Just close your eyes and imagine Andrea Martin's character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding saying that line....and then, "ahhh, that's ok. I make lamb!" That's one of my favourite movie lines, and I enjoy doing an impression of it on occasion (I stink at impressions - my accent probably sounds more Chinese than Greek).
So last night, on my way home from visiting one of my expectant couples, I had a chance to listen to CBC Radio's show Ideas. I know, I know, it seems like I'm very obsessed with CBC Radio. And I am!! I can't get enough of it. The only shows I don't enjoy are Rex Murphy's Cross-Country Check-up (yawn) and Wiretap with Jonathan Goldstein (I don't really understand what that show is supposed to be ABOUT. Can someone explain it to me?)
They were doing a segment on factory farming. I'm very well aware of factory farms, but don't think I've ever heard such a detailed account of a chicken or pigs' daily living environment on one of these massive farms. It was extremely depressing, and I was actually picturing the tiny piglets who are separated immediately from their Mother by a wire cage. I had tears in my eyes at this thought.
I'm a very emotional person, and tend to make sweeping statements or committments when I hear something that affects me. I don't always stick to my vow to make a change, but this felt like a bit of a turning point for me. I really, really don't want to eat any more meat from the grocery store or from restaurants that purchase their meat from these farms.
We are fairly good at buying locally raised meat from sustainble family farms. Unfortunately, on more occasions than I wish to admit, I'll run over to the grocery store to pick up a package of pork tenderloin or chicken breasts when I've run out of dinner ideas. Part of the problem is that it looks so good and pretty, sitting there in the styrofoam package with shiny plastic wrapped tightly around the meat. It's so far removed from the daily horror and digust that the poor animals have to endure, that the thought doesn't even enter my mind as I'm making my purchase.
But this has got to stop. NO MORE MEAT. I am perfectly capable of cooking vegetarian meals, and in fact, I actually enjoy eating these more than a hunk of meat. And we still get our local chickens from a farm outside of Eganville, and our beef from Fitzroy Beef Co-op. This stuff I can have on hand when I'm craving a chicken breast or ground beef.
It's not going to be totally easy, because I don't think my husband will join in this with me (unless I force him to listen to the Ideas show from last night), and I need to decide what to do when I'm visiting friends or family. Do I decline to eat something, warn people in advance, or just be flexible and eat meat on these occasions? Flexiblity is probably best so that I don't stress myself (or my hosts!) out too much.
Because I'm feeling very reflective today, I'd like to share this song by Matthew Barber. It's one that I usually put on when I just want to sit, stare and think about the way my life is moving. You HAVE to click on this link and listen to it, because it's just so beautiful that lyrics can't do it justice:
Where the River Bends