It occurred to me when talking with my husband, that I really don't know how to commit to something whole heartily. Admittedly I was the kid in high school that could sort of half-ass things and still make good grades. I could do just enough to play sports and not be the worst on the team. DH is the complete opposite of me.
If there is anyone I could look up to, it would be him. In high school he was a multi-sport athlete, and really excellent at all three, his dedication was obvious, although even he is the first to admit it didn't always help him in the classroom. So needless to say, we were on opposite ends of the spectrum. One of us could semi-study, the other could conquer the field.
But what he did take away from all those athletic activities and holding down a job was dedication, commitment and 'stick to itness,' which are traits that, frankly I've never had. And have been a B**TC* to figure out as an adult. I'm getting better at it where school is concerned, but my health and my running....I can 'get by' with just the bare minimum, so I never feel strongly about putting out more.
Until I saw this movie called "Vegducated." I had tried once before to do the whole vegetarian thing, but I was still eating chicken and then I just totally fell off the wagon. Mostly because I did not learn how to actually cook anything that was vegetarian and I was replacing it with fast food that might just have chicken in it.
This has been an eye-opening year for me, mostly because I've come to learn a great deal about myself. I've had to learn that commitment is not the same as perfection, we can be committed to doing better everyday without expecting ourselves to be perfect 100% of the time.
I really really love animals, and watching Veducated has shown me how horrific the conditions are for not just factory farms, but family farms too, who now have to use the same practices in order to keep up with corporate backed farms. It hurts my heart that I've spent almost 29 years of my life contributing to something so cruel. Pigs for instance, have the intelligence of a 3 or 4 year old...we wouldn't do these things to a toddler, why is this acceptable for other creatures? Paul McCartney said something to the effect that if all slaughterhouses were made of glass, everyone would be a vegetarian. I think he is right. What upsets me more is the fact that I allowed myself to be ignorant, that so many of us enable the ignorance.
Even if you don't love animals as much as me, you can't ignore the fact that the meat industry causes more pollution than the transportation industry, both in emissions and what it does to drinking water and destruction of the forests!!!
Now, don't get me wrong, I get it. Hubby came from a meat and potatoes family and they cook everything with meat in it, shoot the green beans had ham in them (what happened to just eating green beans??) At the holiday party at work, I think I was the only person who supplied food that was not a starch. So, I understand that food tends to be an integral part of traditions within families and it is sacrosanct...but even if we all tried, once a week, twice a week, part-time to eat whole foods that grow out of the earth, to put a variety of colorful foods on our plate, to not eat meat, we would save lives and contribute to preserving a better future. I personally believe that I will be moving to a vegan or plant based lifestyle. I can't fathom the idea of another little moomoo ending up on my plate. Even if you won't join me totally, I hope you will consider going meat free once or twice a week.
Some would say that 'I alone can't make a difference, so why even bother.' Giving up meat for one year saves almost 100 lives, so yes, that difference is made to that cow or chicken. Others say that "they'll just kill it for someone else who still eats meat." Guess what, positive meaningful change does not happen overnight, it is slow and takes time to gestate...people were probably afraid of Henry Fords new fangled contraption, or thought that the Wright Brothers were just a couple of insane guys out to kill themselves...look at how these individuals set the ball in motion.
If we as a community take charge of our food source, eventually the market will have to change, maybe not soon, maybe not in my lifetime...but that doesn't mean I'm not going to put my best "hoof" forward.