Saturday, July 10, 2010
Barnes and Noble Splurge
Today I took the afternoon off after a crazy busy week at work. All I wanted to do was read and cook and relax so I decided to hit up Barnes and noble and get some new material. I ended up spending $75! Books are expensive. I browsed at half prices books the other day but the vegan books they had were quite old. Now that veganism is becoming more popular so many great books have come out. I'm always willing to lend out my books if anyone is interested. The Kind Diet is taken right now but I have many others and now today I got 3 more! 2 cooking and one non fiction.
I started reading Eating Animals today after watching a lecture on it last night on you tube. It seemed really informative and covered more the ethical and environmental aspects of vegetarianism whereas the other books I read covered a little bit on that but more on the health aspects. I'm only a few chapters in but I learned some new information that I thought was super interesting and wanted to share.
The animals we eat today are not that same animals that our parents and grandparents ate. I already knew this from other books but this book touched on it a little bit more. You can also learn a LOT about this in the documentary Food Inc. which is a great movie even for non-vegetarians. (My fiance really enjoyed it. He still eats meat but he is more picky about where he gets it from after watching this movie.) Animals now are factory farmed at a rate of 99%. That means when you go into a grocery store and buy your meat you can almost guarantee it came from a factory farm. On factory farms the animals are genetically modified and treated horribly. For example chickens are modified to have larger breasts because consumers prefer chicken breasts over other parts of the chicken. Their breasts grow so big so fast that they literally begin to topple over. They can take a few steps and then they fall. Up again and then they fall. Their daily growth rate has increased 400%. This combined with hundreds upon hundreds of them in an enclosed barn with little to no sunlight gives you a pretty accurate picture of daily life for an animal on a factory farm.
There used to be one kind of chicken. Now science has made it possible for 2 kinds of chickens. One that is designed to lay eggs (layers) and one that is designed for flesh (broilers). The problem with this is that when the layers lay eggs 50% of them are going to be male. The males cant lay eggs obviously and b/c of the modifications they cant be broilers either so they are killed. That means 250 million chicks a year are killed b/c they now serve no purpose. I couldn't believe this. Its probably safe to assume at this point that you know they aren't killed in kind way either. They are put through macerators- similar to a wood chipper or stuffed away in bins where they essentially suffocate. This is what factory farming is about. The animals are a product and the law allows the farms to treat them as such.
One more fact to share from the book for now and if you are further interested you can pick up (or borrow!) the book yourself. There is a place called The Farm Sanctuary. Its a place that houses 'downers' or animals that are close to death on these factory farms that the farm sanctuary have rescued. He mentions in this section that they rescued a pig from one of the factory farms. The pigs are usually killed on these farms as 250 pounds but remember they are growing at an abnormal rate because of the genetic modifications. They are essentially pig mutants. On the sanctuary farms these pigs are allowed to live out there lives past the point they would have been killed at. That means these mutations get up to 850pounds. WHAT ARE WE EATING????
To the meat eater readers: go to your local farmers market. Find a farmer there. Ask him to let you come to his farm. If he says yes and lets you then he is proud of what he is doing there- he is not factory farming! These farmers and farms DO exist but they are NOT supplying your local grocer. Lets stop supporting these factory farms and demand REAL food. The ideas in our heads of what farms look like, who the farmers are, how the animals are being treated are all lies. They are easy to believe. They are wonderful to believe. But they are so far from what is really going on.
I'm going to be diving into my recipe books later today and making some yummy stuff and will post pics and info soon!