Friday, April 17, 2015

Cows Think You're a Jerk (And They're Right)

No adorable Rhodesian ridgeback/hound mixes named Marla were injured in the making of this image. Only very confused, and fed way too many French fries. Although she would certainly argue that “way too many French fries” is not a thing. She’s pretty cool.

So…Rebecca’s a vegetarian. Not the judgy, pushy kind. I won’t make you feel uncomfortable snarfing a steak in front of me. Although, if you are eating ribs, I can’t say I won’t stare in horrified fascination; but that is more about the actual physics of the endeavor.

Many people have asked me why I became vegetarian. For a long time I would reply, “I don’t know any animals that deserve to be killed and eaten. But I know a few humans that  do.” Then stare ominously at whomever asked the question, as if maybe, perhaps, that person might be on that list. Make em think about their lives a little. Do a little introspection. Check their locks when they get home.

 I had to stop saying things like that since I got a Big Girl Job and life stopped being fun. So it goes.

It should be noted; however, that I am merely a lacto-ovo vegetarian, which means I eat (humanely-acquired) eggs and dairy. To some this may be considered Weaksauce Vegetarianism. Hmmmmm. Now I’m trying to think of what sort of sauce “Vegetarian Weaksauce” would be. Something that would really offend a vegan, while remaining vegetarian. Maybe a nice hollandaise? Let’s go with that.

Dammit, now I want Eggs Benedict.

My mother is a farm girl, so she was Not Amused by Them Shits when her moderately idiotic teenage twin daughters announced they were going vegetarian. I don’t blame her. I don’t plan on letting any of my teenagers EVER finish the sentence, “Mom, I have been doing a lot of thinking; and I’m going to…” I plan to grab their face-flesh in either hand and say, “No you weren’t, and no you aren’t. Now go mow the lawn.” I authentically believe that my mother would have preferred that I get a face tattoo than become vegetarian. Or join a cult. Or join a cult which the primary tenet of their religion is acquiring face tattoos.

Dammit, now I want to join a face tattoo cult.

We all know there are many reasons to be vegetarian. I hope to not belabor the point; but I probably will. Here are some thoughts on being vegetarian:

The meat industry is notoriously inhumane. From factory farming to slaughtering practices, profit, rather than the animal’s basic needs, is the primary focus. I’m not going to link to any of the horrifying videos people have taken of animal cruelty in the meat industry. You know where to find them. They are, unfortunately, plentiful. Some nerd in Poland did an excellent job of very systematically discussing the ethics of the eating meat from factory farms. Click here to read it. I like to think that the future holds at least a rudimentary bill of rights for animals, which will afford them a good life and a swift, painless death. It isn’t completely far-fetched, check this out.

The meat industry is bad for the environment. It creates air and water pollution, and, in some countries, desertification of what was once viable land. Here is more information on the environmental impact of the meat industry. More calories can be produced from the same amount of land if it is used for vegetables, fruits, and grains than the grazing land for herd animals. I have heard that if an additional 10% of the world’s population went vegetarian, it would end world hunger. I don’t know if that is true or not; some hippie chick at a street fair told me.  I have learned the hard way about citing hippie chicks at street fairs as reliable sources in research papers. MLA is a harsh mistress.

Actually BEING vegetarian isn’t too bad at all. Once upon a time, being vegetarian could get you accused of witchcraft, non-meat protein products were borderline inedible, and your mother wouldn’t stop looking at you and weeping silently. Things are better now. Being vegetarian has now gone past being cool, was lame for a while, and now has kind of an ironic, retro feel. Vegetarian options are plentiful at grocery stores and restaurants. In fact, this. I want to put that business in my belly for sure. Right? In short, a person of average intelligence, average income, and average motivation could become vegetarian without it really cramping his or her style too dreadfully.

Heck, YOU could probably become vegetarian. 

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