Chickens living in overcrowded conditions (photo PETA)
In 2009, I was working as a substitute teacher and therefore had the summer off. I was fairly new to the North County San Diego area and hadn’t met any friends. My family and I lived about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean, so my kids (ages 12 and 10 at the time) and their friends would go to the beach a few times a week. My other activity was binge watching Netflix, which was new to me.
I enjoy documentaries and starting watching ones about the American food supply; how livestock is raised and treated, how the livestock becomes food (butchering, etc.), and how crops are grown-fertilizers, insecticides, GMO seeds, etc. Which got me really thinking!
I have always been a huge animal lover, and these documentaries disgusted me! I wondered why are some animals treated like family, while others are not? Why is it OK for a cow the live in its own feces, but if we did that to a dog, we would be arrested for animal abuse. Why is it OK to eat certain animals to be eaten, but not others? Doesn’t a chicken want to live just as much as a cat?
The following is a very disturbing video from a Dairy farm. It is just one example of the millions of videos from across our country that shows abuse from factory farms. I still can’t watch it without tears in my eyes. This is not OK with me!
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I made the decision, that I would no longer consume meat. Honestly, the transition was very easy. I have never missed eating meat, but there have been some challenges.
One of the most difficult things in the last eight years has been cooking meals for both myself and my carnivorous family. I often will make 2 versions of the same thing-one with meat and 1 without. Another challenge was eating out. Restaurants are becoming more vegetarian friendly and I have found that chefs are more than willing to whip up something special if you just ask. I also have begun to eat a little bit of fish, so I have more variety when I eat out.
This blog will discuss these challenges, give some recipes that I enjoy and great vegetarian food I have found at our local restaurants. Hope you enjoy it!
Photo from a NC dairy farm (photo PETA)