animals at the same rate most people do today- they'd decimate their flock/herd in a very short time, and have nothing left to eat.
But tradition and feasibility aside, what about the morals involved?
Assuming animal products are necessary for humans to be healthy, and based on much research I've done on the topic, I conclude that it is- is it really moral to be killing sooooo many animals just to satisfy your craving for animal flesh? Should we be eating meat 3 or more times a day, just because our body needs some meat? Should more animals be killed than necessary?
I think that while people on the vegan end of the spectrum go overboard with their concern for animal rights and morality over health, I think people on the opposite end of the spectrum go overboard with their concern for health over morality. Both aspects need to be considered, in my opinion.
Eat meat. Its important. But do you really need to be having it 3-5 times a day, or even once a day? Are you considering each time that you bite into your boneless chicken breast that you're eating the breast of a chicken? Are you appreciative of the fact that an animal gave its life for you to be able to eat your meal?
There are so many people today that love eating meat, but would never even buy a whole chicken (feathers, head, feet, and internal organs removed) and chop it up into portion size, because that's "too gross". And people that will only eat meat that comes already deboned.
Because they don't want to come to terms with the fact that they're eating an animal. The concept weirds them out. So they don't think about it. They eat their hot dogs and their hamburgers and their bacon, conveniently forgetting that what they're really eating is chicken flesh, cow flesh, and pig flesh. I assume that's why we generally use the words "beef, veal, pork, ham, and venison" instead of cow meat, baby cow meat, pig meat, and deer meat. Because we want to enjoy the taste without having to think about the morals behind what we're eating.
|Pressure cooked cow lungs|
That goes for wasting animal products and throwing out leftovers as well.
I can tell you this- if I were an animal and were killed for food, I would want every last bit of me to be used and used and used so there was no waste.
For anyone that argues that its immoral to eat meat, I'd say that that's debatable- but throwing out any edible part of the animal? That's, in my opinion, absolutely immoral.
There's a middle path.
Eat meat. As much as you need to be healthy. (Yes, everyone has different needs for that, and when someone needs to heal their body from a bad diet, they may need to eat more meat temporarily, but it typically isn't necessary to eat that way forever, just until the body heals.)
But don't forget ever that an animal died to nourish you. Appreciate it. Embrace the fact that its an animal, and have gratitude to the animal for giving its life so that you can eat your meal. Call it by its name- cow meat, pig meat, chicken meat, not by the euphamisms they're commonly known by. Eat the whole animal- don't throw out any edible part of it. Don't buy meat that comes already proportioned so you can't tell its an animal- bring dead animals with their bones into your house so that you're aware that what you're eating is an animal.
And maybe consider if you really need to be eating so many animals, or if you put your craving for animal flesh above moral concerns.
And that is why I am totally comfortable with how I eat meat. Because I am cognizant of the fact that I'm eating an animal, appreciate it, don't waste it, and at the same time, am not interested in sacrificing my health or the health of my family on the alter of morality.
Are you a vegan? Paleo? Somewhere in between? When it comes to diet, do you put morals first? Or health first? Or do you try to balance them both? How do you find that balance?
If you're a meat eater, would you ever slaughter your own animals? Why or why not?