We’ve all been informed on the high prices of factory farming. The information that I presented is not everything you can learn about animal cruelty on a factory farm. There is fish, turkey, duck, bees and various other animals that still have voices that should be heard. I have barely scratched the surface of this problem. This information has different effects on different people. Depending on what taste has been left in your mouth, you may be willing to take more drastic measures than some. Today I’m going to give you your options.
You could become a vegan. For most, this is the most drastic lifestyle change you can make. It requires giving up all animal products. You should definitely research this in greater detail in regards to nutrition and what exactly you have to give up. Below is a list of a couple of sites that I found that seem to have some good information to help you get started, but there are tons of others that will help you, in a step by step fashion, become vegan.
Vegan may not be the right choice for you at this point or for me. I know that where I live doesn’t even have vegetarian options, let alone vegan, so if you can’t quite make it to vegan, you could always try vegetarian. You should also really look into nutritional facts before trying either of these diets.
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. My issue is not eating meat as a whole. It’s not necessary, it’s not natural and vegetables are better for the environment as a whole and I could argue about it until I’m blue, but arguing with people is pointless and it’s really not my main concern to get people to stop eating meat altogether.
So for those who are refusing to give up meat altogether, I have another proposition for you. Open your mind for just a minute, a fraction a second, a teensy tinsy fraction of a second. What if you just ate less? What if you gave it up for one meal or ate half the portion that you usually do? Or if you’re feeling good, maybe gave vegetarianism a trial run for a day, maybe two or maybe even a whole week. I’ll admit that before I watched Food, Inc. that was not happening. I didn’t even want to consider it. I ‘loved’ meat and there was another factor, too. I always felt like I was starving if I didn’t eat it. Two things happened when I watched Food, Inc. I immediately wanted to stop eating meat, but I knew that I had to replace it with something. Something that I really didn’t like at all and that was…vegetables. A couple of months before that I realized how tired I was eating meat and potatoes all the time, so I ventured out and tried…a cucumber. It wasn’t as bad as I remember it being when I was a kid. That gave me some confidence to try an avocado, which wasn’t as bad either. And that got the ball rolling, so when I watched Food, Inc. I was already half the way there because I knew I would have something to replace meat with. I still don’t like vegetables all that much, but it’s worth it to me. My mom had also been cutting back our meat consumption a little a time because we wanted a healthier diet. After the movie, she cut back a little more and the craziest thing happened. I wasn’t as hungry when I ate less meat or no meat at all. Before I had been lacking nutrients in my meat and potato diet which was the reason I always felt like my stomach was eating itself.
She also started looking for less cruel places to get our meat. A little at a time, we started to replace factory farm meat with local farm meat from places that at least gave the animals a good life. This is your fourth option. To find a good local farmer that you can trust or know. That’s the best you can do if you’re not willing to give some up. Here is a great, great, great article about that. It even breaks down what the labels mean. According to this article, the worst places that you can buy from is Buckeye, Cargill, which is the largest corporation in the U.S. and if I remember correctly it’s the largest meat producer in the world, ConAgra, the second largest food company in the US, DeCoster, the nations’s fourth largest egg producer and on and on I could go. Tyson is also in this article and that’s the big one I’ve always heard about in terms of animal cruelty. Of those videos I posted, most came from Tyson. This pdf is 23 pages long, but if you care anything about the environment, yourself, animals, about anything at all, you need to read this. It will give a list of people not to buy from and why. Most of it air and water violations, serious ones, but there are some animal right and cruelty violations. There more than what is on this list and that is why I suggest buying from a local farmer. This pdf also has links to sites with maps of local farms and co-ops.
I’ve read several times, that if you just make one healthy change then it kind of makes your body start to crave healthier things. When I stopped eating so much meat, I actually didn’t want as much sugar. Sugar had been kind of like an addiction for me. I really felt like I needed it, but the more vegetables and less meat I ate, the easier it was for me to control. Part of the reason was because I was craving meat so bad, but that phase is over and I still don’t feel quite the strong pull that I did before. Try to keep this mind when you’re thinking that you could never give up meat. Just give the idea a chance. If it doesn’t work then just do the best you can with any of the suggestions I’ve made.
Tell everyone you know or who will listen. Show them. Sometimes it takes seeing things before they actually register. Don’t bully because that can turn people off.
Sign a petition. Change.org has tons of petitions. Just type in animal cruelty, animal rights or factory farms and sign away or start your own. They have a list of victories, but I honestly don’t know how much these petitions help.
As far as people in charge of policies and who can make the biggest changes, here is a list for that.
EPA. The EPA is in charge of regulating water and air. Right now, the EPA only requires permits for facilities that declare their intention to release manure directly into waterways. Communities across the country are suffering from water contaminated by these unregulated wastes, oversprayed fields and air pollution from overcrowded livestock operations. Learn more about the environmental costs of eating meat here and here. http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5232
Congress is another group that you want to talk to. It’s hard to tell whether they are even listening to us anymore, but they should because being elected seems to be what is most important to them. Here is a great site that gives information by state on how to get in your touch with your legislatures.
And lastly, go to the source. The people that I mentioned above and anyone in the pdf could use a little humbling. They’ll deny that they had anything to do with anything and your letter will probably never even be looked at by someone in charge, but go for it. Just go for it.
There is also any number of organizations like the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals even PETA to donate to. And by the way, while I was looking information, I found out that the people who are taping these videos could be charged with terrorism. Making these videos was already considered illegal, but they are so determined to hide this ugly truth that they are willing try to count it as an act of terrorism. Who can we thank for this? Lobbyists. Corporations spend thousands to millions of dollars to make sure that their agenda is pushed in congress. We will have to start screaming at the top of our lungs if we don’t want our voices drowned out by money.