Eating Animals

For more than three years I’ve enjoyed a vegetarian diet, which has left me feeling altogether better. Better energy, better sleep, better digestion, better physical fitness, better health and wellness.

I grow a good portion of what I eat. The correlation may be circumstantial or fanciful, but farming my food seems to have made me healthier, too.

I’m tilting now toward eating vegan. No animals. No eggs or dairy. Instead, mostly stuff that’s live or sprouted or green.

I haven’t yet decided what I think about bivalves and invertabrates (or fish). But I’m certain that our society’s current model for producing and consuming meat is dangerous and unsustainable. There are several ways to measure how bad eating animals is for our health and for our planet. Cattle consume 80% of all farmland, pastures that could be used to grow food to feed billions. Cattle account for 70% of all antibiotics consumed in the United States. Cattle account for a greater percentage of humanity’s greenhouse-gas emissions than planes, trains, and automobiles combined.

And then there’s the part no one is really comfortable talking about. The animals we eat live only to die for our plate. They might as well be so many identical blades of grass — except they taste better to most folks than fibrous leaves. Billions of these pigs and chickens and cows are processed through factory farms that would likely disgust even dedicated flesh eaters. There is noting noble in their “sacrifice” for us; they’re involuntary victims of our appetites, nothing more. Our appetites cause suffering.

I would like not to be the cause of suffering. In man or animal — which, at the end of the day, are the same thing.

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3 Responses

  1. Derek says:

    My brother the Vegan suggested I might like this essay. For once he was entirely right. Made my day.

  2. 8 reverse says:

    Moo. Baaa. Oink. On behalf of the animals: Thank you, Michael Konik.

  3. eastern front says:

    I’ve been compiling a list of interesting articles on this subject, because my wife has one point of view and I have another. I must say that I’m very happy I found your site through Yahoo. This essay here on EATING ANIMALS should be required reading for anyone who is starting to question the necessity of systematically murdering animals for our food. You sir are a great writer and I am very glad I found your voice through the Internet. Bravo.