Well, I just got done watching the documentary called “Cowspiracy”. It’s on Netflix if you would like to see it.
After watching it and from previous research, I know that factory farming animals creates a TON of greenhouses gases and does a ton of damage to the planet. Not only do we have to grow all the grain for them and feed them, but they also destroy land and create huge amounts of methane. All these facts are facts, there is no arguing them. All these facts include the production of eggs and dairy products as well.
Obviously we need to cut our meat consumption, I understand that. Justin and I already do that, not because we don’t like raising animals for meat or we were worried about the environment, we simply can’t afford it. I get absolutely no self-righteous feeling from not eating meat. It’s also obvious that hunting is not a viable option since there are not enough deer to feed everyone. I know we all think deer are rampant pests, but there aren’t enough to feed everyone, every year, forever.
That being said, we know agriculture is doing significant damage to the planet through industrial farming of crops. Not nearly as much as animals, but still a large amount. (P.S. I don’t agree that the animal figures included farming crops for the animals, I feel like they should be separated, but I understand why they were set up that way)
So where do we go from here?
Do we all become vegetarians and vegans and quit eating meat, dairy and eggs? A lot of people will say that it’s not possible to be healthy with those lifestyles, but it is. It’s been proven medically, scientifically and all that jazz, you can be vegan and be healthy IF YOU PAY ATTENTION to nutrition. You can’t be Vegan and only eat potato chips, it doesn’t work
The “Cowspiracy” documentary would have you believe that backyard farming with any animals or animal byproducts (manure) is not sustainable. And they may be right. Buying grain from the store to feed your animals is not sustainable. Of course all these documentaries would have us believe that we must change this instant or the world will end. Things are gonna get worse on this planet before they get better, but you can’t ask the entire planet to change their whole lifestyle and diet in 10 years. It’s NOT going to happen. I could show this video to 1000 people and of those 1000, I can guarantee that less than 100 will make a significant change in their diet. And less than 25 will give up meat and animal products because of it. It’s not that simple.
I believe the homesteading and backyard farming movements are doing good things. When animals are kept in a small scale and managed properly, their waste products don’t end up in the river and they aren’t overpopulated and shoved into a tiny barn to be fed antibiotics until they die. A lot of homesteaders take great pride in taking care of their animals and providing them with good lives. Now if we could find a way to produce their feed (barley sprouts are popular right now) without a ton of input, that would be great. If animals were totally free-ranged once, it can be done again. Especially with smaller animals like poultry.
Vegan “Compassion” and Killing Animals
A lot of people become vegetarian or vegan because they believe it is more “compassionate” toward animals. However noble this makes you feel, it’s a load of crap.
Plants can obviously feel pain and react to it as well. (See the link below)
Every living creature on this planet reacts to damage. The only reason no one cares about plants is because they don’t react quickly and they don’t have a brain. This is an obvious display of our range of compassion. We only care about it’s feelings if we can see, hear or experience something similar to our own experiences. In many ways, plants are better than animals. Many plants will sense attacks and release hormones or chemicals to warn other plants, thereby sacrificing themselves for the entire forest. Plants bleed (sap), plants send electric signals (like a nervous system) and plants communicate on a much more advanced level. For instance, scientists have found that plants, such as trees, will connect roots with other trees to receive signals. Therefore, when one tree a mile away gets attacked by something, the other side of the forest knows LONG before the animals or the people do. This is pretty advanced stuff that no one seems to care about when they talk about compassion.
Eating meat at the current rate is not sustainable, they are totally right. However, I don’t think going Vegan is the answer. Industrial agriculture still kicks out a ton of pollution and organics are quickly being covered in more and more chemicals as people buy into the USDA. However, growing your own food and cutting your meat consumption is a good idea.
Justin and I are searching for ways to make our plants and animals support one another. We are trying to create a tiny oasis of sustainability. It’s going to be a long, tough journey and we’re going to make mistakes, but we’re going to try. I believe we are doing something worth doing. We have cut down our meat consumption to fit our financial needs, but we will continue it past the point of need most likely. I grew up in a house where you ate a large amount of meat at every meal. To not have meat every meal meant someone hadn’t gone grocery shopping. Now Justin and I eat meat only at dinner. Only recently we starting eating deli meats for lunch because 2lbs of meat last us over 2 weeks worth of lunches.
You know, maybe this is the thing. We’re working really hard to make this work and to be sustainable, at least, that’s the ultimate goal. But it seems like just when something really good gets a foothold, something comes along to say it’s worthless and that it won’t ever reach the ultimate goal. Well, here’s the thing, we’re taking steps to make the world better today and in the future, at least we’re doing something. It’s going to take generations to reverse the damage people have done to this planet.
I guess I just want some credit for doing my best. Justin and I cannot afford to be vegetarian or vegan, especially with organics. And during the winter I don’t want to eat strawberries that have travelled 5000 miles when I could buy a 1/2 hog and only have it travel 25 miles. That may not be the most sustainable thought on the planet, but I’m trying. I’m doing what I can with what I have and I think that’s important. Instead of telling the people trying to make a change that they are wrong, give them some credit and keep attempting to improve. That kind of change doesn’t happen overnight.
What are your thoughts?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Be respectful of course, but I would like to know how you feel about it. Should we all go vegan? Is backyard farming the answer? What’s the best course of action? It’s tough to answer and I can really see no clear, realistic path to take besides to try my best and keep working toward my goals.
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