I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my time of “being vegan.” I was vegan twice. Once before my daughter was born (about 3 1/2 years ago for about a year) and then again a year and a half after my daughter was born. This second time, I realized my body didn’t thrive when I took meat and eggs out of my life, so it only lasted a few weeks. As much as I’d like to be vegan, I felt drained when I ate none of these products. And I’m proud of myself for recognizing this and following through, however, I am very conscious about where I get my meat and eggs. My brother, sent me an article that was posted on the internet recently about this topic and it inspired this post this week. You can check it out here. Basically, it’s saying that vegans are not the definition of vegan because the pesticides and fertilizers kill millions of insects. I think the author is hugely missing the point.
Firstly, no matter how someone chooses to eat, insects will probably be killed in the process. There are some ways to go around this (see below). This is why knowing your farmer is key. Ask them what they use and research their practices to make sure they align with your beliefs. I refuse to support the farmers who implement any practice that destroys our environment and/or allows torture in any way (by keeping them confined in tiny spaces, not giving them the freedom every living thing deserves like fresh air and quality diet, and the respect from being beaten, mutilated, and abused. Think about it, if we are supposed to be gaining energy and health from our food to thrive, we need to be eating things that are grown and raised in the healthiest ways. To me, the worst ways we are treating animals, is by supporting factory farmed animals from being raised and purchased, especially dairy, eating fois gras and veal.
Dairy cows are kept in buildings where they are made to produce more than twice as much more than was expected of them over four decades ago. These poor animals are tortured, violated, detached from their offspring, and milked in order to supply consumers with milk, cheese, butter, and so on. In 2012, the Food and Water Watch’s analysis of the USDA Census of Agriculture (for the remainder of this article, I will refer to them as FWW) found that over 5.5 MILLION cows were held captive in factory farmed warehouses. These poor animals are not only too frequently being milked, which hits home to me after having to pump milk for my one child for almost 2 years, albeit I only had to pump 3 times a day, they are forced to constantly be pregnant to produce milk. I couldn’t imagine how awful these cows feel being pumped to the point of infection every day for the 3-5 years of their short lives (normal lifespan is about 20 years), with no sun and being pumped with hormones, wounds forming on their teets and contaminating the milk with blood and pus.
Veal are baby cows who are confined to small crates where they aren’t allowed sunlight or any type of movement to make their meat super tender. And foix gras… these are the livers from ducks who are force-fed through a tube to fatten them up, making the liver a delicasy. Now, I love food as much as the rest of you all, but I cannot justify this type of suffering just so I can get a meal. That means, I don’t eat meat when I eat out unless they support farmers who treat their animals with respect and I choose to line the pockets of compassionate farmers by buying animal products from those I trust. (See local resources to find good farmers)