Thursday, May 27, 2010

National Vegetarian Week... my letter to you.


So here we are, half way through the National Vegetarian Week! This weekend we Americans will be outside firing up our grills and celebrating Memorial Day, the "first" day of summer.

I'm excited! Having friends over on Friday! Going to a BBQ Sunday and Monday!

But I still would like to take this moment and talk about National Vegetarian Week because I feel soon it will fall by the way side. Yes, our pension for beers and and burgers will out weight your need to jump on the old interweb and come here to see my last few blogs (and recipes) dedicated to all of us Vegans and Vegetarians out there.

You know what? That's OK. Let's be honest, I'm writing these in advance and setting up my scheduler so they are promptly published at 9:30am every day. Yes, I'm admitting I'm not sitting by my computer writing these post on the fly. Who has the time to do that?

I used to.
Now I have a son. :)

But before you go, before you throw on your favorite pair of shorts and tank top, grab that beer cozy to keep your beverage of choice stippled with condensation - please read this, for me....

Why.

This is why I'm a vegan and a vegetarian.

Born in 1975 in the Mid-West, I was in no way shape or form raised as a vegetarian. With Italian meatballs, bacon on Sundays, Meatloaf Thursdays and the occasional meat and potato stew - I was surrounded by meat. It was the 80's - everyone was asking "Where's the Beef?" Chicken nuggets made their way into McDonalds.

It was just how it was.

When I realized, when I took the time to watch one of those videos that EVERYONE knows exists but NO ONE wants to watch, because "It's just so hard!" Was when I realized what was going on.

We live in a world that says chickens ARE NOT animals.
We live in a world that says it's OK to knock up a cow over and over and over and over and over so we can have it's milk.
We live it a world that would rather spend money on a form of transportation that carries cow to their death, so they're more relaxed, than realize we DO NOT need to eat that cow.

"But I'm a carnivore!"

No you're not. Your an omnivore, just like all other humans. Lions, they're carnivores.

"I didn't make it to the top of the food chain to eat grass!"

Simply because you didn't make it to the top of the food chain. If I took you and that lion I just mentioned and  stripped you both naked and locked you in a room together I'm gonna bet on Mr. Lion.

Just because we are the most destructive animal doesn't mean we're the "top" of the food chain.

But it's deeper than that. Don't think I'm just saying Bambi has the right, I feel this wall about all animals, including the human sort. Added to my want to not eat, wear, touch or see dead animal (this includes my obsession with shoes, sorry Giuseppe Zanotti, if you decided to make vegan foot wear I'll find the $700 to spend on them, until then... Thank you Steve Madden for Madden Girl.) I also don't wear a lot of jewelry. I wear a wedding ring. I stopped for a while but people had the wrong idea. I considered having one tattooed on, but superstitions got the better of me...

I don't want my life to be associated with the death of man or animal or insect. I don't like the idea of killing things just "because I can."

Fine, you may find this preachy, but I'm not trying to be. I'm just suggesting you look past yourself.

We fall into these ruts, these routines in our lives.
We sit with our children and watch Nick Jr. and listen to the "And I'm growing a strong family with milk!" Commercials. That's not building a strong family. Realizing that not doing the popular thing and teaching your child and your family that it's OK to be different is building a strong family.

Feeding your child pus, because that's whats in Cow's Milk, is easy, cheap and convenient.

We're all busy.
Life is by no means easy - but if it was... where is the fun in that?

What I'm asking you to do is very simple. I'm asking you to look around, read things! Educate yourselves. Don't shy away from videos because you think it's too hard to watch because that's the point.
If you can go see all 2,089 Saw movies you can watch one on how we treat animals like an object. They're not. If you have ever had a pet you know they're not.

We just need to re-prioritize what's important and all I can do is hope that this post, this plea of mine with convince at least ONE person out there to look around and see what's really happening.

It's not 1835 and our cows, chickens and pigs aren't running around free enjoying their lives until it's time for us to eat them. They're tortured and beaten and used and sometimes deposed of alive because they're just a pain to deal with.

There are 1,000s of ways to get the proteins we need, when you eat meat you have a tendency to get MORE than you need. Which ISN'T good.
More FAT than you need - also no good.

And you take part in extinguishing a life.

Jonathan Swift: A Modest Proposal -
"I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve years old, is no saleable commodity, and even when they come to this age, they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds and half a crown at most, on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of nutriments and rags having been at least four times that value."

That's where we're going, right? This satire of Mr. Swifts is one of my very favorites because there are people out there that would say... "when you put it that way..."

When you stop and let the ideas and facts actually digest you will see it's not a matter of pretension nor am I some overly eccentric individual that is attempting you to become some "new age hippy tree hugger" (been call that one a time or two) I just want you to be educated.

On this topic.
On ALL topics.

We kill and torture animals because it "tastes good" but we chastise men/women for stepping out on their spouses... hey, but it FELT good? How is that worse than slaughtering an unsuspecting animal just because this year Lamb is all the rage?

And to all the people out there that say DON'T KILL THE ANIMALS but then let men suffocate in mines because we needed to have that metal/diamond? BUT IT LOOKS GOOD! Or rent gigantic over sized Marine vessels so they can yell at whalers...

We open a door way that allows millions of marines animals, some we've probably never seen, die because you know what? That 1970's Dodge Charger I want SO BAD runs on petroleum.

Where's the line?

I don't know. I'm just ranting at this point because I get really depressed when people just tell me I'm wrong or start on me about how I'm not taking care of myself. Fine, maybe I should put on a pound or two but I don't think I'll ever intentionally eat meat again. Or wear anything that came from an animal.

I'm just trying to give you facts to help you see this whole other world that is surrounding us. We live in comfort but never ask how or why we have it. We just feel we deserve it because....?

Sooner or later we have to see, we have to realize that its all just as absurd as Jonathan Swift suggesting that the rich Irish eat the poor Irish because at least then the government wouldn't have to pay for them.

So I implore you, please look through the resources on my other National Vegetarian Week blogs posts. Read some of the books, I'm sure they're at your library. Rent one of the movies, I'll bet Netflix carries them. Just stop and see what's what and then form an opinion.

Don't rely on Nick Jr.s' Handy Manny Milk propaganda, because that's what it is.

"Hows that go?  Builds your bone so you can grow!" I remember that from Saturday Morning Cartoons...

Don't limit your mind and your world to what others think you should know. ASK questions. DEMAND to know.

You deserve the truth.
Even if it scares the hell out of you.

Thanks for reading,
Aryn


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