Monday, March 25, 2013

Why I'm Not A Vegetarian

Eating the flesh of another living being. Eating. The flesh. Of another living being. If that’s not nauseating, I don’t know what is. Killing something so you can eat it? What is that about? I mean, who was the first person to even think that?

I guess if you go back to the caveman days, it may have been a little more justifiable. Those guys had to really fight just to stay alive. I mean, the dinosaurs alone must have really given them a hell of a…..oh wait, hold on……never mind, that’s another story. No, but seriously, whatever possessed Homo erectus to think, “hmmm…let’s see, if I take this long stick and sharpen the end to a point, maybe I can thrust it into the side of that buffalo over there. Then, I’ll wait till he dies, cut his flesh off and eat it. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.” I mean, seriously, WTF?

One time, when I first moved to California, I was home in my little apartment by myself, preparing to roast a chicken. I always loved roast chicken. It reminded me of being a little kid at Gramma’s house. She made the best stuffing! As I hold this once-living bird over the sink to rinse it under the cold running water, it hits me like a ton of bricks. This is utterly revolting. I’ve never really thought about it before, but here I am, holding this once-living, decapitated, gutted and de-feathered creature in my hands, preparing to eat it. What the hell am I doing? What on earth makes me think I have the right to do this?

I grew up eating meat. My whole family and everyone I knew ate meat. It was just something everyone did and everyone accepted. I don’t even think I knew what a vegetarian was. It’s kind of funny, though. My father, who was a police officer for the entirety of my young life, is also a hunter. I always hated the thought of him out there in the woods with his rifle, stalking Bambi. But it wasn’t until I was older that I started to think about what the difference was between “Bambi” and a chicken. They are both living creatures. They both have hearts and brains and feelings. And faces. I used to have a vegetarian friend whose motto was “I don’t eat anything with a face.” I like that. Then my brain travels down the proverbial rabbit-hole of “well, then what is the difference between a chicken and a mouse? Or a mouse and a cockroach?” What, one is cuter than the other? One has soft fur and is more cuddly? That’s the same logic as saying that less attractive people don’t have as much right to life as good-looking people. I mean, seriously, what’s the difference? Why is a cow’s life more precious than a fly’s? These are all living, breathing creatures, why is it okay to kill some, without even thinking about it (i.e. swatting a fly), and completely horrifying to slaughter a cow?

I can’t watch any of those movies or documentaries that deal with meat processing or where our food comes from. I can’t even stand the thought of animals living in less than ideal conditions. I seriously think it would ruin my life if I was forced to watch one of those movies. And I’m not being dramatic, either. The thought of it strikes a chord so deep inside me, that I would be scarred for life if I ever watched it.

It’s all what we’re conditioned to think as children that carries over into our adult life. Most people eat meat without ever thinking about it. And in other parts of the world, they eat things like Guinea Pigs and brains, which may seem revolting to Americans, but is an everyday occurrence and completely “normal” in some countries.

This is interesting to me, because I have always had a rebellious spirit. And by that I don’t mean “Oh look at what a bad-ass rebel I am with all my tattoos and avant-guard way of thinking.” I mean that I have always questioned things, never taken anything at face value, and as a result, pretty much went the opposite way of what I was taught or brought up to believe. I always had to be a little bit different. I was brought up in a very conservative environment; now I am quite liberal. I was raised Catholic; now I subscribe to Paganism. I was silently taught that it was “immoral” to be gay; I am now a huge advocate of gay rights. So why is it that in this one area, I have been unable to turn away from what was engrained in me? Even though the thought of eating meat sickens me, I still do it. Why? Because I like chicken? I love me a good burger? I can’t figure it out. Is it laziness? I wish I knew. How can I continually—daily even—do something that I think is disgusting? I don’t get it.

I am one of those people that keeps a “bug bin” under my sink, and whenever I see a spider or a cricket, or some other insect in my house, I will capture it and put it outside. I yell at my husband if he kills a spider. How then, can I possibly think that it’s okay to eat bacon? I love pigs! And I don’t mean to eat. I always wanted a pot-bellied pig as a pet, but my husband was like, “We are not having a pig in the house.” Is there some part of my brain that shuts off when I eat meat? Do I subconsciously block out the horrific acts done to these animals so that I can eat their flesh? I honestly do not know. I wish someone could explain it to me.

1 comment:

  1. DON'T ask anyone to explain it to you. All you'll get is THEIR situation and any remedies that work for THEM. Eat meat. When you want to stop, then stop. If you want meat again, eat it. I have a face and if I was hiking through Africa and a lion was hungry, it would eat me. It's just the way things are. Don't feel bad about it. Some of the most unhealthy people I know are BOTH carnivores and vegans. Just enjoy what your taste buds crave for as long as you want.