Thursday, November 8, 2007

Afternoon Delight

Hey folks,

You might get two updates today, as I'm doing the first in the afternoon and you never know what work will hold.

Its been a few days yet again. I meant to post last night, but I had gone out to Open Mic night with some friends down to the Pub. As always, we had a great time. Tricia was out for the first time in a long time, so it was fantastic to see her, and several others were also out, which made the night that much more enjoyable, and they ate wings while I watched longingly. lol. just kidding - I find myself less and less attracted to meat - holding reservations only about having given up fish and chicken - and from some recent reading on how chickens are raised, I'm not 100% sure I want to go back to eating them either. And as for fish - as many of you know, I'm an Aquatic Resources Major, and thus know all about the terrible practices that revolve around fish farming and bioaccumulation of mercury in salmon, etc. It seems, when it comes to meat and animal products (eggs, milk, etc) I can't escape unethical practices unless I go and hunt it myself.

Which brings up some ideas (this idea just dawned on me, so bear with me as we figure it out together). In my Humans and the Environment class we've been discussing protected areas, conservation areas, etc. On top of this, looking at the different classifications and allowable human impact in some of these areas. Things like Integrated Resources Management, the elimination of clearcutting and the overall mawy of Natural Resources, for all of its foibles in the past, and like any ministry, has its flaws, really holds some of the most ethical practices when it comes to animal and plantlife. With a primary focus on sustainable management and the protection of species in their natural habitats, as opposed to zoos and arboretums, it is a model that works out so much better than our established agriculture practices.

This is all brought up because of the false idea that to be organic is to be ethical. Organic Farms all over the place are still cramming in more animals, keeping them in unnatural conditions (keeping thousands of chickens in close quarters, who never see the light of day and go mad)(thanks to Vegetarian Organic Blog and The Arcata Eye). Often, these large corporations who were until very recently producing standard animal products, have done the bare minimum to be considered 'organic' while missing the point entirely. The whole idea of being organic isn't just having hormone and antibiotic free eggs at any cost. The standards of organic should grow beyond, taking in elements of animal rights and natural processes, such as allowing hens to raise their own chicks, not keeping them in incubators. I don't know about anyone else, but I think I'd be a little screwed up too if I never met my mother and was kept under heat lamps all the time.
In short, we should all start demanding that farming practices not only become organic, but also apply a strict code of ethics on how animals can be treated. If I may rant on about cows and milk again (I know I do this nearly every day - but that's how much it irks me) Cows being injected with hormones and being fed genetically engineered feeds in order to increase milk production - initial studies by Monsanto (not a very reputable company) said it had no adverse effects on humans, but what about the cows? They can produce up to 15% more milk, but the cow is the same size. To me, it seems like really having to pee, then drinking an extra litre of water. It would be painful and uncomfortable. Why can't we allow these animals, who deserve the same amount of rights that we do, be natural and coexist without being exploited?

Anyway, that is my rant and moral dilemma for the day. On to other news, I just had my 2nd meeting with Amira, and am on day 20 of this 21-day challenge. Officially one more day of vegetarianism before I'm allowed to go back to my carniverous ways. However, I'm not sure I'll be going back to those ways. This whole experience has been so great, and so much has happened in these three weeks that I feel it would be unfair, both to my readers and to myself to just jump ship on the vegetarianism and healthier lifestyle and go back to the way I used to be. I also consider the fact that my body has now adjusted to this kind of lifestyle and food structure, and to go back would probably be extremely painful on my digestive tract.

My 2nd Article for the Xavarian Weekly is published, where I deal with the trials and tribulations of grocery shopping as a vegetarian. I would suggest picking up a copy and giving it a read. People seem to really be enjoying the articles, which again makes me happy. It feels like this decision is not only bettering myself but also helping others and bringing to light our connections with food and how it can impact our daily lives.

Well that's about it from me for this session. Perhaps I'll have something more this evening after work. We'll see what the Lumber Industry has to say about things

Cheers all

No comments: