Monday, May 31, 2010

I did it.

For those of you who do not know, since last July, our family has succeeded at avoiding 90% (+ or - ) of commercial meat, poultry, dairy and eggs. We avoid buying it. We avoid eating it prepared at restaurants, eateries, etc. There are times that we do eat it. By choice, but somewhat reluctantly. And, sometimes, there are those moments when we just go with some gusto for the beef enchiladas, chicken tacos and chile-con-carne at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Thanks to my Mom, who turned us onto a couple of DVD's containing the wisdom of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, thoughtful intellect of John Robbins, and referrals to books like this. Although the majority of these "nutritarians", "flexitarians", "vegetarians", and "vegan" persons choose to avoid animal products, we decided to eat our farm raised meat and eggs along with a plant-based diet instead of the commercially raised meat found in grocery stores today.

We have laying hens for eggs. We have pigs raised in a wooded lot for pork. Grass-fed (and finished) steers for beef. And just last week, we picked up our 55 day old chicks from the post office that had been delivered there from Reich Poultry in PA. The chicks, on this seventh day of their lives, are doing fantastic and so in about 10 to 14 weeks, the roosters will be freezer stock, whereas the hens will be layers, hopefully beginning to lay eggs around 19 weeks.

As much of an animal lover I am, I do enjoy a roast chicken, a steak, and a good pulled pork bbq sandwich once in a while. That said, I do justify (to myself - not anyone else) that our animals are raised humanely, happily, cared for in every way possible, and because not one minute of their lives are spent in fear for their lives, I believe they produce healthier meat (and eggs).

In the style of anonymous (as anonymous as this blogging thing gets...) honesty, there IS a part of me that cringes a little - ok, a whole lot - when I pontificate the reality that the living, breathing, thinking and feeling animal before me will be on my plate at some point in the future. If I had to kill what I ate, I would most definitely be a vegetarian; a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian - drinking the milk from our own cow and the eggs from our own chickens.

While I say this with a humble spirit and a loving heart, I must admit that I have become less and less tolerant of the idea that we, individually and societally, accept that the way our current food system works. Like a school of fish we just sorta swim along and when one or two fish move to the left, so do we. To the right? Yes ma'am, yes sir. Tortured chicken? Sure, why not.

Ever seen Food, Inc. ? How about The Future of Food ?

If it is in the grocery store it must be ok, right? If my mom feeds it to me, it must not be bad, right?


Unfortunately, most of us (you, me, your mom and them) will not change our eating habits until something happens to our health. I urge you, and in doing so, renew my own passion for taking my own advice, to think about where your food comes from.

I came across a note I scribbled on a legal pad a while back while I was talking to my mom on the phone, it said:

" going organic - treading lightly. self-educating, stepping carefully amongst monopolies seeking to jump on and take control of the organic bandwagon.

why are people so defensive of their junk food and adamantly opposed to spending money on healthy, non-gmo, pesticide-free food - yet fork over hundreds of dollars a month for health coverage/costs to treat illness caused by poor diet."

Now that I've shared some of my ranting, let me say this - I am occasionally a hypocrite.

A while back, my preschooler had parent-teacher conference. Naturally, Ed and I attended said event. On this day, the school was serving lunch to the parents if they came to the conferences. We got our "ticket" and went to the cafeteria after finding out that our little boy is doing 'satisfactory' in school.

Guess what they were having for lunch?? Hot dogs. All the way. Chips. Soda. WHOOPEE! You can imagine my surprise. Now, this isn't an attack on the school. Or school lunches, but it IS indicative of our "quick and easy" nation, is it not? I mean, when people have cook-outs, or bbq's - they make (drum roll, please) HOT DOGS! (nevermind the bun/hot dog ratio issue )

So now you know why there are pictures of a plate lunch starring the humble hot dog, it's supporting friends potato chips and executive producer mountain-dew-wanna-be drink made by someone (sam walton & co. ) who shall remain unnamed (aka: wally world). And the underdog "chili"!

At this not-so-neatly-tied-up blog post end, I'll bid goodnight leaving you with this.

Bon Appetit! Or, not.

Be careful little mouth what you eat. And yes, I ate the hot dog, chips and soda. The last one I'll ever willingly or knowingly eat.

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