Meat Free Monday: How Much Does Meat Really Cost?

Although animal products are often cheap in the store (99 cents for a big pack of hot dogs, 49 cents for a box of mac n cheese), there are a lot of external costs that get pushed off onto the taxpayers, and are hidden from view.

While there are hidden costs to everything, the hidden costs of animal agriculture tend to be a lot higher than those of most plant based foods.

For more information, look at David Simon’s book Meatonomics.  the video below also gives a bit more info. 

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Vegan @ Disney: Tusker’s Buffet 

What can I say about Tusker’s that hasn’t already been said? 

Vegan Disney World has a good review and a virtual tour (the tour is from 2014, but not a lot seems to have changed).

Well, I can talk about how much fun my 3 year old daughter had. She’s always been afraid of mascots,  and we thought she wouldn’t want to interact with Donald, Daisy, Mickey & Goofy. But the cast members were so patient and engaging that she opened up to them,  growing more confident with each character.

The food was good, with plenty of vegan options on the buffet. A chef gave me a tour of the buffet to show what was and wasn’t vegan. 

The foods was great, especially the plantains, samosas, and roasted potatoes.

The desserts all had dairy ingredients, so they brought me some vegan cookies at the end of the meal. They were good, but not at the level of the rest of the food. But honestly,  the fried plantains were so yummy I didn’t even need the cookies. 

So, thumbs up for the food and thumbs up for the character experience. 

Factory Farming (Wrestling with the god of the Gut)

 

Pigs Confined in Gestation Crates

Pigs Confined in Gestation Crates

I started this blog to talk about the questions, about wrestling with the angels, struggling with things I don’t know and things I do know, but don’t quite want to accept.

I’ve gotten a little off-course here.  I’ve been distracted by some important things going on: Emily Maynard’s post about modesty and the controversy that followed, including my two posts (here and here), Mark Driscoll’s slut-shaming of Esther, Hurricane Isaac, and more.

Well, during this month a new struggle has begun within me, a struggle with cruelty to animals … specifically, the animals that make up such a large part of my daily diet.  Kurt Willems’s “God of the Gut” article sent my mind down paths my belly really wished it hadn’t.   Greg Boyd’s “Compassionate Dominion and Factory Farms” sealed the deal. Modern American factory farming is not humane. It just isn’t.  (Warning, the videos are not for the faint of heart).

Let me say that I’m neither a vegetarian nor even a pacifist right now.  I have no problem whatsoever killing and eating animals.  I even hunt a couple of times a year with my uncle.  Any animal living in the wild has to worry about getting eaten.  Herbivores have to worry about predation, and even predators have to worry about being eaten from the inside out by disease or parasites.  So the death of an animal for food is not a problem in my mind.

But I will not abide torture.  And the practices in factory farms, where animals are held in tiny crates (sometimes for their entire lives), are castrated or de-toothed without anesthesia, and are slaughtered sloppily, leaving some alive for the slaughtering process?  That’s torture.

This isn’t an example of something I’m not sure about.  I wouldn’t treat my dogs like that, and pigs are roughly as intelligent as dogs.  I know, I’m not planning to eat my dogs.  But I wouldn’t treat a deer like that, either.

Every hunter has ethical standards, trying to take only shots that are sure, that will kill quickly, that won’t make the animal suffer unnecessarily.  Yet, when it comes to factory farming, there are no such considerations.  Like so much in corporate America, the bottom line is king.

So like I said, I’m not struggling with whether this is right for me to do.  I’m struggling with what a deep-seated pain in the neck it is. I can’t back-check restaurants, so guess who’s a pescetarian when he eats out?  And guess who used to be head-over-heels in love with Rosie’s Barbecue, Strick’s Barbecue, Mug Shots Burgers, and just about any version of chili cheese fries?  Guess who’s got to convince his wife to pay twice as much for meat and 50% for eggs?  Thankfully, she’s been very supportive.

Essentially, my struggle is to not be a wimp.  I’ve read the horror stories.  I know what I have to do.  Now, the struggle is to do it.  Funny how that goes.