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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Hypocrisy of Food.

Odd title eh? I know, but I grow tired of the outrage, hysterics and theatrics in regards to home grown food.

And yes, by “food” I am talking MEAT *gasp*

A recent conversation and a few odd FB chats are the reason for this post.

I am an Omnivore, I love my veggies and I’ll happily scarf down a medium rare steak or a rack of BBQ ribs right off the grill. I’m not ashamed of this, I don’t feel bad about it. It’s nature and I’m pretty happy with my lofty position on the food chain.

To the Vegans & Vegetarians out there…. I happily salute you & respect your choices. There are immense benefits to a proper vegetarian/vegan diet and in all honesty some of my favorite veggie dishes are recipes I got from my vegetarian friends. I don’t think your choice is wrong, unhealthy ect. ect.

You do your thing, I’ll do mine.

Anywho, on to a snippet from one of these annoying conversations.

While looking over some FB pictures of the goats, this person, we shall dub her “Lady B”, asked “Where are the two black baby goats you have pictured on FB?”

Those would be Tootsie's twin bucklings born in December who went on to "Freezer Camp". I did not need to retain a buck for future breeding purposes & neither one of them had the qualities to make them an asset as a herd sire for another herd….. So I explained that we grew them up for food and they are now in the freezer.

My Gosh!! The shock, outrage and hysterics that followed such a simple statement were ridiculous.

“How dare you?!?!”

“How could you?!!??”

“That is so cruel, disgusting and inhumane!”

“Why don’t you just BUY meat from the store?!?!“

Yaddia Yaddia Ya…you get the idea on how this conversation progressed.

The funny part of this tirade is my dear Lady B is a meat eater just like me. I’ve seen her eat meat, she’ll happily order fajitas at a Mexican restaurant & I know she loves her fish, steaks, bacon & sausage just as much as I do!!

So why did her ridiculous outburst annoy me so? Well because of the ignorant hypocrisy! If a vegan or a vegetarian wants to rage against me on this, I RESPECT that because they at least live by their convictions, they don’t consume meat. When a fellow omnivore wants to have a hissy fit though, it’s not an argument I respect, they simply look like fools in my eyes.

I tell these people to take a tour of a feed lot or slaughter house. In most cases you see stressed animals unloading from trailers, bewildered by the sounds.....the horrifying smells and the fear is immense. Conditions are generally cramped, pens are full of feces and who knows how these animals were raised.

Yep, this misery and less than ideal conditions is where your burger came from. Just because you CHOOSE not to acknowledge the process doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. By chowing down on commercially prepared meat, you fund & support those practices.

Then there is the meat quality itself. Do you know how that animal lived? What it ate? What medications it was given? No, of course you don’t….Yes there are “regulations” in place for food safety, but I have very little confidence in such regulations and acknowledge there is always room for human error. If you really want something to be outraged and disgusted about check out Pink SlimeMeat Glue **Gag!**

In contrast, lets take a look at my twin bucks that are sitting in my freezer. They played in an open, clean pen. Nursed their mother right up until the end, even though they didn’t HAVE to. They ate fresh hay, alfalfa pellets and a whole grain mixture that was whole oats, black oil sunflower seed, barley and a bit of cracked corn. No antibiotics, hormones or chemicals were used on them past their early deworming that was done 6 weeks prior to butchering. They were never packed into a trailer full of unfamiliar animals & smells…they never had to step foot on a dirty, cramped feed lot & never had to hear the sounds or smell the smells of a slaughter house.

They had a great life and only one, very brief, instant “bad” moment. This moment was one they didn’t even have time to think about. One moment they were head down, blissed out by the unexpected bucket of their favorite goodies, the next it was over. An instant, pain free, respectable demise. A good worry free, spoiled life and a quick, pain free end… I don’t see any way I could have offered them more.

Do I like this part of life? Do I enjoy it?? Of course not…… In fact I still haven’t worked up the courage to do the deed myself, but I do find this alternative a far better option.

We’ve raised meat rabbits & goats. Both make fine, healthy additions to the dinner table (or in the case of the rabbits, they were part of my Dane‘s RAW diet). I’m not ashamed of it.

In fact, my ultimate goal is to raise all of my family’s meat. Any bucklings from next year’s kid crop that are not claimed as bottle babies by 2 weeks old will be wethered and are freezer camp bound & we’re hoping to raise a few turkeys for the freezer as well......Beef is still not an option for us to raise ourselves, no room for a cow, but I do hope to go in ½ on beef or perhaps trade for some farm raised beef.

My children were not present for the processing of the animals. But they are well aware of what they eat and I tell them which animals are destined for the table well in advance. They realize and understand what animals are "pets" and which ones are not. Equally, they understand all the animals, despite their purpose are to be treated humanely.

Some think this is awful. I on the other hand refuse to raise my children in ignorance. I want them to appreciate where their food comes from. I want them to understand the work involved. I want them to understand that compassion, even for those destined for the table is essential.

So, to those who consume meat, but want to rage against my choice to raise my own. Think hard on this. Until you consume not an ounce of flesh from another living creature, your railing against me is nothing more than the highest form of hypocrisy.

On a lighter, kind of funny, but sad note…. Chatting about the chickens with another acquaintance, the topic of eggs came up. A few snippets from that one are below:

“You don’t want to consume brown eggs, they are contaminated with a bacteria that causes the shell to turn brown.”

“Those eggs are not healthy as they haven’t been pasteurized and they could have salmonella!”

“No, thank you, I only get my eggs from THE STORE!…Don’t you know the eggs from your chickens come out of their BUTT?!?!

-Really, and the eggs from the stores come from where? The egg fairy?!? Geez….

Oh and I had to inform her that eggs are not “pooped out”, the explanation of where all eggs come from grossed her out even more (How sad is it that an adult is ignorant of basic biology?!)… lol

Actual farm fresh egg facts can be found at the bottom of this blog post.

I guess I wouldn’t be so shocked at statements like the ones listed in this blog post if they came from uneducated, clueless about everything people…But these insanities are spouted from highly educated mouths and the complete detachment many have from their food supply is quite sad.

31 comments:

Pam's Pride said...

Ohhh Myyyy Goooossshhh!!! LOL!!
Meat and eggs from the STORE are the ONLY meat and eggs you should consume???? Seriously?? Sigh.... and these 'educated' people are the ones that get on local zoning boards and become politicians!! ACK!!!!

Rose's Goats said...

I love your rant! I have had exactly the same conversations and exactly the same reactions as you to those conversations. I can't believe people will willingly close their eyes to all things they don't think are "pleasant", and yet, they do it all the time. I would much rather shoot my cow in the head myself than buy some plastic wrapped wad of meat from the grocery. Yuck!

Marissa said...

I sincerely applaud this:

"I’ll happily scarf down a medium rare steak or a rack of BBQ ribs right off the grill. I’m not ashamed of this, I don’t feel bad about it."

When people find out I'm a vegetarian, nothing bothers me more for them to whine and say "Oh, I'd love to give up meat since I love animals so much. I feel bad every time I eat a steak!" Pffft. Either stop eating it or start enjoying it! Why do we have such guilt over food?!?! Life is too short!

Leigh said...

Excellent post Crystal. Very well said. Unfortunately the whole "animal rights" issue is largely emotional rather than reasonable. I agree with Marissa. We need to be confident in our food choices, not make excuses, and also respect the food choices of others.

hoosier girl said...

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Right on! I agree that we should respect the food choices of others, but I also think we should question (respectfully) others' choices, just as they should question our choices. The vast majority of America is grossly undereducated about where their food comes from, and that education won't happen without open conversation.

Violet said...

On a related note:
http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/epic-fail-photos-animal-rights-fail.jpg

I agree. I find it VERY hypocritical of anyone who will eat meat but isn't willing to kill their own.

I know plenty of people who look at me like I'm crazy for getting meat rabbits and say "Oh. I could never kill my own food."

It's ridiculous. Is there somehow less guilt by being essentially a contract killer if you buy the meat at the store and someone else kills the animal?

Emily Dixon said...

Great "rant"!

I once had an e-mail conversation with a goat owner about butchering excess bucklings. She finally stopped posting to the group and me after signing off with this priceless tidbit:

"I don't know how anyone can eat lovable goats when there are stupid cows and chickens!"

All I can say is, if stupidity is grounds for a place in the freezer, I know of some great human candidates.......

* Crystal * said...

LOL Violet!! Thanks for the link.....humanity always comes up with interesting ways to display stupidity..

Emily, I've encountered people like that as well....Not to mention I've met a loveable cow...so I perhaps I should remove beef from the menu too?

As mentioned, I think you should respect the choices of others....On the same note though, I do believe more people need to be aware of where there food comes from.

The willful ignorance of many is sad....

Oat Bucket Farm said...

Love the rant! It is sad and unfortunate that so many people are so clueless.

We have butchered chickens,rabbits and a goat. I once had two miniature horses that I was prepared to butcher if they weren't able to find homes.

My kids too know when an animal is a pet or destined for the dinner table. Once, when the dogs got hold of a laying hen and we had to finish killing her, we went ahead and butchered her out rather than waste her. We showed the kids the egg track and eggs that were in it. Since most chickens butchered here are not laying hens in their prime, it was a chance for the kids to actually see where and how the eggs form.

Christy said...

Good for you, for taking a stand Crystal! When are Americans going to wake up and realize that just because food looks all nice and clean in the grocery store it doesn't mean that the animals were ever afforded a quality life before they became food. I would much rather raise a nice goat, give it good food and loving care in exchange for a few meals than support an industry where their short life if a miserable existence.

Natalia said...

Sooo funny, I had the same problem posting to FB a friend who buys all organic and eats healthy (meat too I might add) said she would rather buy it from the store shelves than eat my home grown meats here. She has specifically told me she would not eat meat at my house. Soo funny, sometimes I will tease her with it but yes, I see it as hypocrisy. If you eat meat you should KNOW where it comes from. Not everyone has that luxury but if you choose to eat meat why not an animal that has had a happy farm raised existence? My father will not eat our animals either. Said something about naming animals and then slaughtering them being wrong. *shrugs*

Melody said...

<3

* Crystal * said...

I agree Christy! Shiney packages does not mean the animal lived a healthy life. If I could afford it, all of our meat would be home raised...not there yet, but I'm working on it!

This blog post wasn't meant as a snub to those who have no choice but mass produced meats either, so I hope it didn't come across that way. I merely put my thoughts into words in regards to those who consume meat but judge me for raising my own.....Plus I was unfriended on FB so this is me sticking my tounge out & having the last word .... lol

Oat Bucket- It's so nice your children have those lessons at a young age!

Natalia- Our twin freezer camp kids had names.."Splash" & "Evil Twin" -he earned that name BTW! If they approached me, I pet them, but otherwise didn't interact with them much past feeding & general care. All of my stock show animals had names even though I knew eventually if take them to majors & never come home with them. I do admit, I cried like a baby when my pig "Hank" was loaded on the truck after the Houston Livestock show.....grew very attached to him, but otherwise I did okay :)

petey said...

A lot of the 'highly educated' but hardly informed folks that think killing our farm raised animals for the freezer don't think it through very well. Would it be more humane to let them roam free to be eaten alive by predators, or starve to death in a bad feed year? ...maybe dying of sickness would be a better alternative. Nothing here is NOT going to die someday, these animals have a good life and a quick relatively painfree death, with purpose. It's a far healthier alternative to commercial meat and is the best for our family. Small minds/big mouths make a bad combination.

* Crystal * said...

"Small minds/big mouths make a bad combination" I love this!!! :-)

Richard said...

I love me some steaks, and im not shy in saying that i love it. It must be grilled though. Richard from Amish Stories.

Anonymous said...

What words..

Anonymous said...

As a long time reader I'm shocked by this post.

Surely you see the cruelty behind these words?
To eat an animal you've raised is kin to murder in my eyes.Worse though is the public mocking of your FB friend who was obviously trying to make you see reason.You should try a vegetarian life style for a time, do you part to preserve the life of our planet.

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you so much for posting this! I too raise goats. We have just started out and our first "freezer camp" campers were just born. However I haven't fully decided if they will go into OUR freezer or not LOL. Your blog has been the most eloquently put regarding this issue I've seen. You also, to be honest, are the first "discussion" on this topic I have seen that has not bashed any sides of this topic....Good for you!! I'm sure your words will help me decide when the boys' fate is at hand....Thanks again.

* Crystal * said...

Hi Richard! Thanks for stopping by.. I've seen your comments on Leigh's blog & have been meaning to stop by & read a bit... I'll be sure to do that this week!

Anonymous #1- Not sure what context the comment "What words.." was meant in, so I haven't a clue what words to reply with...

Anonymous #2: I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm not sorry for my blog, nor willi apologize for my actions or opinions..... Apparently you did not read my blog...... instead I imagine you skimmed through it & hopped right to calling me "cruel". So let me enlighten you. If you read the post, the FB friend was not a vegetarian "trying to make me see reason..." she was an omnivore just like me who consumed the flesh of another animal, but had a problem with me raising & consuming my own meat....Hence the blog title "The HYPOCRISY of Food".... Be a doll and at least read what I write if you want to lash out against me & pull the name calling card.

Anonymous #3- Thank you very much for your kind comment! It took a while to decide at first.....But in the end I'm happy with the choice I made. When the time comes, make the choice that you can live with best and don't worry about what others think. :-)

Michelle said...

Awesome post!!! I, too, have had way too many of these conversations.

katlupe said...

Oh goodness, what a post this is! I have to bite my tongue many times at the comments made on FB about meat eaters. I eat low carbs and that is mainly meat, dairy, eggs and salad. I believe it is the healthiest of all diets, but I don't go putting their diets down. I do not believe that vegetarian is better for the planet. No way do I fall for that propaganda. Enjoy your steak!

Evelyn said...

Crystal, I accidentally found your blog!! I love it! Thanks for this article on raising your own meat with integrity and kindness. God intended everything for our use; people who don't understand this just need to study the subject deeper and be ready to think outside the box that is politically correct. (Very hard for some) Someone said to me once, "The Truth sits quietly waiting for the right moment to be spoken." It's time. Thank you my friend!!

* Crystal * said...

LOL Katlupe..... I agree :) I used to bite my tounge, now I post blogs & get un-friended on FB :)

Hi Evelyn!!! It's been ages, I swear one of these days I'll stop by & visit again :)

Anonymous said...

Are you aware there are more humane sources of protein such as nuts & soy? I can't wrap my mibd around eating a animal you raised, no matter how you try to justify it.

Anonymous said...

Great post!! One of the most sensible, level minded post I've read regarding food choices in ages! 2 thumbs up!

Everstuff said...

I would love to copy this whole thing and post it in my blog. No one reads it but me, but I love it.

* Crystal * said...

Anonymous #1 I'm sorry if you misread my post.... I was not in any way, shape or form trying to JUSTIFY my choices... I feel no need to justify my beliefs. However, if you are more comfortable having your protein in the form of nuts & soy, by all means do so. To each his own ;)

Anonymous #2 Thanks so much for stopping by & for the compliments :)

Everstuff-Hi!! I'm really flattered!! Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to comment....

If you want to copy the post that is fine by me, I only ask that you give me credit for writing it & link back to my original post. I'm headed to your blog right now to check it out :)

amigo2be said...

Crystal, good for you! If only more people would recognize the effect on our bodies by store boughten anything! The preservatives that keep the meat from rotting on the store shelves is enough to gag me. I prefer our raised goat meat to store boughten. And though I still do have to buy store boughten meat because I LOVE my meat sometimes its hard to gag down the tastelessness of it. Good blog...go grow your own meat and proudly say you eat it...just like this dairy goat breeder!

Delight Sierra said...

Crystal, as a Vegan, I can respect your position. You fall into my "non-hypocrite" category. While I don't like the fact that my friends (goats and chickens) become your meal, at least you can say you are an honest meat eater, you raise them, and know what happens when it comes time for them to be eaten. I never really liked meat and became a strict Vegan shortly after I started my small farm. I now just rescue them, but started with the intention of raising animals for my hubby to eat. After seeing him butcher a few, that was it for me - I loved them too much, it broke my heart and I haven't touched meat since. I also seriously disagree with factory farming and the horrors those poor animals endure.
I am glad you care for your goats with love, and from reading other parts of your blog, I know you do...I am sorry they get eaten, but there could be way worse lives for them, I know, I save them from those horrible places!
you have my honest respect :)
PS - my meat eating friends also used to freak out when my hubby would serve them farm fresh chicken...I always asked them what they thought they were eating from the store...weirdos!!