As part of my Whole Living exploration I decided that it was important for me to learn about where our food comes from. After all, I’m no longer thinking of myself but the health of my family. I decided to dive right into the topic by reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. WOW is all I can really say so far. I thought I knew what factory farming is but am quickly learning that I only know the basics or what society wants me to know about it. Eating Animals is an easy read that talks about the facts on all sides. You can see more about it in my Resources page.
Learning about factory farming is difficult. There are a few ways to view it. One way is the quality of food that is being manufactured, and the second is the way the animals are being treated. Either way it makes me want to never eat meat or eggs again. But is this something realistic I can do? That is where the internal battle begins. I can fix the quality of food part and only eat organic. Even on organic farms the animals aren’t necessarily being treated any better. I guess this just makes my challenge #2 all the more important for us.
This is a hard topic that I will continue to explore and talk about. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating chicken and love a good juicy burger once in a while. Unfortunately, learning about what is put into the meat and how the animals are raised and slaughtered has changed my way of thinking of how I want my family and myself to eat. The hard part is making that change.
If you are the slightest bit interested in learning where your meat and eggs come from I highly recommend this book. It is not one-sided nor does it try to influence you one way or the other. It simply talks facts, truth and reality.
99% of all land animals eaten or used to produce dairy and eggs in the United States are factory farmed. – Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Bycatch- refers to sea creatures caught by “accident” while fishing for the sea food meant to be caught. Example: 145 other species are regularly killed while fishing for tuna. – Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
So the next time we want sushi for dinner we should consider the hundreds of other sea animals that were killed for us to fulfill our want.
It requires 40 calories of fossil fuel – in the form of land use, chemical fertilizers (largely petroleum-based), pesticides, machinery, transport, drugs, water, and so on – to produce 1 calorie of beef. At the rate we’re going-we currently raise 60 billion animals each year for food, 10 for every one of us on the planet- we will need to double meat production by the year 2050 just to sustain current consumption levels. Our current consumption of animals is simply not sustainable: It requires more land than exists and taxes the earth’s resources beyond what’s available. To feed our consumption and absorb our waste requires 1.3 planet Earths to accommodate it. Our planet needs 1 year and 4 months to regenerate the resources we’re gobbling up each year. – Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman