|"Cali-Sliders" by Healthy Happy Life|
Meat-eaters find it easy to pick apart our reasons not to eat meat, even saying inane things like "how do you know carrots don't scream?" Or citing biblical references or simply stating it's what's always been done, so must be fine. These arguments will not be accepted. The winning essays will be published in their esteemed magazine for all the country to read. The challenge to defend a broken, horrible industry full of lies and misinformation which is causing not only massive pollution for communities around meat farms, but also a major contributor to global warming- how in the heck can you say that is ethical? By not allowing any criticism of vegans, vegetarians or anyone who (only) sometimes eats meat, but tries to limit their intake due to ethical and/or health reasons- it is much harder. I have sympathy for people who choose not to become completely meat-free as it is not easy feeling embarrassed at dinner parties when the main is always a huge dead animal, feeling less than spoilt for choice in most restaurants, finding it less than convenient to find non-meat options in a nearby supermarket or convenience store. There was a great article by a New York times writer who toured the Meat industry cities around America: Meatless in the Midwest - a tale of survival.
However, ethically, as parents, how can you defend lying to your kids by not pointing out that you are serving them an animal that had to be killed for their burger, hot dog or fried chicken. Isn't it easier instead be honest with your kids about what you eat by serving veggie dogs, veggie burgers and a healthy diet of veggie that perhaps you and your kids can enjoy growing together. We teach our kids to eat vegetables to be healthy because we love them, so how can serving dead animals that have dubious nutritional value have any place at a loving family's table? If your argument is getting a healthy diet with enough protein, vegetables and minerals- it is very clear that a meat based diet is not the best choice (high fats, pesticides and hormones, fecal matter and other nasties in every bite).
There is no shame in not serving dead animals to your kids. In fact, there is a kind of freedom in being open and honest with your kids about their food. After all, no self-respecting parent would be able to look at the face of their innocent child and tell them that despite there being no necessity to do so, they enjoy choosing to kill cute piggies, baby sheep and sweet little cows for their food simply cause that's what everyone else does. That they don't care about the drinking water of communities that live around overcrowded animal farms. Then add a note that these animals aren't even allowed outside to walk around and are raised without any space to move, even mutilated so they can't move or even peck.
No innocent child (or caring human being) would accept that horrible condition of having a beef burger if given a choice between causing so much misery and having a tofu burger or veggie burger instead.
With so many non-meat options available with similar flavor and convenience without all the misery, shouldn't parents and schools at least educate them on the situation and give kids the option to choose for themself? If young people can be given honest choices, the whole infrastructure of the food industry would have to follow their humane and honest choices.