Saturday, April 21, 2007

Meat is murder?

I’ve been getting a little more color now that I’ve been taking Iron pills and eating things rich in iron. My vegetarian friend said that when she was told she was very anemic she just ate a ton of beef jerky for a few weeks. I decided it could not hurt to try (and it could not be that bad if I got the blessing of a veggie, right?)
Even though I can’t remember the last time I actually tried to eat beef jerky, I went out and bought a few different styles and flavors. Mild, spicy, teriyaki, thin sliced, thick sliced, cubed, shredded, in the shape of a stick… you get the idea.
I was really starting to feel like a carnivore again. I always tell people that I could never be a Vegetarian after growing up in Michigan and Alaska because those are both places that most people drive trucks and those trucks have gun racks and those guns are used for shooting things that people eat. I’ve eaten my fair share of gamey tasting meats. I’ve had it all; from Moose meat in my spaghetti sauce to bear burgers to venison jerky and I can honestly say I don’t care for any of it. I’m not even the world’s biggest fan of cow, but at least with that it doesn’t have the gamey aftertaste. (Must be all of the delicious hormones?)
So here I am snacking away on this dried and salted cow thinking of how I come from a long line of hunters but I know I could never kill something unless it was a kill or be killed type scenario.
I thought of my little fury pets and their wide, fearless eyes when they look up at me and how very attached I am to each of them. I thought of all of the beautiful wild animals I’ve been *thisclose* to in my life thanks to my Alaskan upbringing and how I saw nothing but a perfect Zen peace when I looked in their eyes. And as I am chewing away on my stick of meat I am wondering why I am not a Vegetarian.
This lead me to rereading an article that was written in the paper I work for by a writer named Brendan Kiley. The article is called Urban Hunt.
When it was first described to me in a sales meeting before it came out, I have to admit, I was a little grossed out by the idea.
I thought, “OK, I know we do a lot to be on the cutting edge and all of that, but now we are killing cute fuzzy bunnies just for a story? Isn’t that just taking it a tad too far?”
I decided that I probably wasn’t going to read the article and just try to forget I ever heard about it. But then this issue came out, and my curiosity got the better of me and I had to read it. I found myself completely engrossed after the first few paragraphs.
I’ll admit that the bunny in the bathtub scene will give me nightmares, but how he described the emotions that followed, how he tied in the death of his ex-girlfriends father, some news about his mother, and how he honestly portrayed what it means to kill something made this article something that was actually really beautiful and sad and left me thinking about things for a long time when I was finished reading it.
It didn’t leave me enraged about dead bunnies like I had anticipated, it left me thinking about when I sat and watched my Grandfather die, and all of my friends I have lost over the years, and just how short and precious life is, and what it means to have the power to take the life of something, and the circle of life, and the food chain, and how it all ties together. At the end of the day, I’m really happy he wrote it because of the things it made me contemplate and what it made me remember.

As for me, I don’t know that I will ever be a vegetarian, but I do know that I won’t ever hunt for fun, or eat things that are gamey. And when I do feast on the flesh of animals I might just take a moment to thank the animal who gave his life so I could enjoy a nice Chicken Masala or a handful of Teriyaki jerky.

Meat is Murder
-The Smiths

Heifer whines could be human cries
Closer comes the screaming knife
This beautiful creature must die
This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
It's death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the calf that you carve with a smile
And the turkey you festively slice
Do you know how animals die ?

Kitchen aromas aren't very homely
It's not "comforting", cheery or kind
It's sizzling blood and the unholy stench

It's not "natural", "normal" or kind
The flesh you so fancifully fry
The meat in your mouth
As you savour the flavour

Oh ... and who hears when animals cry ?


Deb Hardman said...

Interesting article.

I'll see you soon?

Anonymous said...

It was many years of that same line of thought that finally brought me to where I am fact, I'd finally resolved to vegetarianism shortly before I conceived my son, and thereafter craved meat with such intensity and soy products became intolerable. I found out I was anemic during that time, and found the same return of color you write about when I started taking iron pills...the meat craving was just the body's way of urging you to get something it needs by the only source it knows...I guess that's why some pregnant women crave dirt (minerals) but it's unlikely to have a hefty hankering for an iron pill, if you know what I mean. I used the low carb (high meat diet) to shed those baby pounds I packed on, until I finally stalled out and couldn't lose anymore...then a series of coincidences led me to a high alkaline vegan diet...a scary cancer dream and a few views of some factory farming and animal testing videos awakened me to the incredible pain we are dishing out in order to consume something that really isn't even good for us. Meat is acidic, which leads to the environment that cancer thrives in, and cancer cannot live in an alkaline make a short story long, my chronic headaches went away within a week and I lost 15 pounds in a month. The side-effects are that my concience is finally clear where animals are concerned...because it seems to me that every chicken pig and cow as just as much right to life as our sweet kitties and bunnies...think of your animal friends and their distinct personalities and try to imagine that it applies to all life, not just some get the picture. I like that you are thinking about this. It's a good line of thought that I believe eventually leads all to the same conclusion...peace can only exist when it is meant for all beings.
reluctant vegetarian turned passionate vegan


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