• 09.08.2009 No Comments

    Saw an interesting story in New Scientist today. Evidently, scientists may have determined a way to genetically alter animals to no longer experience pain. The question raised in the article is what implications this may have on livestock animals.

    The argument is made that if cattle, for example, are no longer able to feel pain, perhaps there will be less ethical delimas related to factory-farming practices. (Think your meat purchases come from smaller farmers? “In the U.S., four companies produce 81 percent of cows, 73 percent of sheep, 57 percent of pigs and 50 percent of chickens.”) I would argue that even though one could eliminate the ability for an animal to feel pain, it does not mean that the animal should be treated in an inhumane way. This solution also does not address the significant impact factory farming has on the environment.

    Read more…

  • 10.03.2008 4 Comments

    This has been a long week for me.  Specifically, work has been frustrating due to coworker problems and a concern I have about leadership, but I won’t get detailed about that here.  Plus, I learned about a student at one of my schools being subjected to some of the worst things imaginable… that never makes one feel good.  In addition, I’ve been having some problems in my personal life.  Well, not “problems” really, but stress about a relationship and stuff like that.

    One cool thing that happened this week is a coworker and friend gave me some “yard eggs.”  I had never heard of these before.  Well, she grew up on “the riverbanks” and we joke all the time about her country words and phrases.  This is another one, that means that the eggs come from chickens in the yard.  Her sister raises chickens (and I hope to get a couple from her at some point).  So, she gave me a dozen yard eggs.  I am going to feel ok eating these eggs.

    yard-eggs

    yard-eggs

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  • 09.08.2008 7 Comments

    For about 2-2 1/2 months now, I have been meat-free. People ask me all the time: Why? What for? Don’t you get hungry? (Or what I really get pissed at, “Oh well, you’ll start eating meat again soon.”)

    So, this is my attempt at explaining my own personal reasoning behind it. First, I respect the many people who do this, and have been for a much much longer period than myself. I only wish I had started sooner. I started thinking about doing it before I got off of work for the summer. My main reasoning behind it was that I didn’t like that I put all kinds of hormones and other products into my body that are not naturally found inside the meat. Also, I would prefer to know that animals were not dying just to feed my taste for chicken, pork, and beef. However, I was never able to really stop. I limited myself to chicken, but still did eat meat.

    The youth group I work with took a mission trip to Heifer International, an organization that provides training and animals to people in poor nations. While there, the food service offered vegetarian options, which I took when available. I also learned more about animal and water management and how the way factory farming in the United States hurts our environment and could be considered cruel to the animals themselves. So, at the end of the trip, I made a commitment to myself to become vegetarian.

    Although that setup my original reasoning, my reasons for continuing to not eat meat have changed based on research on the topic. I now believe my main reason for not eating meat is because of the poor living conditions of the animals. I have so far not been able to give up milk or cheese, and sometimes eggs. I know that even organic products can be mistreated and abused. For example, when egg-laying farms have male chicks, they suffocate them in bags or grind them up alive since they have no purpose. Eating chickens that have their beaks clipped, are caged in very small spaces, where the waste is so toxic they get skin burns… this is not right. Even food animals deserve to be treated well while they are alive.

    I’m not some nutcase that wants everyone to live like I have been for the past couple months. Just want people to recognize where their food comes from; what the life is like for those animals before they are slaughtered. I think those are fair issues most people can get behind. And by having more education, perhaps people will start looking at other options.

    For an idea of where your food comes from, look here and select an animal under the “meet the animals” section on the left.

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