The flesh and meat and the gory details
Obviously I had to do some checking. I googled a bit and came up with the term "factory farming". Now as I said before I had no idea what this was leading me into. I read some more and with every article that I came up with, it only served to make me sick with the facts and shocked at the cruelty that was being practiced each minute as I sat there learning about it. Now for those of you who are in the same state as I was prior to this eye opening incident and have very little idea about what I am referring to, you may want to check out this and may be this. But be forewarned that what you are going to see, read and learn is gruesome to say the least. In fact some of the pictures and videos were so graphic that I could not bear to watch them. But what I did see was enough to convince me into giving up on meat.
I come from a country where a vast majority of the population is vegetarian and probably would not have any qualms understanding where I am coming from. I on the other hand have grown up knowing that we need animal protein in our diet (vitamin B12 folks) and that every meal should include either meat or fish to provide me with the appropriate nutrition. The staple food in any home in Bengal would comprise fish and rice. And after coming to the US our diet was largely governed by all the different kinds of meat that were so readily available and oh so inexpensive and yes so easily ready to eat. We lived on hot dogs and burgers.Pizzas always had to be smothered in sausage and lunch would be sandwich with any kind of lunch meat. So for a person like me to be faced with facts of this proportion was a staggering blow to my intellect, my humanity and my entire existence.
Overnight I gave up eating meat. The mere thought of eating meat was now repulsive to me. I had no trouble converting my husband either. B is one of the most compassionate human being I have ever met and he has taught me many a valuable lesson in humanity. When he read some of the things that I had unearthed he had a similar reaction. Folks back home in India who of course have not come face to face with these gory details were shocked and a little outraged at our sudden dietary restrictions. But nothing they said could make me change my mind. And we've survived this meatless existence quite well for the last 9 months. Changing the way my parents feel will take some time, but then, you can make the difference by moving one stone at a time.
The whole point of my writing this post is not because I am any kind of activist or that I am trying to convert any of my non-vegetarian readers into making a lifestyle change, but because I believe a lot of people just are not aware of things like this. There are organizations and there are people who spend their life fighting to prevent such cruelty. And even if I am not an active part of any such movement, I strongly believe that my support can go a very long way in making a difference. With every burger that I refuse to eat for the rest of my life I am probably going to save the life of one cow in my lifetime. With my husband we can make that two cows. And to that add all the goats and lambs and pigs....well, it does make a difference in the long run.