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       I will start out by saying this. I am not 100% vegan. After growing up with a great great grandmother, great grandmother (who is still alive and I am 26.) a grandmother, a mom and aunt who all love to cook, and take pride in their German roots of cooking, there is no way I can be a full fledged vegan. The cakes are so freakin' awesome. If you are a vegan and you tried one of the cakes you would renounce your veganism right there. LOL. But that doesn't mean I try my hardest when I am not around them to eat vegan. Cheese is the hardest for me to give up. There isn't a vegan cheese out there that can compete with some of the real cheeses. Milk is easy. After trying vanilla almond milk it was easy to say good bye to the real thing. Things like marshmallows weren't so hard either. Morning Star and Quorn put out a lot off good meat substitutes for us and Trader Joe's has a lot of good things they put out. There is this BBQ thing they have that tastes like chicken.

        Growing up I have always had a fascination with animals. I use to get book after book about them. All my school projects, when I could, would be about them. I would get comic books too but the animal books are a mile high at my house. I can't get enough. They are always updating the information about some animals so you can't keep up with the new information coming in. The internet is good, but a good old book can't be beaten.

What Got Me To Become What I Am

       It's funny how when some people eat meat they don't really take into consideration what happens to these creators in order for them to be killed and processed and put on your plate. I know I didn't. (Yeah, I know. I am admitting it. Cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it.) My wife's mother has even told us that she rather stay ignorant to the facts. It's sad but what can you do? Her brother is a vegetarian. He was the one to get her to become one too. It's a funny story. One day when my wife was, I think, 8 or 9 they were about to sit down for dinner and have burgers. Her brother says, "Hey Erin. Do you know what your about to eat? She says, "No," and so he tells her. From that day on she has been a vegetarian. I wish it was easy to get others to become vegetarian that way. Oh well. Let the fight continue.

     I never really looked into becoming a vegan/vegetarian until I met my wife. She has been a vegetarian for 21 years now. I ate meat for about 3 years after meeting her until she got me the Vegetarian Starter Guide put out by PETA. After reading one story in there that actually brought tears to my eyes is when I became what I am. The story was about this cow that was too weak to get on to the trailer that would have taken it to the slaughter house. So the farm hands beat it and poked it with cattle prods until it just fell over, but not dead. They just roped it up and left it to die. It wasn't until a vegetarian saw it and called a vet to come and look at it. While waiting for the vet she gave it water and food. When the vet go there they determined that it was took weak to live and had to be put down. There was a picture of the cow on the page of the story tide to a steak in the ground looking frail and scarred. Never again would I eat meat or use anything that is tested on animals after that.

       People make me sick. Not all, but the ones that do things like this to animals. They treat them like they are their slaves. Put on this planet to be eaten or to entertain. When is the slaughter going to stop? When is the torture and inhumane treatment of the weak going to stop? How can you talk about compassion when the weakest are treated in this fashion? (That last sentence is from a song put out by the band Riot/Clone. I will talk about them later.) I dare some of you who read this to go onto the PETA, ALF site or google.com/images and type in animal cruelty and see what is happening to these creatures. If you still drink milk just know that a cow can not produce it unless it is pregnant, and so all milk giving cows are forced to be so just so you can have milk with your cereal. That last for only 5 or 6 years of their life until they are send to be killed. Yeah. Lets see if these farmers are willing to do that to their children if possible. Let them live to be five or six then killed so a fat guy can eat them for lunch. And all those commercials you see for the California happy cow are lies. California is one of the top leaders in farm animal cruelty along with some mid-west states in America. I know there are countries out there that are way way worse but we should be setting an example for them. Forcing them to change their laws and put more strict codes on how the animals are treated.

  Religion and being Meat Free

       My atheism didn't not effect my thinking of animals. Like I said I have always loved animals, but didn't change what I ate until I found out the truth. There are a lot of stories out there of religious people going to the vegan/vegetarian side. I wish I knew about this when I worked with a bunch of meat eating Christians that would say, "The Bible says it's OK to eat meat. Just not certain animals." If you want to read some stories here is a link to the International Vegetarian Union that has some pertaining to Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist. http://www.ivu.org/religion/. So if someone wants to pull the God card out on you just through these stories in their faces. Hopefully it will make them shut up. What I don't understand is why religious ones would want to harm what their supposed God made. If you were a god and made these creators, as beautiful as some of them are, would you want someone treating them like garbage? I wouldn't. But I guess that is when they say that God put them on this planet so we can do what we want with them. Ass-holes. 

Music and Movies

       There are a ton of bands out there I listen to that vocalize about animal rights and being vegetarian/vegan. The one band I mentioned before, Riot/Clone, has an entire album dedicated to this. It's called "Do You Want Fries With That?" The picture below is the cover for the album. I have another album entitled "About Time to go Vegan" that has 56 songs on it about being vegan, animal rights, and what is happening to animals. Another band that came out in Scotland back in the 80's is on the forefront of trying to promote veganism among the punks of the world. I would say people in general but since they are a music style that most people don't listen to it kinda narrows it down. Bands like DIRT, Crass, and A.P.P.L.E. also vocalize about the issue.

      The films I know of are good ones. Some are: Fast Food Nation, I Am An Animal, The Cove, and Meatless. You should check these out. Some are very graphic so if you have a weak stomach you might want to close you eyes during some sense. You don't want to see what you ate for dinner again.

FIN

       In conclusion, I know I will always stay what I am and what I think of animals. The rest of the world is just going to have to get over it. My family did. To me animals are our equals. There is no mountain top to be standing on and thinking you're better than they are. We need to look at what the future holds for them and us. If something is to change it needs to happen sooner than later. I see it already happening but to me it's not fast enough. Thanks for reading my random thoughts. 

 


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Comment was by Adriana on March 14, 2011 at 11:44am

Comment was by Neal on March 14, 2011 at 10:36am

Excellent post. Like Adriana, I still consume dairy products. I try only to order artisan cheese, which is where my weakness remains. I can substitute soy milk for dairy, no problem. Have not yet tried almond milk, but thinking I may have to give it a try. Eggs I use rarely, and I buy from the local farmer who is not running a factory. Expensive, but I think sustainable.

 

I find it fairly easy to not eat meat. I might have to give vegan another shot. It really is the cheese that makes it hard to do. Vegetarian is the best I have been able to do so far. =(

Comment was by Adriana on March 11, 2011 at 1:51pm

Like you, I was always crazy about animals, ever since being a little kid. I grew up in Uruguay where eating beef is a given, it was the cheapest food growing up too. Cattle there is grass fed and not tortured in feedlots but the slaughterhouses are not free of torture or mistreatment. It was hard for me to give up meat, I was so used to eat. But not being a vegetarian in the end seemed like self-betrayal, so I became one a couple of years ago. My husband feels the same way about animals, we we agreed one day and that was it: we were vegetarians.

I'm considering going vegan, milk I could give up, but I love yogurt and I adore cheese. If the dairy industry was more ethical, I would not have problems with dairy consumption, but in America it does cause me problems of conscience.

Great blog post, Neo!

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