This weekend I went camping with my boyfriend and the latest addition to our family, a miniature pinscher named Mojo. The drive home from the beach was spectacular. Long awaited Oregon sunshine lit up the landscape. We drove by sheep, llamas, cows, and one near miss of a deer. The scenery had me thinking, how lucky we are to be surrounded by this rural atmosphere. Or are we, I wondered. The small farms we passed on the way home are a dyng breed, relics left behind of a time before. In today's world these farms are kept by hobbyists, rich retirees who have made it good and can afford to live the dream. To run a successful family farm in competition with factory farming and make a living of it is quite improbable; few can pull it off. The farms we observed on our way back to metropolis are the curtain that factory farming hides behind. Perhaps we are not so lucky after all.
Quite by coincidence after arriving home and settling in to watch some hulu (free television broadcast over the Internet, and completely legal), I stumbled onto a show titled "Thirty Days" produced by the director of the documentary Super Size Me. This particular episode was not to be missed starring an average country Joe whose hobbies included hunting deer and barbecuing who wanted to understand animal rights activists. He would be spending thirty days living with a family of six vegans, all PETA members. I cringed at the thought, here is someone truly curious about animal rights and they're saddling him with the extremest of the extreme. (PETA has some good ideas but I can not say I agree with any of their execution of said ideas. Tossing paint on people is hardly going to start a conversation about why fur is cruel). I cringed as the first few days were recorded, and as expected the woman in charge of this poor man did nothing but argue with him and confirm his suspicions that animal rights activists were crazies. Luckily our man eventually begins to understand the sensible side of animal rights through a visit to a beef farm and a chat with a scientist about vivisection. "She made sense," he said, "I can talk to anyone that's sensible." All and all I think the program was wonderful giving people a glimpse of animal cruelty without overwhelming them, just enough to get people curious.
I have been a vegetarian for over three years because I do not believe that meat is healthy. I do not believe that eating animals is wrong, however I do think that eating what they call meat at the supermarket is a first class ticket to disease and morally inexcusable. I do believe that in today's world eating meat in unnecessary because at this time we have more food than we have ever had before, and, economically, raising meat is an irresponsible use of our resources. I could never become a member of PETA and take part in over-the-top demonstrations that only convince the public that all meat free individuals are irrational. I can however eat the closest to a vegan diet as is possible, and as always vote with my dollar by buying cheese from the local farmers market. I think that people are scared to know what goes on behind the curtain, but if you are too scared to know the truth, shouldn't that say something about what you're eating? For completely uncensored footage of animal rights issues visit vegtv.com.