After my summer off of blogging and all things academic, I feel like a recently viewed documentary has sparked my need to roll with where my brain is taking me. So here goes...
I recently convinced my husband to watch a documentary entitled Food Inc. with me. It wasn't so hard because as I've stated in earlier posts, he really enjoys a boring television program or movie. But I digress. In this particular documentary, they explore the food industry in its complexity and what this means to us as consumers.
Parts of this were shocking and parts were understandable. Because I think everyone should watch this and be knowledgeable of what is going on around them, I will spare most of the details and let people make their own decisions. The part that most interested me and got me thinking was the part in which they highlighted the meat industry. It showed very candidly the conditions in which meat that is produced by the three largest meat companies in the US is processed from farm to your plate and mine. It was slightly disturbing to say the least.
Now before you stop reading because you think I'm anti meat and I'm going to go all animal rights on you, go ahead and hear me out. I love meat. I think it was put on this earth to be consumed. With this said, I also feel that there is a certain humanity that should be extended our fowl or livestock to ensure that they make the best possible chicken breast, steak, or pork chop.
This is where my brain started going. I do not believe that animals' brains have the complexities of the human brain. Nor do I believe that they can understand the full range of emotions we as humans experience. However, I do believe they feel fear and I also believe that they can experience stress. When I am stressed, how does my body react? Stressful times are the times I get sick. When an animal is treated inhumanely in order to mass produce its meat, I'm sure that fear and stress take a toll on that animal’s health, thus affecting the health of the humans that consume it.
I then was equally intrigued by a farmer who was interviewed who raised grass fed cows, free range chickens, and I believe he also farmed pigs. This farmer seemed to love and even respect his animals. They were free to roam their area of a large farm. They were fed diets that were necessary for optimum health. This farmer did slaughter his animals, but he did it in a way in which they did not suffer. I feel like an animal that lives its life in the best possible environment is going to be the healthiest meat to put in my own body. So in layman’s terms: Happy animals produce healthier meat.
I am going to make every effort to buy grass fed beef, free range chickens and their eggs, and pork that is raised free to roam. I realize this may be a little more expensive than the average package of chicken at my grocery store. I truly feel like the more people that choose to make this change, the more likely it is to become more affordable.
I have learned a lot lately about what is best to put in my body. I love reading about it and I love talking with others about it. I would advise anyone to take the time to watch this movie. It'll change the way you look at your dinner.