Yes, that's right, friends and neighbors (and husbands, lol!) - I, the infamous Curvy Catholic and Stooges Woman, made a major life decision over the weekend.
I'm goin' vegan!
It's one of those decisions that seems to happen in an instant, yet if you look back, it really was percolating under the surface for a while.
I broke the news to my husband and, while he's somewhat nonplused, is supportive. (The fact that I promised not to make HIM give up his Trader Joe's Mini Tacos and Turkey Meatballs helps, I think.)
Also, I promised him I wouldn't preach to him. And I won't!
However, I didn't promise I wouldn't write about it in my blog - nyuk nyuk!
So here, in a nutshell, are just a few reasons why I've made this decision, with links you can check out on your own, or not (because I'm not preaching!):
1. In spite of what our enthusiastic Weight Watchers leader keeps telling us, apparently dairy - particularly cow's milk - is not quite as good for you as the milk industry would want you to believe. Cow's milk is linked to all sorts of health problems in human beings - for example, chronic sinus and ear infections. (Link for you to check out, if you want to: http://www.all-creatures.org/aip/nl-15sep2003-milk.html)
2. Not only that, but the poor critters themselves don't seem to lead particularly happy lives. Now to be honest, I'm not 100% opposed, in principle, to eating meat or using animal products. If the animals in question are treated humanely and euthanized in a painless way, then I think it becomes more of a philosophical issue, rather than a humane one. The Compassionate Carnivore makes a good case for humanely raising meat.
3. But you know, even from a humane standpoint - which IMHO all Christians should have - it's hard to deny that animals kept in "factory farms" and killed in slaughterhouses are not being treated as humanely as they could be. And that, if there were less of a demand for meat products in general, then, naturally, ipso facto, ergo sum - fewer animals would suffer these abuses. Right? (Link to check out: http://farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/)
4. I know there's a tendency to stereotype vegans and animal rights activists as "liberals", so I thought I'd see if there were any good conservative reasons for opposing factory farming - and I found one! Did you know that one of the biggest employers of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is - you guessed it - the meat industry! Particularly in slaughterhouses. (Link to check out: http://www.manataka.org/page1434.html)
It's a cliche to say that "illegal immigrants do jobs that Americans don't want to do", and with the economy tanking, I seriously doubt that's going to be true anymore, if it ever was. But boy, I don't know about you, but even if I weren't a vegan, I don't think I'd be too thrilled about having a job where I spent the whole day killing animals who didn't want to die. Even if you were killing them as humanely as possible - like in a vet's office or an animal shelter - there's gotta be some kind of toll on your spirit.
So even from a right-wing, humans-first viewpoint, there's a case to be made against killing animals for food - or at least, against the factory-farm-to-slaughterhouse routine.
Now I know that there's sometimes a disconnect between vegans, who tend to congregate on the "left", and pro-lifers, who tend to be on the "right". But you know what? I think there's common ground.
If we truly believe that all life is sacred, that all creatures are God's creatures, then we must treat EVERY life - human and animal - with as much respect and dignity as we possibly can.
That includes unborn human beings, floating peacefully in their mothers' wombs, blissfully unaware that they are about to be torn, limb from limb, and discarded as "medical waste".
That includes just-born baby male calves, blissfully unaware that they are about to be torn away from their mothers' sides and turned into veal, or thrown into a ditch and shot.
It includes disabled human beings whose relatives would just love to have them "humanely euthanized" so they can collect their inheritance.
It includes a holding pen full of pigs, each one just as bright and friendly as your favorite pet dog, waiting to be turned into pork chops.
It includes every chicken, every cow, every goat, every turkey and yes, every human being - no matter how unloveable they might be or how "convenient" their deaths would be for someone else.
That's it. That's my reasons. And if I come up with any more - or if you post any really good arguments to the contrary in the "comments" section - I promise to deal with them next week.
(P.S. - weight loss this week - 0.8 pounds! yay!! Also, some sad news - "It Figures", the Curves-alternative I joined a couple of months ago, went out of business. Their website is down, but I encouraged them to consider retooling it as an "online personal trainer" site; so I'll keep the link over there on the right, and if it reopens and/or changes, I'll let you know. Thanks, Kathy, Danielle & Tommi, for your help getting/keeping me fit!)