I heard this statement again this week, “I don’t eat anything with a face or a mother.” Unfortunately this statement frequently comes with a feeling of superiority over the person it’s being told to (me in this case). Am I supposed to feel bad that I eat meat and fish?
I do understand the moral dilemma people face when it comes to their food. And honestly, if my only choice was farmed foods, I might consider the issue further. But, I do have a choice. And it speaks volumes when we make that choice.
The guy who raises my cow for me called last night, it’s just about time. These cows live in a wonderful green field with proper rotation so the farm endures year after year. There is no pesticides, antibiotics, hormones needed. They live a normal, natural cow life, never leaving the pasture they call home, even in death. Yes, one of them every year gives it’s life to feed my family. And we honor it’s sacrifice. We try to always visit and thank the cow. But let’s face it, we all die. No living creature cheats death. It’s how we live that is important – for the cow and for me.
So, here’s my frustration with those that tell me I’m wrong and try to stand on a moral higher ground. First, are you eating only organic foods? If you choose conventional foods then what about all the animals killed by pesticides. Don’t their faces count? Second, are you growing all your own foods? If not, even organic methods of farming kill – ladybugs eat aphids, diatomaceous earth cuts slugs and snails until they bleed to death. Do their faces not count? Third, are you eating only small farmed, ancient grains? If not, the monocrops of big corporations will soon have destroyed the soil in our plains. And there’s alot of living organisms in that soil. I don’t know if they all have faces, but they certainly have mothers. Fourth, are you eating only organic grains? If not, the run off of pesticides into our waterways is killing the same animals you choose not to eat – but they still die.
Truly, I could go on and on. I know this is a volatile topic that people have great passion about. But, no matter what side of the animal products fence you stand on, it needs to be from a space of honoring the foods you ingest and your body for the role it plays. There shouldn’t be any superiority felt for one’s decision.