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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Update.

Hi all! Just your newly turned, vegan eating, yoga machine here, excited to tell you about where I am in my practice and get you caught up on how my recent movie night went.

Not so well folks. Not so well.

But first, eating. Well it is getting better, I am finding more and more things that I both like and can eat. I struggled at first with getting enough protein in my diet, but feel I have that a little more down pat these days. My headaches have finally subsided and my skin is clearing up. I think my body has somewhat adjusted to the changes that took place.

Now on to the fun part. Kidding.
( I am going to say here that I am a just a person. A person that has personal views, one that grew up in, went to school for, and now works in the agriculture industry. I don't expect anyone to agree with my personal views, but I do expect you to respect that I have them.)

Last night I had the pleasure of watching the video "Earthlings". It is a film narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and you can read more about the film here. This film claims to be the "vegan maker" so going into it, I was of course hesitant and in all honesty a bit scared. I had heard before of films like this, backed by vegans that were spreading the word about animal cruelty among other things. This film turned out to be exactly what I thought it to be. 
It was graphic, from dying animals, to slaughter houses, abuse, puppy mills, etc. it was all there. They showed the killing of whales, the processes of slaughter of cows, chickens, and pigs, among other animals. They showed rodeo animals that got hurt, they showed horse races where horses were knocked down and trampled over, they showed elephants being beaten by their circus owners. There was blood and guts, sad faces, dirty fish, puppies in gas chambers, all of it. It was everything I expected it to be. 
I want to stop here and say, I do not think that animals should be mistreated. I do not think that animals should have to undergo painful deaths. However, I also do not look at animals as our equals. I look at them as creatures that God put on this Earth for us to care for, to look after, to use, to eat. That is where the biggest difference in myself and the creators of this movie lies. 

Now I want to tell you what they didn't show, and some things they showed that I have rarely heard of happening. I have never heard of dairy farmers chaining their cows all day. From my experience, these cows are brought in twice a day, they are fed, milked, and taken care of if ill during that time. They are grazed for the largest part of the day. I have never heard of chickens being de-beaked. From the people I have talked to, whose families are in the chicken business, that just doesn't make sense. How would they pick up their food? (Also if you look closer throughout the movie, you can tell that these chickens do have their beaks.) They fail to mention all the research done by people like Temple Grandin and others who devoted their lives the figuring out the most humane ways to handle and slaughter animals. They didn't show the love that goes into taking care of a horse. The time and care given to the rodeo animals, the people behind these actions. I understand that cruelty to any living thing is wrong, but you can't just group together the bad findings of certain people and make it seem like the norm.  Yes, things like what were shown have happened and I am sure that they still do, however, it is not always the case. And more often than not most of the people handling these animals do so with the utmost care. Those animals are the way they make their living, the way they feed their families and keep clothes on their backs. There is so much more that I could say on this topic, but I am going to stop here.

Growing up, going to school for, and now working in the animal industry I have learned and witnessed many things. I have decided to believe what I see with my own eyes. To trust my own instinct and to stay as true to myself as possible during this phase of my life.

I am feeling much more confident about this experience after getting through my first two videos. I feel confident in who I am as a person, what I believe in, and the experience that lies before me. I can do it. I can make it through.

Do something today that scares you. Do one thing that makes you think.
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