Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Compromising Principles, Part I

Well, you can't fight every battle, right? You have to choose.

Recently, I decided to decrease my meat intake. Decrease is the operative word.

Because this witch looooves meat. I love it all. Except maybe for rabbit, but not because I loathe the idea of eating cute little bunnies. I mean, how do you decide that it's immoral to eat one animal but not all the others that make up your Big Mac based on fluffy cuteness? That seems to be skewed a bit. Maybe cows should consider a make-over then if they want to avoid your dinner plate.

My problem has become my growing awareness at not only the awfulness of the conditions in which animals are prepped for the grocer, but also in the gross over-consumption in which we eat them. There's no need for either the way we raise and slaughter animals--which is often cruel and unhealthy and environmentally detrimental, but also their number. And we discard them a lot of them.

But alas, I can only offer a decrease. It's really hard to give everything up in one go when you come from a culture of meat-infuse cuisine. So many Portuguese dilectables and temptations to resist. Meat is so much a part of the way I grew up, from making sausages in our house, to all the traditional food that made up our dinners. I think its best to go slow, and start with limiting my meat options to poultry and fish, but trying to go for the vegetarian options when I can. Though, I must admit, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go entirely vegetarian or even touch veganism. I will certainly try, though.

The thing is, that although I agree that current practices are cruel and unneccessary, I don't believe that meat is murder. Human beings are omnivores. Our systems were designed to eat meat. Just not the way we currently do.

Over-consumption is the problem.

I do have to concede, that after speaking to my single-working-mom sister feeding four kids, that it is a bit of a privilege to be able to choose this. She can't afford neither the time nor the money to seek out completely vegetarian options, should she even want to.

The moral of this story?

Capitalism ruins everything!