In Discussions, Discussions, Life, Style

Living cruelty-free — is it really possible or just a pipe dream?

This post from Gia made me want to re-address the issue that I touched very lightly upon a while back about the hypocrisy of eating meat.

I have no real theme throughout this post except it being a brain dump of all the things I struggle with in my life, thinking about what I do wrong, what I could do better and how hypocritical I am.

ANIMALS WHO ARE RAISED FOR CONSUMPTION

There is a big difference between treating animals like happy animals until they are slaughtered for food, and treating animals like a commodity until they are slaughtered.

A lot of grocery store beef, chicken, pork and so on, have horrible conditions for the animals until they’re slaughtered.

Chickens for instance, have their beaks cut off and pigs have their tails snipped off so that when they are in distress being cooped up together in a tight pen or coop without any room to move or roam around, they are unable to go berserk and bite/peck and attack one another out of sheer insanity.

I’d rather pay more to eat a chicken or a cow that had a long and happy life before being slaughtered.

Milk is also not exempt from this.

The treatment of dairy cows is horrific. They are producing amounts of milk that is not natural because they’re being injected with hormones and so on. I totally acknowledge this, yet I still drank milk during my pregnancy to get the calcium I needed. I stopped shortly after giving birth.

Portugal-Goats-Animal-House-Shelter


ANIMALS EAT OTHER ANIMALS

What sets us apart as humans is that we are sentient enough to realize that we don’t NEED to eat meat as omnivores and can survive as vegetarians, then it becomes a lifestyle choice, not something hardwired in us.

I do not have a problem with eating meat, and being an omnivore, although I do tend to veer more towards vegetarianism these days. I’m eating a lot less meat, I find. Animals in the Animal Kingdom eat meat and kill other animals, we are sentient beings who technically can live without meat and eat beans, but I really do enjoy the taste of meat, even if I don’t eat it all the time.

Haven’t had beef in a LONG time.

LONG-TIME TRADITION OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND FOR CONSUMPTION

Beaver pelts for hats, goose down in jackets, fur as a winter insulator for us fur-less humans. These are all things we did in the past to survive and thrive.

Is it really wrong? I struggle with this one. I think if an animal is killed for no good reason — not for meat, but purely for vanity or for ridiculous medicines where people think the animal can actually cure you with its tusk, horn, bile, or body parts, then it is not a tradition I support.

I don’t even support eating shark’s fin. I had it a few times when I was a kid and liked it very much but as I got older, we stopped that practice and now I don’t eat it out of principle, yet I really like eating foie gras, but mostly because we eat ducks, even if they are force-fed to have their livers engorged and to grow large (I struggle with that too).

I’m a hypocrite.

EVERYTHING CRUELTY-FREE? GOOD LUCK WITH THAT

Cruelty-free products are things I buy and look for, but I also know that you can’t always find everything truly cruelty-free.

Animal testing is a difficult subject for me.

On the one hand, it advances science. On the other, it experiments on animals who don’t have a representative or a voice to speak out against what is being done.

WHAT ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS IN FACTORIES?

We are the only animals to enslave our own, kill our own in needless wars and do unspeakable acts against our own kind just because of a different gender, colour of skin, look, origin, etc

Aside from animals, people who are into cruelty-free everything should also consider the working conditions of where their garments have been made.

They’re cruel to those people who have to work to make those products. I am not immune to this, as I own a lot of products from Apple for instance, where they’re FOR SURE made in sweatshops in China.

But what are my options?

I struggle with this because I need a computer for work, and I want to use it for my personal life as well. If I could pay $2000 more for my laptops to make sure that they had decent working conditions, I would, but not many people have money for that, let alone money for Apple products.

ipad-mini-apple

WEARING LEATHER OR USING ANIMAL-BASED PRODUCTS

I wear and buy a lot of leather. I also have no problem with this because I eat and others eat, cows. I don’t like things where we don’t use the meat of the animal, like fox fur and so on, unless it’s vintage and it’s already been years since it was done before people were aware of the situation.

Otherwise, I steadfastly avoid wearing or using items from animals that are just killed for the sake of their fur.

I feel particularly bad for elephants and their beautiful ivory tusks. Or poor bears chained in compounds to have their bile drained for (stupid) traditional medicines.

However I do think as a society we are eating FAR too much meat. For one thing, it isn’t good for your body and we should eat more like the Japanese — a little bit of meat for flavour, and a whole lot of grains/vegetables/fruit.

For another, the destruction of land and habitats for animals just to raise cattle for consumption is unbelievable. Animals are literally dying and becoming extinct because we can’t control our meat consumption to something reasonable.

THIS IS WHY I PREFER SECONDHAND CLOTHING

I prefer buying secondhand or vintage. It just makes me feel better about my choices, not to mention that it saves me money.

WHY DO WE LOVE KITTENS AND PUPPIES BUT NOT PIGLETS AND CHICKS?

I am not a pet owner, but I do like looking at baby animals and pets. It would be wrong and extremely untruthful of me to say that I don’t ever feel pangs of guilt eating meat when I think about how that animal was once a baby animal.

Why is it that we love cats, dogs and so on, and would never EVER think of killing or eating them, but then turn around and stuff our faces with cows and pigs?

I am not trying to turn anyone vegetarian, but I am really curious as to how our brain compartmentalizes animals into “suitable-to-eat” and “unsuitable-to-eat” categories.

You might say that it’s because traditional pets are smart, almost sentient in a way, and they have feelings and emotions.

I would counter that all animals have feelings, although some animals may display it in a more anthropomorphic manner than others.

Animals, ALL animals, have the capability to love and be loved. They form attachments, have emotions and sometimes, act very much like humans.

Just check out Mr. G and his friend Jellybean.

EXOTIC ANIMALS ARE THE WORST PETS FOR ME & I HATE ZOOS

I also have a problem with people taking exotic animals, declawing them and treating them like pets. This is why I also don’t like zoos. I have started to feel quite uncomfortable with the idea of zoos, which I like to term “animal prisons”.

That’s all I had to say .. so far on the topic, but you are totally right that you can’t be into being cruelty-free in one area and then turn a blind eye to the rest.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE? DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IT?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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30 Comments

  1. sonofczar

    A lot of your points are pretty weak. For example, being the only species to kill each NEEDLESSLY, is a matter of perspective. A lot of pack type animals (including wolves, lions, etc.) fight for the Alpha male spot, sometimes gang up on the older leader, and often kill him. Seems pretty needless to me.
    How is being injected with hormones or antibiotics terrible living conditions? People get injected with antibiotics, hormones, vaccines, and all types of things to increase their longevity or quality of life. I’m not saying injecting cows with these things make for good quality milk, and I avoid dairy as much as I can because of these issues, but hormone injections and terrible living conditions aren’t a mutually exclusive relationship.
    As for zoos, I agree it isn’t the greatest living conditions for the animals as far as natural freedom, but a lot of the animals that are brought into zoos are orphans, or seriously ill animals that would have otherwise died. Also, animals generally live MUCH longer in a zoo than in the wild, they aren’t being tortured, and are given a nutritious diet and medical attention, which I would think could eliminate a lot of pain and suffering that they may have to endure in the wild. Not necessarily bad.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Well no. I don’t think that animals that fight each other kill needlessly.

      They kill for the alpha spot in the pack, but I do see your analogy about humans killing for the alpha spot.. but do animals torture each other in doing so?

      Do animals come up with ways to torture and psychologically break other animals? Do they try and enslave each other to do their bidding? Even when animals kill each other they have a purpose. Humans kill, but over things that really have nothing to do with being a human, such as race — Holocaust & Jews, Apartheid with skin colour in South Africa, the list goes on.

      Animals don’t kill each other because their stripes are weird or their spots are lighter. That’s just one example.

      We do get injected with lots of vaccines to live longer, but injecting cows with vaccines that are pretty much needless, just to make them produce more milk is just ridiculous. We aren’t injecting them with medicine to help them live longer, we’re doing it so that we can maximize the amount of output they give us UNNATURALLY, which makes for bad milk as an example.

      I do agree with your last point about zoos though. Someone else in the comments brought it up that they help endangered species, but I also wonder if it’s just treating the symptoms and not the cause. Humans are the ones in charge of deforestation and destroying habitats of said animals. Look at global warming and how polar bears are having to swim farther and farther just to be able to find ice to hunt seals to eat.

      I’m not so sure that I would totally agree that being caged is preferable to being wild. Just thinking about if I were caged in a golden prison and given everything I could wish for and want.. without freedom, it wouldn’t be something I’d want. I’d rather be free, independent and working / poor, than pampered but not allowed to do what I want.

      Reply
  2. Helen

    I share the most of the same opinions as you do when it comes to food. But with all the problems in our food system, I’m just grateful that I have easy access to healthy food. Animal cruelty is unethical, no doubt about it, but it’s relatively easy to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet in response.

    With all the cooking I do, I still like to eat out at ethnic restaurants, and sometimes I will order meals that have industrial meat. When I eat at my parents’ house, I know that the meat in the meals comes from the local supermarket. I just treat the meat as a side dish and fill up on veggies and grains, and it works fine.

    Considering that cooking is one of the few ways my mother will express her affection for her children, refusing to eat her food just because it has industrial meat would also be cruel. But that’s a topic for another post. 🙂

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Oh good point. At least we have a choice. I forgot to mention that.

      Meat has turned into more of a side thing for me, less a main course, more of a taster…

      Reply
  3. anonymous

    I hear you on this but at the same time, poor people in China don’t have many options. To many its a choice between a sweat shop or a dangerous job such as a rice paddy. Many choose the factory jobs because its a better option for them.

    China is going through what North America went through, people went from the farms to work factory jobs in cities, then came the unions and all these rights that protect workers, I believe that is what will happen in China eventually. I also read they are starting to have a middle-class now in China.

    Whether you shop at a dollar store or go to the mall, or choose more exclusive designer stores, you will see “Made in China, Mexico, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.”

    I used to work at a call center for a food company, people would call in and want to know if we have “___” in our ingredients. We could tell them what was on the ingredient bag and what wasn’t on it too, but with some ingredients we couldn’t tell them either way.

    I would go to the manager, they would go and call their manager, etc. Eventually a high enough executive would say “we don’t have that information just what is on the bag” and so I would have to tell the customer we don’t have that information.

    Amazingly enough even higher up managers and executives don’t know all the ingredients, apparently the only people that would know all the ingredients are the ones in the factory making it. There was no way a manager would contact the plant that it was in to find that out though.

    People would get really upset about this, one time I got yelled at because of the high sodium content on the bag and this lady yelled at me. I didn’t buy the bag lady, you did. I didn’t tell her that of course but I wanted to. I wish people wouldn’t take things out on customer service reps.

    And I hear you about zoos, I feel sorry for animals sometimes but I do like going to zoos, but yes I suppose I’m a hypocrite as well. I love animals and yet I eat meat. I have a leather bag too and a leather wallet.

    I once read about this dog Hachikō and he waited for his owner at a train station for 9 years after the owner died. Animals are amazing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachik%C5%8D

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      True. A lot of countries actually WANT “sweatshops” so they can have jobs. I have firsthand family experience in this.

      *sigh*

      The only thing I don’t really like about China specifically is that although they are willing to work hard, there is a percentage that is unscrupulous, even towards their own countrymen. Making plastic rice, poisoning baby formulas, and most recently, putting poisons in Costco dog treats, are all things that other countries can’t imagine doing to their own kind, even if it takes more work to get to where they need to be.

      I really feel bad for those who are living in China and are frustrated by this, particularly the baby formula scandal. What an awful thing to go through as a parent, and even worse, to know it was your own community that did it.

      No kidding!! It kind of doesn’t surprise me that companies don’t know what goes into their products, which is probably the biggest reason why I avoid packaged foods. I want the real, raw, stuff.

      I have never worked in customer service but I am always careful to try and not get angry at them, even if I am angry. If I start to get angry, I take a deep breath and tell them: Look I know it isn’t your fault, it isn’t you at all, but I am just frustrated at what is happening…

      Usually they are far more relieved/receptive when I explain that I am not angry at them, I am angry at the way things turned out/their company.

      I READ THAT POST ABOUT HACHIKO!! It was the most heartbreaking story, ever. Animals have the capacity to love and be loved. I think it is one of the worst things in the world to torture animals, particularly since I have a friend on FB who keeps posting awful statuses of dogs and cats who have been abused, or tortured.

      Reply
  4. CincyCat

    I am definitely in the omnivore camp. Raised on meat & potatoes. I won’t eat veal or lamb, though. And, it’s funny that you mention the fact that other animals kill & eat each other for food. I remember reading a news article about a vegan couple who had severely sickened their cat by feeding it only a vegetarian diet. The vet had to explain to them that cats need meat.

    That said, I kinda disagree with you about zoos. I actually think that the benefits that responsible, well-managed zoos provide to conservation research outweigh the drawbacks of keeping wild animals in captivity. Many such zoos have instituted successful breeding & research programs that have helped to save threatened or endangered species, and have helped to raise public awareness of deforestation & the impact on habitat. (The Cincinnati Zoo is one such example.) That said, I also know of privately owned “zoos” that are little more than someone’s idea of how to turn a defunct family farm into a profit center by caging wild animals & charging admission. Those places disgust me…

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Hey I agree — cats need meat. You can’t give a vegan diet to animals who need to live on meat. I understand that we as sentient beings have the ability to live and eat like that, but we are able to do so physiologically, and we can’t impose such beliefs onto other animals even if they are considered to be our family members.

      Maybe…… I guess I have to re-think this zoo thing. I do like your point about how zoos help animals and raise public awareness but I can’t help but think of all the OTHER zoos that aren’t as well-run or as well-kept as the Cincinatti Zoo. Tough call.

      Reply
  5. GirlinaTrenchcoat

    Sometimes when I start thinking really hard about how what I eat, drink or buy is hurting another human being or hurting an animal, it just makes me want to go into the woods and live off the land. That way at least I won’t feel so guilty about eating meat (especially in winter when no food grows) and using animal products because I used all the resources myself, and I wouldn’t be hurting anybody with my consumption habits. But, that’s unrealistic.

    One of my friends made a good point about how we are making GMO food and shooting our animals up with all kinds of chemicals for them to produce bigger and faster quantities of food for our ever-growing population, and deforesting and displacing animals and other humans besides. I agree that a lot of our animal cruelty practices stem from this need to produce more quantities in a more efficient way for more people, and if only we’d learn to maybe go back to nature and farm our own veggies and stuff, it’d lessen the need for all that too.

    For sure, if I ever get a space enough for a garden I’d want to grow my own veggies and maybe keep a chicken or two for eggs (and maybe meat, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about killing the chicken myself).

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m vowing to start growing my own vegetables once I move out of this hotel at the end of the year. I’d like to grow tomatoes and other things like that so that I learn how hard it is to produce food, and appreciate that I have the money to buy it.

      Seems like everything I do is full of problems in my mind.

      Reply
  6. MelD

    I just saw a programme about one of the pesticides the EU banned because of bees – it was for 2 years and they’re not bothering to investigate whether the bees have been helped by it…. duh. The farmers featured didn’t think the bees were affected anyway and were just annoyed with the EU (British TV). Sounded like such a waste of time, money and energy to achieve nothing. The truth is that bees are dying and nobody really knows why, I guess. Just theories and too little interest or profit – until it dawns on people that bees do more than just make honey. Ugh.

    Anyway, otherwise, I feel much the same, as in, slightly conflicted. From what I see about meat production in North America, I would probably choose to be vegetarian. Here in western Europe, it’s better, but as far as I am aware, our Swiss organic meat is some of the most cruelty-free, as many procedures are not legal in this country that are allowed in the EU. However, even the Swiss are not angels, I guess! Our farms tend to be much much smaller, though, and we see the dairy and meat animals in the fields leading a decent life; then I am happy to eat organic meat – beef, pork, lamb, veal, venison and also horsemeat if it is local (I love horses, but I see the sense in not wasting good food, it’s a cultural thing).
    I don’t much like preparing meat, though, so we don’t have it much. If my husband wants meat, he usually has to buy and cook it himself ;o. Fortunately he loves to cook – and then I will eat it, too, or in a restaurant. And if I had to kill my own meat, I’d be veggie!
    (But then I also hate the smell of coffee, it smells like dung to me, especially the super fresh expensive stuff. Yuck. Sorry, off-topic.)

    Anyway, I don’t know anyone in Europe who doesn’t think veganism isn’t just another American fad, especially when it then goes on to avoiding leather etc. I think we find it simply ungrateful or something, not to use what nature provides. The whole concept just sounds screwed up (I don’t mean to offend anyone) to us!

    Reply
    1. GirlinaTrenchcoat

      @MelD: Mel, I definitely don’t take offense, and in fact I agree with you! I live in San Francisco, which is probably one of the places where people do fad diets and alternative food choices the most (paleo diet, gluten-free, no-carb, etc.) and a lot of these diets seem just so wasteful and unnecessary! Plus there are kids in third-world countries who can’t even eat a grain of rice and folks over here are shunning bread because carbs are not part of their diet! It’s nuts.

      Reply
      1. save. spend. splurge.

        The richer people get, the weirder their food choices become. I actually wrote about a screwed up #FirstWorldProblem here: Paying for the luxury of not eating

        Reply
    2. save. spend. splurge.

      I read an article somewhere that says it’s probably the cellphone towers that are sending out (silent) signals that are messing with the bees’ minds and they end up committing suicide en masse. They’ve noticed a distinct link between heavily populated urban areas and bees dying.

      I don’t mind the smell of coffee but can’t drink it. It makes me sick.. the caffeine is too strong of a drug for me, tea is just the right amount.

      I think going vegan is probably a fad for a lot of people but food-wise, I can see its benefits although I love cheese too much.. I could go vegetarian but going vegan takes another level of commitment altogether, and I still can’t really give up my leather goods. I just wish we had an option to be sure that it is all done without animal torture.

      BF is vegan by the way, and French. He went vegan because the meat and dairy products here in Canada make him feel sick. He’s OK eating the meat/dairy in Europe (some of it anyway), but here, it is not worth his stomach, he says.

      Reply
  7. SarahN

    I do think about it – but I haven’t changed my habits much. Likewise with organic, fair trade etc.

    I hate where you can see the fish in (dirty) tanks that they’ll catch and feed you, but will happily otherwise eat fish.

    However, I’m not someone who MUST have my meat, and ate largely vego when I was a student. Largely cause then meat didn’t go off in the fridge, when I had toast yet again for dinner :p My iron levels did suffer though. Sometimes I find the smell of cooking meat absolutely repulsive, which does make me wonder.

    I’m not on board with the chemicals and hormones they use to get me such cheap chicken breasts, but alas I keep buying them. I know my parents ‘free range’ their egg laying chickens, but farm folk assure me, eating those would hardly be an enjoyable meal – stringy, tough, grey.

    I read a while back that chickens and pork offer the best long term meat solutions for a world with a growing meat eating demand (think China). Both are scavengers and therefore are less intense in their needs, and can help the greater cycle of goods. However, as we’ve seen, the UK ruled out the use of vegie offcuts to feed pigs after an outbreak of some horrible disease.

    Reply
  8. Aleksie

    I’m actually vegetarian and have been for over half my life.

    The way I deal with things is the lesser of evils and minimizing damage. I do wear leather, because I haven’t found a good alternative that lasts long and comes in my size; I figure that damage to the environment hurts animals, too, and I never have figured out whether pleather is worse for the environment than tanning practices. However, I take good care of my leather goods (polish and conditioner regularly, clean them), buy used when it comes to many leather goods, and don’t own what I feel is an excess. Similar to electronics. I fix whatever I can (or can get fixed), and I don’t upgrade all the time. I try to get 4+ years out of my cell phone and I recycle it.

    It’s arguably impossible to live a cruelty-free life. You would have to live completely off the grid and figure out a way to obtain water and a vegetarian diet on your own. But I believe we can and should minimize the damage.

    Reply
  9. Debbie M

    I think of this quite often. And I have decided that we cannot be cruelty-free, simply because we cannot do photosynthesis and therefore have to rely on other life forms just to live. Similarly, the air we exhale is in worse condition than the air we inhale.

    On the other hand, we can minimize the cruelty. In my case, I just try to find ways to reduce my cruelty. I slip up, I’m ignorant, and I’m weak, but I feel I am less cruel than if I were not trying.

    How can we compartmentalize it? I know how I do it. I was raised eating meat, spewing exhaust into the air, etc. And I have grown to love doing some of that stuff. So changing that behavior is hard and feels like deprivation and it feels like it’s not fair if I have to change but nobody else does. Still, it’s a thing I CAN do–I can take control over my own behavior.

    Another problem is that in our society things appear in stores and disappear from trash cans in ways that we don’t see. The people who provide those services are mostly trying to maximize their profit (or, in the case of public utilities, minimize their costs) without affecting what we see too negatively. The ones who have no problems being horrible in the ways we don’t see are the ones who can stay in business better because they are willing to do things to reduce costs that others aren’t willing to do.

    Therefore, I am a big fan of laws that apply to everyone about minimum standards (for cruelty, pollution, etc.). And, especially when those don’t exist or they aren’t as strict as some would like, I am also a fan of laws that let us look behind the curtain more easily. So that includes things like ingredient labels, nutrition labels, campaign finance sourcing, etc. This way we can use all the information rather than just price, looks, and flavor, to make our decisions.

    I’m really hating how pretty much every time I get a glimpse behind the curtain, I’m not liking what I see. But fortunately, people like us are getting to be a market that’s worth catering to. Those who aren’t willing to be horrible behind the scenes can advertise that and charge more for it. Sometimes the amount extra that this costs is huge. At first I was willing to pay 5% or 10% extra, but that’s often not enough. It can cost double, triple, or more. But then when you see just how many corners are being cut to make “conventional” products so much cheaper, it really does make sense.

    (Of course buying used is cheaper than buying new, so that helps the budget! And eating less (or less meat), driving less, owning fewer things, minimizing energy usage, etc., also costs less. So you can even things out.)

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      So more transparency then.

      I do find it very disconcerting that many foods and food products we eat (apparently) aren’t required by law to disclose certain things like how they’re made or what is added.

      A good example of this is “freshly squeezed orange juice”. The oranges are definitely squeezed, but then they’re kept in huge vats for 6 months to a year (or longer?) by which they have lost pretty much all of their orange flavour and taste. To give them this orange flavour back, companies add flavour packs which are basically chemicals to simulate “freshly squeezed juice”, and by law, they can still call it 100% freshly squeezed orange juice (because it is), but don’t need to say that it’s been re-constituted with a flavour pack.

      I guess the best we can do, is try our hardest. It does weigh down on me though.

      Reply
      1. Debbie M

        @save. spend. splurge.: We can’t do everything, so that’s depressing. But we can do some things. (I also sign a lot of petitions!)

        Reply
  10. Tania

    There are free range options for some types of meat but yes 100% anything is very difficult. I do think we can speak with our consumer dollars as well as our voices but there are still times we may need a product that doesn’t meet our ethical values.

    I think you do more than most. I also do more than most but I have more exceptions in my life than you do for sure.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I think you’re giving me too much credit. I feel like a hypocrite at times.

      Reply
  11. CnC

    Just a note about milk, and all dairy products, the hormone given to cows to stimulate milk production is illegal in Canada. You just need to sure your milk is 100% Canadian.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Ooo thank you! I do buy 100% Canadian milk but didn’t know that hormones were illegal in Canada.

      They do give them to cows in the U.S. though, yes?

      Reply
      1. CnC

        @save. spend. splurge.: Yep, unfortunately they do! I found there were a few countries that allow the hormone when I did my quick search earlier but some others that don’t. Luckily it was an easy search that yielded answers right off the bat! (For anyone who may be traveling and is conscious of this type of thing)

        We’re also very strict in Canada about raw milk = not allowed, whereas it’s fairly easy to get in the states.

        I’m happy, in this one regard at least, that Canada has said no to a cruel practice.

        Reply
        1. Debbie M

          @CnC: Fortunately, it is getting pretty easy to find milk that is labeled hormone-free. Actually, now that I think about it, just free of growth hormones. That is my current minimum standard on milk, but I’m switching to organic when my income rises next year.

          Reply
  12. Kathy

    I do understand your feelings about how the animals are treated prior to slaughter and I absolutely agree. But if you don’t hunt (I don’t) and slaughter your own animals, you are pretty much stuck with processing plants doing the dirty work for you. I would join the cause to advocate for more humane treatment in an instant. I recently read that some organization (I hesitate to label them weird, but it is) advocates that before we harvest a vegetable or even mow the lawn that we should ask the plant’s permission to cut it or harvest it. Because you know, plants have feelings also. So what if the plant’s answer is no? If we can’t eat animals OR plants, what is left…..each other?

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That’s true. I don’t hunt and have never hunted, nor slaughtered an animal before. I am not sure if I had to, I would be able to the first few times without gagging. Or maybe I’d end up being really good at it and not minding it at all. I mean, I clobber live fish and choose live shrimp to eat, and boil lobsters and I don’t feel bad about it, but they are also not as bloody or as mammal-like as the meat I eat.

      I wonder if I would be able to kill an animal to eat it. For survival yes, but if I had to do it just to eat but could very well live on beans instead, would I still do it?

      These are all questions I ask myself.

      That said, BF’s family owns a farm and they raise their own chickens and so on.. so his sister slaughters animals on the regular and seems OK with it.

      *LAUGHING*!!!!!!! Are you sure it wasn’t a joke? I recall something about being a “meatatarian” back in the 90s (?) or 2000s that was a bit of a joke about how carrots have feelings too.

      Still I can’t help but wonder if our global footprint would be better if we cut back on eating meat. I am not saying give it up completely, but we don’t need to eat 3X a day, or have contests of how much steak we can eat in one sitting.

      Reply
  13. CorianneM

    Actually, in the Netherlands and Europe animals now have political representation! 😉 The Dutch Partij voor de Dieren (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_the_Animals) has had 2 seats in Parliament since 2006 and this year they scored their first seat in the European Parliament. (A German animal party also got 1 seat in the European Parliament – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Environment_Animal_Protection)

    Of course, there are limits to what you can do with only a few MPs, but their goal is to put these issues on the political agenda and drive debates on these more long-term issues.

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    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Only in Europe!!

      How progressive. I am sure it sounds ridiculous to some people, but these are things that we have to be aware of because we are literally going to make ourselves extinct if we don’t start taking care of the world we live in.

      Another example that pops to mind is how bees are dying in large numbers year after year. They have determined that it is pesticides and cellphone networks that are causing hives to disappear and die overnight. Without bees, how can we have fruit and plants? We need bees for our food system.

      All this urbanization has a price.

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      1. Debbie M

        @save. spend. splurge.: I heard that this pesticide has been banned in Europe.

        Reply

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