I have come across this site a few times (click on “Turkeys and Sheep” to view) and I like it because it talks about all different animals we wouldn’t usually associate with factory farming. This link is specifically to the page on turkeys, because I thought it relevant for the holidays. However, there are a lot of different pages, another interesting one being the page on sheep. A lot of the stuff the page says is pretty harsh, but I agree with it and I think it suits the harshness of factory farming. That said, I know it’s very hard to make a sudden change in diet or lifestyle and I don’t think it’ll happen that everyone reading this will have a vegetarian Christmas dinner. I just know that as soon as we give more thought to that dinner, it will come to mean more. Maybe eventually it will become part of our mindset to think about how our choices affect the environment, especially where we least expect it. I don’t like the site because it’s harsh or scathing, I like it because it makes us think and gets to the heart of the problem for me: just how unnatural and forceful it is to treat animals like we do. Sheep, pigs, turkeys or cows are treated in a way that is both cruel and opposes the natural design of their bodies to force a productivity. What makes these animals different from a pet dog or cat? They are being produced to feed the world and therefore must be killed, but that doesn’t mean their lives are inherently less valuable or less worthy of our compassion. In fact, for me, the very purpose these animals serve to help us as a people makes them all the more worthy of our attention and care. That’s why I don’t sit down at Christmas to eat turkey, but instead to eat vegetables or eggs from a friend’s farm, or wild-caught salmon. I am not opposed to the idea of eating animals, I am opposed to the idea of eating animals that have suffered unnecessarily and not given the compassion they deserve. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, we give thanks for all the beautiful food we have to eat. For me, the best way to give thanks to the turkey, who has been forced to give its life for us, is to say no thanks. No thanks to cruelty. No thanks to immorality. I prefer turkeys who live in the wild, not in the harsh buildings we put them in. I prefer food from an animal whose life was given the proper attention and care. No thanks.
Thanks for your thoughtful post, Simon. Its really nice to hear you acknowledge how challenging this information can be. I like how you focus on gaining knowledge so you can make informed decisions for you, for the animal, and for the earth.
Thanks. For me, there is always more to learn and I will post things on here that I look back on and say what was I thinking? People are always telling me things I don’t know and I am not an expert at all so I think it’s important to understand that people are all at different points on their journey. A few years ago, I definitely wouldn’t have understand why anyone would be vegetarian or given the choice much thought. To me, it doesn’t make sense to deal in accusations or absolutes if the answer to the problem is based in balance and open-mindedness.