I love me a good piece of medium-rare cooked steak. Filet Mignon being my favourite. This breaking news may not make the front page of the Sunday paper, but it may make some people gasp in horror. Aren’t I meant to be some kind of eco-conscious citizen? Like a hippy you know… and doesn’t that equate to being a vegan?
Ah people, such stereotypes amuse me. You know something else, I also don’t have dreadlocks, sport tie-dye shirts or have hairy armpits. Go figure. I’m just like 80% of the rest of the population and eat meat (Note: this statistic was pulled from thin air and merely reflects my observations of the world around me).
The point is, I’m here to relate to the many billions out there who rely on meat as a significant transporter of vital nutrients and protein into their bodies. By banishing the thought of eating meat and writing it off as an unnatural, unhealthy and inhumane habit of man, is not only disregarding the evidence of the scientific community and our ancestral biology, it’s dividing communities and is detrimental to our cause of finding ways to sustainably feed the world. Health, ethics, the damn collapse of humanity, it all gets thrown into these arguments and it’s bloody tiring hearing our voice-boxes recycling the same debates over and over.
Now, before you write me off as a one-sided, narrow minded, animal killing, plant-hating creature, hear me out. I love plants and I love animals. I equally love all people, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, a Kiwi or an Eskimo. We need to all understand though that in order for there to be life, there must be death. The very plants we all rely on for our food actually rely on their own predecessors dying and returning their organic matter to the earth, along with the bugs, insects and a host of other decaying animals, in order to be recycled back into the soil for future life to thrive. It’s like cannibalism in nature! This is part of the circle of life. We must be comfortable with this idea of death in order to appreciate life itself. If we fear death, than we are prisoners to this fear and we cannot live freely in our life today.
In saying all this, it does not mean that I advocate animal cruelty in any shape, way or form. I do not stand for animal poaching, animal cruelty, or the killing of animals for entertainment. A certain level of respect needs to be extended between man and animal in order for us to live at peace with this world. To be so against those who choose to eat meat on the basis of animal cruelty is to ignore the fact that it can be done humanely and well within the boundaries of human nature. Traditional cultures of this world got this. As did the Avatars. Why can’t we?!
What we’ve lost over the years is the experience of living side by side with nature. We live in vacuum sealed world will little to do with the raising and slaughtering of animals. It’s easy to be ignorant to the unethical practices that are unfortunately, all to common in the meat production industry, or likewise, to preach from the sidelines about the disrespectful nature of this cycle when you yourself are not exposed to such a way life. Take for example, the indigenous Aborigines of Australia. They have a deep and profound respect for the land. Sure, they kill animals for food. I’ll go as far to say they are willing to kill to protect their own people. They do not, however, kill for without necessity. They live side by side with these creatures and understand the nature of the game.
Many of us in modern society can go through life without so much of a hint of such an experience. We do not understand what’s its like to live in fear of an animal attack, or to be without access to convenient food that’s neatly packaged on a supermarket shelf and accessible 24/7. We are fortunate that we do not have to consider whether our next meal will come today or tomorrow. We are fortunate that we have the privilege of not having to look at anything that moves as being a potential food source.
Now we can argue until the cows come home (pun intended) as to whether man was born an omnivore or a herbivore. The funny thing about man is that we often gravitate towards information that supports our personal preferences; information that justifies our behaviours. Meat-eaters will find ways to justify their eating habits as will vegans look for ways to support their stance. It’s virtually impossible for us to have an unbiased view on the world. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one folks. We are fundamentally flawed. That’s what makes us human… not God. Period. My question is, why do we even need to argue about these things in the first place? Why can’t we all just get along? Why don’t we focus our attention and energy onto other more productive matters, like creating a sustainable food system for the future? Will someone think of the children?!
Whilst my personal preference on the matter and what works for me is rather clear, I do not, however, believe in the one-diet-fits all mantra. There are things like genetics, culture, religion, food intolerances, health conditions and a host of other variables that come into play here that can determine why one way of eating may be better for you than for me. I do believe that a vegetarian can live a long and healthy life as I also believe an omnivore can live a long and healthy life. What’s important is that you are providing your body with all the essential nutrients it requires however you go about achieving this and reduce your consumption of toxins and processed food. So yes, education is key to understanding how some of our modern food products are in fact detrimental to our health and being able to identify when your body is lacking in certain nutrients and making dietary or lifestyle adjustment as needed. As to what’s optimal for health and longevity, I’ll leave that to the scientific community to continue to squabble over. I just look at my grandparents and see them all living beyond the age of 80, and still going strong, and think, well, why can’t I?
Anyway, I’ve drifted waaaaay off topic here. So left field in fact that I missed 3rd base completely and have probably gone out of bounds. No offense intended to anyone by the way. The initial point I wanted to make is that as an omnivore, we can make ethical choices surrounding what and how we eat our meat which promotes health between you and the environment. So put down those pitch folks please, and grab a cup of chamomile to calm those nerves. I come in peace.
I will now explain why it’s important we understand the bigger picture and why we should consider how we source our food as meat eaters.
Click here to READ ON….
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