A day or so after I launched The Kin Project, I was chatting to friends about the first challenge, Eat Less Face, and one of them said,
"I always think I should watch Cowspiracy but don't because I know it would make me want to be vegan and I can't be arsed.”
Which pretty much summed up exactly how I felt about eating meat before starting The Kin Project. I really, really like food - all food. My food philosophy has always been "Everything in moderation." I've eaten meat my entire life. And I mean, I KNEW that most of the meat I was eating came from very unsavory origins. We all know - it comes from animals bred, raised in abysmal conditions, and killed just for us to eat them. We don’t really need persuasive, horrifying documentaries to drive the point home because it’s completely flipping obvious.
But I've always chosen to ignore this knowledge. Admitting that I know the gross realities of the meat industry would force me to change my habits, which seems like a massive hassle, so I just didn't admit it to myself.
And then my kids put me on the spot and I failed to come up with answers that satisfied me - let alone them. Why do we eat meat if animals are literally tortured for us to do so? It really gave me food for thought (sorry, couldn’t help that) and I started looking into the other consequences of eating meat.
The more I read and watched on the topic, the more completely insane it seems that we do this. It's horrible for the planet, for our health, and obviously for the 56 billion animals that are slaughtered each year. I mean, 56 BILLION. That's ludicrous.
So how can we all KNOW what goes on and yet just adjust our blindfolds and munch through another burger? I think my friend was right about one of the reasons* - it’s because we can’t be arsed. If we admit to ourselves that we’re really not OK with how meat ends up on our plate, we’re going to have to do a pretty extensive overhaul of our eating habits. That’s daunting, to say the least. It’s a big change, and most of us aren't even any good with teeny little changes.
But eating meat as we currently do is just a shitty, shitty habit. I’m saying that as someone who ate spaghetti bolognese made with budget ground meat of mysterious origins the night before the Eat Less Face started. Even if we can’t be arsed to change this rotten habit completely, taking one little step towards changing it is far better than nothing.
I'm not saying eat NO meat because people get really up in arms about that**. But at the very least, you should eat a lot less of it (for the sake of your health) and you should know where it comes from. Ensure that it's high quality, humanely-raised meat (for the sake of the animals and the planet).
Just eat less face. Please.
Watch: Start with this short six minute film taken from Samsara - it features no animal violence/slaughter but is incredibly effective in making its point about our consumption habits. Then watch Forks Over Knives to learn what eating meat does to your body, Cowspiracy to learn what it does to the environment, and Earthlings to learn about what the animals endure. This last one is brutal. The style or narration of each film might not be to your taste, but I think the information within them is worth it.
*I'll write about the other reason people continue to eat things without knowing what's really in it in my next post.
**This quote came to mind when writing that line, no idea why...
"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer