I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and even though we lived within city limits, it didn't stop my parents from getting their country on in our roomy back yard. Basically my parents were doing the urban homesteading gig long before it was cool. I'm a by product of the 70's and I lived it in every way. Not only did we grow our own vegetables, we had fresh eggs, citrus trees, grapes and goat's milk....more
Think about this a moment.A few days ago, Russia banned imports of U.S. pork and beef because the meats may contain the feed additive ractopamine. That’s the same additive already banned in China, Taiwan and the European Union....more
The more I learned about the way meat animals are raised here in the US, the less I liked it. Upon realizing the way animals are treated - raised in close quarters with tails or beaks cut off, unable to turn around, fed a constant stream of antibiotics and growth hormones, subsisting on diets that they did not evolve to eat - I knew I couldn’t support the industrial meat production system....more
Helping the environment is just one reason for dumping animal products from your diet. But it's a big one. It may be the most powerful choice you can make to help our ailing planet. If carnivorous friends and family give you a hard time for sticking to veggies, tell them some of these surprising eco-facts about the havoc wrought by livestock....more
I stopped eating animals two months ago. Thank you, BlogHer Book Club.
So what happened?
Two months ago, I read the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, whose novel Everything is Illuminated is one of my all-time favorites. I didn’t choose to read Eating Animals because of the topic but because I loved its author and because it was a BlogHer book club selection; I honestly didn’t expect to learn anything more about the meat industry I hadn’t already read about in The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Fast Food Nation or seen in the film Food Inc. I knew how bad the conventional meat industry was. I knew that the conditions for chickens, cows, and pigs were abysmal and that raising them, as well as overfishing the oceans, was wreaking havoc on the environment.
In 2004, faced with threats of mad cow disease and outbreaks of E. coli, the USDA launched the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) with the goal of ensuring food safety. The plan is to tag every single livestock animal and keep their information and location in a searchable database, thus quickly tracing the animal's trail during an outbreak. A noble plan if not for the scads of farmers and ranchers who are vehemently against it.