This I Believe

Nancy - Costa Mesa, California
Entered on May 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I believe . . .

So there I was . . . in the shower on any typical morning going through my mindless routine getting to the next step of my mindless routine. Soaping up my arms, down my legs, over my stomach when there it was. It hit me as a visual flash , I can only describe it as one of those badly depicted flashes in a movie. I as there in the shower and I was also in my mind’s eye. Watching a very bad movie. All around me I could see the animals stuck in the factory farm ( for lack of a better name) situations. I could feel the pain the cows were experiencing in the painful pens they were kept in. The mounds of manure they had to endure. The frighteningly brutal death that was inescapable. I was watching the chickens getting thrown around. Their sensitive wing feathers getting broken. The same feeling we would have if we broke a bone and had to continue to walk on it. Their faces getting shoved into the searing machine and cutting off their beaks. As if our noses were being ripped from our faces, our fingernails being pulled from our fingertips. I was them, they were me. I could see and smell the ammonia the pigs were forced to inhale, scorching their lungs as they stood on wooden slats over a pool of communal feces. The fermentation of gases being belched from the cesspool was asphyxiating. Their entire lives have to be spent in this putrid situation. I immediately could rationalize that this was not what anyone imagined in the neandorthaliphic days when the woolly Mammoth was the only deal in town. It immediately rang clear as a crystal bell in my ears. “THIS HAD TO STOP” “NOW”

I knew in that moment that I was called to make other people aware of the reality that I knew was true. The truly horrific condition surrounding the animals we ingest. We claim to need their flesh to make us whole. If that is so, then we probably want to think twice or three times about the effect of putting meat into our bodies that was tortured from birth to death. Improperly fed and medicated. Improperly cared for. You might say abusively cared for. That is what you put into your body with every bite of meat. Well if you believe that is good for you then I have a bridge I want to sell you.

It occurred to me in that moment, that flash, that we possessed everything we needed to develop an alternative to meat. And that in the scheme of things, we were probably behind the ball you might say, in our evolution. Our greed and laziness unnaturally retarded our ability to evolve into a higher species. Until we, humanity, embrace all animals as valued beings, we will not go farther as a species than we are right now. Our big brains are actually shrinking. The mass production of our meat substance has introduced most of the diseases that call our lives to an end. I saw in that moment my job, my privilege, was to impact our human experience. To help the contemporary humane being, if properly informed, evolve. Choosing to do something different about their food source. Transforming the conversation about what is the acceptable way to procure the food we ingest. Transforming the experience associated with eating “meat” and altering the conversation that continues to support eating the flesh of another being.

I am truly an optimist. I believe that if people only knew and embraced the real circumstances surrounding the meat industry, they would choose an option that would positively impact our environment, their personal health and the billions of lives involved in the manufacturing of meat.

I believe that we all possess this element of compassion and thoughtfulness. That if we only knew the true impact of continuing down this particular road, we would make a 180 degree turn and never look back.