Wednesday, 3 October 2007

What do children think?

I often comment on what a bad memory I have. I don’t recall a lot about my early years. I have recently wondered how I easily accepted that eating animals was the right way to behave. I know people go to a lot of trouble to disguise what is being eaten and here are a few examples...

- Most people refer to meat so it bears little similarity to the animal being eaten e.g fillet steak, bacon, chops, mince.... No-one wants to say the name of the animal (notice ‘veal’ instead of ‘calf’). There are exceptions e.g. lamb, chicken wings but people are so desensitised it just passes them by. *
*On a side note I watched a tv program yesterday and a couple were having a first date. The man had cooked and when the girl asked what she was eating the guy replied ‘pigs hooves’ and ‘tortoise’. The girl was horrified only to be reassured that it was only ‘pork dim sum’ and ‘chicken wings’, whereby she hungrily tucked in.... Is it just me?
- Advertisements mislead us – see the happy dairy cows tucking into the grass that most real dairy cows never see, see the happy bouncing lambs in the fields. These creatures obviously live happy and full lives.
- Money. The amount poured into governments by the meat and dairy industries reminds me of the tobacco industries some years ago. We pay you, you promote us. Telling everyone something is good for us doesn’t make it so.

So back to my point. When did I discover that what was on my plate was a piece of rotting animal corpse? The answer is I have no idea. Have I always loved animals? Yes. I used to be a member of all sorts of charities and refused to go to the circus. I even refused to go to Spain on holiday due to the bullfighting culture. Yet all this I did whilst eating meat. I first became aware that I had a choice in my eating habits when I was around 12 and momentarily turned vegetarian, until my mum gave me a beef and tomato cup-a-soup by ‘accident’, then I somehow fell back into the routine. It’s hard trying something like that when you cannot eat with your family as they are all having beef stroganoff and you are having beans on toast. My family were big meat eaters when I was young. Every meal had meat in it or my dad wouldn’t be full. Now they are following a more healthy diet. Infact last time they visited here for a holiday both my parents lost a lot of weight and are trying to keep it off! My dad is constantly surprised when we make a vegetarian meal that is worth seconds! We’ve not seen the folks since turning vegan so keep your eyes out for my New Year posts from the UK!

I wish as a child I had more awareness of the suffering of animals for humans to gobble up their bodies without a thought, I wish I had a stronger character that had stood up for myself in many ways back then but most of all I feel sorry for the animals I ate, whose lives I took. I am truly sorry. Maybe I can make up for it a little by telling my children what the red lumps on the supermarket shelves, why we don’t have animals milk in the fridge and why we feel it is not our right to harm other beings for our selfish habits. Maybe if someone reads this blog and makes a change, making 99 less dead animals per year then my conscience will be lighter.

I believe children should have access to the truth, it’s unfair to them and to the animals to feed them food so far removed from its origin that they have no idea what they are eating. I’m sure fish fingers, sausages and beef paste would lose their appeal if the disguise was removed.

Take care of yourself and those you share the planet with x


Anonymous said...

I saw the same program as you. It was home and away right?

Jill Forrest said...

ha ha, never reveal bad sources!

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