The Meat and Dairy Industries' Harmful Effect on the Environment

Thursday November 29th 2007, 11:38 am
Filed under: A. Foust vegan journal

My mom, a doctor and health-conscious person all her life, fed us in accordance to the food pyramid and FDA guidelines. She did not buy Kool-Aid, candy, soda, Twinkies, or Oreos. I had virtually no exposure to high fructose corn syrup except on Halloween. I can taste the difference between organic food and those that have been treated with chemicals and hormones. I became vegetarian for a couple weeks a few years ago. It was too hard to eat dinner with my family so I conceded to eat poultry and seafood. After avoiding only red meat for a while, which was easy because my mom does not eat it, I discovered the fantastic savory delight that is the meat of cows and pigs and I gave up my short-lived attempt at considerate consuming.

The guilt has never truly vanished, as I found I cannot go but for so long without happening upon a semi on I-95 trailing a stream of dirty feathers from the unimaginably cramped chickens or the large, sad eyes of a sow from behind a fence on some rural excursion. On the other hand, I can count the food I do not like on one hand. Furthermore, I have been fortunate enough to have been exposed to virtually every food there is. I love food, and I love to eat.

Today I ate lunch from the pasta bar in Seacobeck with marinara and a banana. The pasta was not good–the excessively processed noodles have no flavor. For dinner I made my own salad at the Nest and nuked lentil soup later in my dorm. I snacked on granola. What I miss the most are sweets. It is so hard to pass up cake, cookies, and ice cream. Being vegan has been a diet, which is one of numerous advantages.

One’s experience in the dining facilities depend on taste, which seems obvious, but I hear mixed reviews from fellow students. I miss vegetables, which, aside from the salad bars, rarely make the menus. The sandwich station has processed bread and meats with an unbearable unnatural taste which satisfies most students who were raised with such commodities. Those raised on pizza and hamburgers can also find these standbys daily. What I give a thumbs-up in Seaco: salad bar, fresh raw fruit, deserts, and the waffle iron (the latter two are untouchable now). Everything else I generally regard frowning as a nauseous gurgle rumbles my stomach.

Thankfully the semester is almost over, meaning there is only one left until I have my own kitchen, my own refrigerator, and most importantly, my own shopping list. I do not think it is morally wrong for humans to eat animals or their products, but I think the entire way we go about doing it is. My mom buys free-range chicken, and I am debating this choice. If anything, I will be a vegetarian and buy organic milk along with other produce. I have yet to try soy milk, but I plan to later this week at Seacobeck. I wonder how difficult it will be to find my favorites (my weaknesses) ice cream and cheese in organic varieties. Of course, organic does not necessarily mean the animals are any happier, as they may be just as cramped, filthy, and generally neglected. Never will I purchase or consume faux meat or anything else imitation. Tofu is disgusting. What is the point?

Protein is the point my dear! But I agree on the faux meat part-it is just as bad for the environment as other highly processed foods and lacks in flavor and texture but give bean products and tofu a chance. Tofu is meant to absorb its surrounding flavors, so experiment. It tastes exceptionally good in stir-frys.

Comment by Sarah 12.03.07 @ 8:56 pm