Clarification: I'm not preaching

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I apologize if anyone took my comments as being preacherous or self righteous - that's absolutely not the intention behind changing my lifestyle. I don't intend to say or suggest that my decisions are better than anyone elses - in fact, it's quite the opposite.

I realize I couldn't kill my own food - there's absoutely no way I could do it. And I realize I couldn't work in a slaughterhouse nor could I even work in a butcher shop, and as a result, I can't feel guilt-free about buying factory-farmed meat.

I'm not going vegan, nor am I an extremist. In fact, I went to lunch with friends today to a steakhouse. They all ordered hamburgers and chicken; I ordered a grilled Portobello platter. Some of the people asked why I didn't order a burger, and I said that I was going to cut back on my consumption of meat. I didn't go into a whole big thing about it - I just said I wasn't comfortable with eating meat right now, and they didn't think twice about it. Nor should you.

I just emptied my feelings on the blog last night. Shared 100% of my thoughts, opinions and observations. But I still stand by my feelings that we're doing unnatural things to animals in an attempt to satsify our extraordinary desire to have "more" of everything.

20 years ago, broiler chickens weighed less than half of what they weigh today. And they weigh more faster- I was wrong in my post from yesterday... chickens aren't 6-7 months old when they're slaughtered - they're 6-7 weeks old. At birth, they have their beaks and feet clipped so that they can't injure each other in the chicken coops. They're given huge amounts of growth hormones in an attempt to get them to be as big as possible. Why do we need to pump them full of steroids? Why do we need to crowd them in such unnatural conditions?

Because the companies that raise them need to make a big profit (Tyson foods is worth how many billions?), and consumers demand "more" for their money. Do I really need to be able to order a 48-ounce steak? Or a 1-lb chicken burrito for $0.99 at Taco Bell? Probably not. But I never thought twice about it until last week. I used to think, "Wow -that's a great value - 1-lb of burrito for a buck? Cool!"

Nearly 10 billion (that's billion with a "B") chickens are hatched in the US each year. Think about that. 10 billion. 10,000,000,000 chickens. With $10,000,000,000, you could pay yourself 100 million dollars per year for 100 years. That's a lot of chickens...

But I don't mean to get off-track... And, again, I'm not talking down to anyone. I'm not saying someone is "bad" for going to McDonald's or eating a steak at a restaurant. I'm not saying that anyone is bad for enjoying any kind of meat. I'm just sharing feelings - having seen all those young chickens stuffed in crates and having read about what happens to them makes me feel bad. And as a result, I changed a part of my eating habits.

I'll still wear leather shoes, but I don't buy 10 pairs of them at a time and only wear 1 pair and throw away the other 9 pair... which is basically what I've seen myself do with meat - I'd order a 22-lb turkey, eat the 8-9 lbs of white meat and then throw away the rest.

I want to consume only what I need when it comes to animal products. And right now, I don't think I need to eat commercially farmed meats. You're more than welcome to, though - and there's no hard feelings on my part. Amy had a hamburger the other night while I had a mushroom pizza, and we didn't think twice about it. To each their own - no harm, no foul, no hard feelings.


I'm speechless again.

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