Meat Eaters

I’ve been having a few heated discussions this week with vegetarians and vegans and people who just don’t eat meat. If you don’t eat meat because you don’t like the taste, then that’s fair enough although I’d think you probably just needed a bit more sun…

Anyway, there are a lot of people who’ve lately started criticizing me and my friends for eating meat. That I find extremely annoying! We’re not idiots; we’re responsible human beings. We won’t buy meat from just any crazy local; we know where our meat comes from. We know the small farmers whose lively hood depends on these sales and we know that they would never risk it all by miss treating their animals.

I know there are farmers out there who couldn’t give a crap about the wellbeing of their animals but we’re fortunate enough to have options! We get to go directly to the farms and see for ourselves. We get to make educated choices and to be perfectly honest; you can taste the difference in the meats: if the animals were under stress before being slaughtered, you can taste it! Even the types of food they eat changes the way they eventually taste.

I’m sorry if this grosses any vegetarians out but being told that I’m a murderer because I’m a carnivore is really starting to annoy me. If you’ve never seen the slaughtering procedure or never thought about the animals before they end up on your plate, then yeah, sure maybe you could be considered a careless eater but that’s not me!

I was about 4 the first time I helped slaughter a chicken and even though I felt bad for the chicken that I had gotten to know the week prior, I also saw how quick it was. When the farmers know what they are doing, it’s quite a simple procedure. Obviously I don’t go around still killing chickens but if I had to I would have no problem killing my own food. It’s not like we’d kill animals that we had no intention of eating or anything on an endangered list. We eat animals that have adapted over the years for the sole purpose of being food.

I know where my meat comes from; I know how they are treated before they are considered food and I can taste if they were tense during the slaughter process. Do any vegans think about the circumstances their corn was growing in?

It’s not just meat we’ve been getting flack for. Milk and eggs seem to have become a problem too. My milk comes from the same place as my chickens and well obviously so do my eggs. This makes it awfully simple to keep tabs on the farmers and ensure they are doing all they can to keep these animals happy. Now that I’m in Zim my milk is actually being milked by hand twice a day- lack of consistent electricity has its advantages. Chickens are free range and also have corn that’s grown on the same farm as a supplement to their diets. Again, you can taste the difference in the chickens and even the eggs have better colorations.

I understand that these diets are a life choice and all of us have the right to choose which one we believe in but don’t judge me for liking meat, because I’m doing it the responsible way. I once considered being vegetarian [vegan was just way too complicated, I don’t want to over think my food] and I ate only half of what I usually eat simply because my body didn’t want any meat substitutes. I don’t think that’s healthy at all. The reason I gave it a shot was down to sustainability. I want my children and grandchildren to have the option to choose for themselves, therefore I need to make sure that there will still be meat and animals for them to eat in the future.

The farmers I buy from depend on their farms for survival, they will not jeopardise their entire livelihood for a quick buck, and by design they are built to be sustainable. A lot of people are also following the fish trend. Instead of eating other meats, they eat only fish. Apparently the logic lies in ‘there are more fish to eat than other animals’. This is so incredibly untrue! Yes, there is a lot of fish but if a quarter of the population decide to increase their fish intakes [which is the case at the moment] it’s not sustainable. Remember that farmers have been around for decades and understand how to ensure they will still have a working farm to pass on to their children in years to come; fisherman on the other hand have never had to plan that far ahead. Now there are fish breeding farms popping up all over the place – only after several species found themselves on the extinction list. This is usually the point of the conversation where my semi-vegetarian friends say: “See we needed to create breeding plants for fish and since we’re not doing it for the land bound animals, they are sure to dissolve into extinction” I sort of like the dramatic analysis my friends conclude but they forget that people have been eating meat for centuries and if anything, the amount of sheep and cows and even chickens have just increased over the years.

They are also grossly misinformed about these ‘wonderful breeding programs’. Everyone keeps focusing on the numbers of fish bred but no one remembers to look at how healthy and edible these fish really are. When fish are bred in captivity, they have an increased level of magnesium that is poisonous to any living thing that eats it. If you eat sea food once a month, you should be fine. If you eat it once a week, you should remember to tell your doctor that when you start feeling bad, if you eat fish more than once per week, I hope you’re not eating ones from these breeding camps because magnesium-poisoning isn’t fun.

It’s actually quite predictable that a trend to prevent the extinction of one type of animal leads to the increased threat of endangering another. Oh and one of my friends threw out this low dig at everyone not eating meat: cows produce more methane (which is very bad for the environment) than any humans do. That’s a really stupid pro-meat argument because we’re increasing the amount of cows roaming around due to the meat eaters, therefore logically meat eaters are ultimately responsible for the methane created. But if that’s the case then meat-eaters are also responsible for the highly fertile excrement that comes from cows. If you’re not quite following, I’m saying that meat eaters are responsible for cows fertilising dry lands which allows farmers to plant crops. In short: meat eaters are responsible for the development of food for non-meat-eaters.

Look, I believe that we are designed to eat everything but we don’t have to eat everything. Like some berries that are poisonous or people with allergies, there are people whose stomachs and taste buds just don’t agree with meat. Mine is fine with all foods and I’m not a reckless eater, I know what goes into my food.

If you don’t eat meat, that is your business not mine but just make sure that the alternatives you’re eating aren’t harming the very things you’re trying to protect. I’m responsible for my purchasing power and I’m comfortable with my choices. Before you judge me for eating meat or drinking milk in my coffee, make sure you know where your corn comes from…

Just my opinion,

AM

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