Spache the Spatula

Why I Removed Meat From My Diet…

Alrighty, I guess it’s finally time to address this!

veg

You may have noticed that since around the holidays, meat has been virtually absent from my blog, and more recently, dairy and eggs have sort of faded out as well.

That’s actually a good way to describe how this process has kind of gone… “a fading out.” It’s not like I woke up one morning and was like “Welp, never eating meat again!” This has been a long time coming—years and years. Obviously, if you look at the recipes I have on this blog, I LOVE the taste of meat. It’s freakin’ delicious. But the flavor and ease of being an omnivore is just no longer enough for me to personally overlook the guilt I feel for hurting the environment and the animals.

Just want to be clear that I am not writing this to make anyone feel guilty, or to tell you what to eat. Everyone is on their own journey, and we all make decisions in our life based on what we know at the time. I’m just explaining where I personally am at.

In high school, I was a vegetarian for a year and a half (not a vegan), but this was not for ethical reasons. It was basically a way for me to limit the foods I ate (I had a strange, and often times, unhealthy relationship with food growing up). I went through most of my life purposely turning a blind eye to what I knew were realities I wouldn’t like, and didn’t want to face.

What realities are those? The first would be the inarguable truth that eating meat is responsible for an extremely large amount of the greenhouse gases produced on Earth (figures range from 18% to 51%), and uses insane amounts of water and resources. Eliminating and even reducing your meat consumption can help the planet far more than remembering to turn off the water when you brush your teeth, or even driving an electric car.

meat and the world meat-graphicThe second reality? The treatment of the animals. This is actually something that has plagued my mind for years. I would get into ethical debates about it, and yet still continue to eat meat of all kinds.

Meat eating is completely normalized in our world and society, and that’s okay. Many people truly believe you need to eat meat in order to be healthy (not true at all…but I’m not here to argue that). Like I said, everyone is on their own journey. What isn’t okay—in my eyes—is the stark reality that most people have no idea how this industry functions. That and well…humane slaughter is a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it?

Here is a trailer from a documentary called Earthlings (I don’t think I can embed it, but please click through to watch it):

EARTHLINGS from NATIONEARTH on Vimeo.

If that was hard to watch, just know…that is just the trailer, and these are not instances of exception. Of course this video is emotionally fueled, but the clips are real, and any sort of emotional agenda doesn’t make the visuals any less true. No one likes to look at that stuff, but I personally think that anyone feeding into the industry (myself included) has an obligation to be informed as to what we are promoting.

The other thing that sort of made me make the connection is that recently there have been a lot of articles and petitions circulating on Facebook about stopping the dog meat trade because of how cruel it is—let me just say, I agree. I would NEVER eat a dog. My dog is my best friend, and I know first-hand how sweet and loving they are, and the feelings they possess. But guess what? Pigs are smarter than dogs. They have long-term memories, can understand simple language, and exhibit empathy, but we all accept that eating pigs is fine. How is this different? Dogs that are raised to be meat, and pigs that are raised to be meat are ethically the same—it’s simply that in many Western cultures we are conditioned to think of dogs as pets and pigs as food. I realize that we are inclined towards a perception that distorts our views on farm-raised animals, and we tend toward classifying certain species as “food.” But for me, this is something that I just can’t rationalize in my mind any longer.

So you may notice I’m still eating seafood. As I said, it’s a journey. Right now, I feel comfortable doing that. Anything that I know I can personally kill with my own hands, I don’t have a current issue eating. I also have not phased eggs and dairy out of my diet, completely, but it is something I’m seriously working on. “But milk and eggs don’t kill the animals?” No, not inherently, and that’s why I wouldn’t mind eating eggs if they were from my own chickens that I will someday own in my dreams, haha. But the reality of how these animals are actually treated is far, far different. If you’re interested in any further reading or watching, here’s a few documentaries that I think are eye-opening (click posters to go to respective sites):

Cowspiracy I know I’m kind of going on and on, and I don’t want to risk sounding preachy. As a food blogger with numerous meat recipes on my blog, I’m not in any position to get preachy, LOL.

Hopefully that did clear some things up, though. I love all of you, and everyone should do whatever they feel comfortable doing—I’m not here to change anyone! And I promise to continue to create delicious recipes!

   

6 Responses to “Why I Removed Meat From My Diet…”

  1. Lien — May 20, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Very happy that you are making these smart changes! Hopefully one day you’ll be vegan <3 Take it easy, don't let people discourage you, some have the mindset that it's all or nothing, but it's not! Small steps are greater than no steps at all.

    • Rachael replied: — May 20th, 2016 @ 10:27 am

      Thanks, Lien! <3 It's definitely a process. Our society is so conditioned to see meat as food that it's not just about changing behavior, it's about a complete paradigm shift of the self that only those who are ready can make.

  2. Anne — May 20, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Great post. I think many people are moving away from eating meat and animal products as they become aware of the environmental impacts, animal cruelty, and how the workers are treated. I stopped eating meat as soon as I went to college–never liked it but ate at home because my dad said I needed to. As soon as I left the house, I quit eating it! I was vegetarian for a long time but transitioned to veganism a few years ago as the guilt over dairy products just crushed me! Knowing what I know, I couldn’t continue eating any animal products. I know my choice is not for everyone, but I feel like I am at least doing my small part in making a difference (oh, and since I stopped eating dairy, my skin and digestive system are a lot better!).

    • Rachael replied: — May 20th, 2016 @ 10:33 am

      Thank you, Anne! I have a similar guilt of dairy and egg products. I no longer buy them at supermarkets, but I admit I have shared plates with people going out that contained cheese on them in the past few weeks. This is something I hope to change. I do think there is maybe a place where it’s possible for dairy and egg products to be ethical (more so eggs), but I think that can only come from owning your own animals, or knowing the owners intimately. And especially for dairy products—it would have to be a rarity, as the nutrition of the baby cow should always come first.

      I’m not sure. It’s a hard argument to even make because there really are so many alternatives out there. I purchase aged nut cheese from the store now and, honestly, I love them. It’s not “hard” to be vegan. What’s hard is reconditioning your mind to believe new things after society tells you for so long how normal and needed eating animals is.

      I watched a great Youtube lecture, yesterday that you may enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqE0gUCp0oI

  3. Rebecca — May 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I love you. This post just forces to show me how much of sister twins we are.

    • Rachael replied: — May 20th, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

      <33

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