Last night I slept with ants and one very large spider. It was a surprisingly good sleep. When I woke up some of them came with me.
I've been thinking about the animal kingdom a lot lately. On Sunday T. and I were watching the Planet Earth series (Great Plains if you were wondering) and I watched a pride of lions chase and kill an elephant. It was rough, and it made me very uncomfortable. The lions were so, well animalistic.
While trying to stomach their feast the image of a family at the dinner table popped into my mind. The family was prim and proper (like all American families should be), but their faces and clothes were dripping with blood while they ripped into ambiguous animal carcasses. The images of the lions and the humans disgusted me equally. If I was an animal would I be the kind that tears into carcasses or grazes benignly on the Savannah? Would a pig suck the teat of their neighbor Sally the cow for their morning milk?
What is our responsibility as humans? Are we not a form of animals (we act like it)!
I don't know.
For the past couple of years, I've been lax about the fact that I don't eat meat. I really hate the label vegan and vegetarian (as I hate most labels), but I think I use that as an excuse to flex my position on the food chain. When I was younger I ate a ton of cereal and milk, but besides that on the whole I avoided animal products.
Alas, these days every once in a while I'll steal a bite of meat sauce and I will never (ever) turn down sea food. While some things I completely avoid (gelatin products) I will eat an entire cheese pizza and don't get me started with eggs! In theory eggs disgust me, but in taste and armed with the knowledge of their nutrition perks I can barely resist. I'm almost even half convinced to eat turkey at holiday meals (almost).
In my opinion we've gotten to a place where we can subsist on foods that are not animal based. The reason I stopped eating meat initially and the reason I mostly don't eat meat today is not because I'm heavy into animal rights. It was all about business.
Consuming animals and animal byproducts is a very dirty business. I'm not going to go into the specifics, because I'm not in the mood to preach, but trust me it's wasteful and polluting. I love meat. I love the taste of it and I'd love to eat a Subway meatball sub for 5 dollars. But married with the fact that it's cruel to animals (I didn't say I didn't care, I just said I wasn't HUGE about it), it's awful for the environment, it's bad for my health, and NOW with the image of those lions in my head I can't let myself be lax about it anymore.
I'm a pacifist and when I think of myself in those terms, I cannot imagine myself being a murderous predator, even when it comes to my dinner. I would probably die if I got stranded in the wild before I tore into a zebra. I'd like to think of myself as a human version of a Giraffe, but shorter and with a lot smaller tongue just munching away on leaves. Maybe not a giraffe, but you get the picture...
I just need to bite the bullet and get serious about my ideals. Even the ones that involve forgoing sweet delicious dairy. Well, you know what? I can eat my mini wheats with soy milk. Now, let's not jump to any labeling conclusions, but we all know what's going on. This weekend I fondly bid adieu to a few old friends.
I know I'm going to catch a lot of flack for this.