Thursday, December 13, 2007

We’re all meat…

“Eggs are meat.”

What I didn’t realize when I said that this morning, in front of a few colleagues in marketing, was how few people understood this.

“Surely, they must fall under some different category,” I was told.

“They’re dead unborn chickens,” I replied. “Chicken fetuses. What else could they be but meat?”

As odd as it seems, some people just don’t look at meat the way I do. It surprised me. I thought my perception was rather common.

But first… eggs. Wiki tells us that, “An egg is a round or oval body laid by the female of many animals, consisting of an ovum surrounded by layers of membranes and an outer casing, which acts to nourish and protect a developing embryo and its nutrient reserves. Most edible eggs, including bird eggs and turtle eggs, consist of a protective, oval eggshell, the albumen (egg white), the vitellus (egg yolk), and various thin membranes. Every part is edible, although the eggshell is generally discarded. Nutritionally, eggs are considered a good source of protein and choline.” Why are eggs a good source of protein? Because they are meat! They come from a body. They are living creatures. What the hell else could they be?

See, I look at meat as the remains of other living creatures. Chickens, cows, pigs, people, whatever… We’re killing them. We’re taking them into our bodies.

But then, someone told me, “I see us an the human kingdom and them as the animal kingdom. I don’t see any moral element to eating meat.”

No moral element? How about when the beef you’re eating is wasting most of the grain grown in the US to feed it and producing vast quantities of toxins, just so you can eat your sirloin? How about when you live in a country that can afford to eat beef while people in other countries can’t afford a glass of clean water? You bet there’s a moral element. And this moral element should be perceived with everything we do and everything we eat. If we do not look at our actions with regards to how they affect the world, how do we know if we’re living an ethical life? We don’t.

“The Buddhists have a saying,” I said and gave it to them: How much does a carrot cry? This means that every living thing has feelings and, as much as you need to eat to survive, shouldn’t you limit how much pain and suffering you cause in the world? I would add to this that the way your food is produced and shipped and packaged and prepared also has circumstances, which should also be taken into consideration.

Nobody ever said that leading an ethical life would be easy.

Which is probably why so few people are interested in living an ethical life…

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