I'm afraid I might be a bad vegan.
*WARNING* Expletive and serious aggression warning for this post. Giveaway at the end!
I've never watched Earthlings...or seen Food Inc...or even viewed Forks Over Knives. I lack the constitution to watch these films that demonstrate slaughtering and/or the monstrousness of the animal agriculture industry. I know I should watch them. Maybe someday I will, but not yet.
As a HSP (highly sensitive person), witnessing violence has always really affected me and being unrealistically empathetic, terrors overburden me for a most unusual amount of time. It's the reason I can't watch horror, war, or exceptionally depressing/disturbing movies. They just weigh too heavily on me, for too long. Most people can shrug the scenes off as "just a movie" or "it's all fake". But the feelings and memories I experience stay with me.
Which brings me to the written word. Books. One book in particular. It seems that I am able to read about the atrocities of the meat and dairy industry just okay, well kind of. I have a vivid imagination, but it's not as impactful as actually viewing real slaughterhouse footage or under-cover photos. One must know about how his/her food comes to the plate. Especially when that food is an animal whose short life was lead in utter torment only to be horrendously slaughtered for an unnecessary meal.
I don't mean to come off as bossy, unreasonable, nosy, and/or bitchy. But I'm not in the least bit sorry when I say it's our moral f*cking imperative to not choose ignorance. So read The Modern Savage and find out how sentient beings live and die to become just a piece of bacon or a slab of steak. And if you butcher your own backyard animals or keep chickens, sorry but, that's covered too. So read up people. Ignorance isn't bliss...it's becoming apathy, and it's now dangerous.
The Modern Savage by James McWilliams, with it's expansive education only briefly covers the environmental devastation caused by meat and dairy consumption. See Cowspiracy for more information on that. This book covers mostly the moral implications regarding animal consumption and how we got there. Yep, there's enough for an entire book worths on the emotional shithole that is eating animal products; omitting the health reasons and environmental reasons for going vegan.
McWilliams enlightens us to how "agricultural" animals aren't really very different from ourselves and why we see them so strikingly as food, as opposed to other animals we might view as pets. The lines are often blurred. Did you know that a pig has an average intelligence above a dog and that of a three year old human child! That's pretty f*cked up considering how we brutalize, confine, and rape them. He discusses what he calls, "the omnivore's contradiction" which is a recurring theme in the book. The omnivore's contradiction "encapsulates our aspiration to grant animals moral status and yet eat them."
What I found especially compelling and unique about this exposé was the challenges made against so-called humane slaughter, grass-fed beef, and raising your own animals for slaughter. Surely these practices are better than their factory farming counterparts, right? Maybe, not...but you'll have to read the book to really discover why. It's pretty shocking stuff.
Even though there are various animals routinely murdered for consumption, The Modern Savage expands upon mostly the three most notorious: chickens, cows, and pigs. What you'll read will absolutely break your heart. You will most definitely cry (I cried pretty much throughout most the book). You will question everything you thought you knew. You will feel like an ignorant pile of shit, yet somehow privileged to read this information that seems to have been hidden from you for so long. And finally, you will feel hot rage. Maybe even you will be angry and depressed with yourself for looking the other way for long. I know I am. So, why would you want to read this book? Because you must.
I have struggle with coming to grips with how most people could be okay with this. That they could do this. That they could watch this. That they could know this. Or even just turn their cheek to it. Or, worst of all...not know.
And what of the health of our planet? 2,500 lbs of water! Cows need about two gallons of water per day per 100 lbs. of body weight, and double that if they are lactating. Which...if they are lactating...hello, that's where the white stuff comes from. How can someone call themselves an environmentalist and be concerned about global warming yet still consume meat and dairy is beyond me. Did you know that grass-fed beef has an overall carbon footprint that's roughly 20% higher than conventional feedlot production! Yikes!
I'm so, so glad I read this book and learned more about animal agriculture. But seeing as I don't eat meat, I fear I'm not the one who needs to read it. It's hard to dismiss the facts any longer, there's really not any more excuses. Our world needs a dramatic shift in thinking. As opposed to unthinking.
You should definitely buy this book. Don't deprive yourself of this knowledge. Everyone needs to read this book. The world would be a better place for it. This is a fairly graphic book, if you haven't discovered from the excerpts. However, it was nothing a 110% bleeding heart like my sensitive self couldn't gut though.
Find it on Amazon for $17.76 hardcover or $12.99 Kindle edition, or at your brick and mortar bookstores.
Alternatively, enter to win a free copy of The Modern Savage by James McWilliams. When you're done reading it, don't hold onto it. Spread it.