Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Eating as a Revolutionary Act


pachamama.org

When I learned baby calves are taken
screaming from their mothers,
so I could have cream,
I switched to cashew milk.

When I knew that cows raised for meat
are treated terribly, chained, beaten,
pumped with hormones,
killed traumatically and hung on hooks,
that hamburger formed a lump in my throat.

When I heard that pigs have the intelligence
of a five year old child,
ham came off the menu.

When I read that factory farming
is the greatest cause of
deforestation and global warming,
I needed to act.

When I realized that eating a plant-based diet
is a revolutionary act,
and the quickest way to reverse climate change,
my fork took on new status
as a change agent.

"Eat your veggies," Mama says,
"because they're good for you."
Turns out that eating veggies
is good for the planet too.


Factory farming, animal agriculture and our voracious meat consumption is the leading cause of global warming, deforestation, species extinction and ocean dead zones, says onegreenplanet.org.

The quickest way to reverse climate change, with the fastest recovery time, would be adopting a vegetarian lifestyle.

Animal agriculture uses over 50% of our arable land base, a majority of fresh water stores, and is responsible for up to 51% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Leonardo di Caprio, in an article by One Green Planet,  states, "A shift in diet is a revolutionary step. We would see an immediate impact within ten to fifteen years." If we all went vegetarian today,we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 63% by 2050, the article states. The planet would begin to regulate itself.

Going vegan is not for everyone. But we all can reduce our meat consumption, and ensure whatever meat we do consume is grass-fed, and humanely raised. Small steps such as eating meatless more often, having one plant-based meal a day, and learning to replace our favourite dishes without meat and dairy is a  beginning.

In the last 40 years, we have lost 52% of the wildlife on the planet, produced more carbon emissions than the last 800,000 years (!!!) and oceans now have over 400 dead zones, devoid of life.

Those who believe animals are sentient beings, who have intelligence and  feel the same emotions as we do,  can turn towards a largely or totally plant-based diet, as well as advocating for humane treatment of all animals, domestic and wild.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motiff: climate change


27 comments:

  1. i raise my hat to vegetarians, still i do indulge in meat once in a while

    happy Wednesday Sherry

    much love...

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  2. Such a wise and profound write..!
    Beautifully expressed.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  3. Yes - meat is murder and yet how quickly the mind can forget that what is on our plate is also a sentient being..maybe it is another reflection of how far removed we are from Mother Earth..

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  4. No holds barred here, Sherry. Bravo! Always, it's the images that work on our spirits.

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  5. Very good Sherry! I wish I could be so strong as to stay away from meat.

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  6. You are a diligent protector of the planet Sherry! I have a compulsive eating problem...I need to learn from your example. Such a wise and wonderful post!!

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  7. Wonderful piece and so full of good advice.

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  8. My road to vegetarianism started, back, in the 1980s, when I stopped eating pork and gradually grew from there. With the final nail, for me, being stuck, in a homeless shelter (nine years ago), and not trusting, what was being presented to me, as meat, I went vegetarian. Now, almost to the point of being vegan, in my diet, except for the odd bit of cheese and the guilty pleasure of halibut and chips. Only pick up meat, for Star, Venus and Squeak (Salmon, as a treat) and their cat food.

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  9. A great poem with a great idea behind it. Powerful I think because of the strong, vivid images you create.

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  10. It is likely that our change from Vegetarians to Omnivores over many thousands of years ago has brought us to the state we are in today. We are aggressive, cruel, divisive and lacking understanding on survival. Now how can we convince a few billion more people to change? This really is a great poem Sherry.

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  11. Those vegetables are very good for you and your voice once again comes through in verse.

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  12. Oh, I am right here with you Sherry. It makes me so ill to think what animals are put through so they can arrive on our plates.

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  13. Oh, I am right here with you Sherry. It makes me so ill to think what animals are put through so they can arrive on our plates.

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  14. that eating a plant-based diet
    is a revolutionary act,
    my fork took on new status
    as a change agent.

    One feels unease at having to contribute towards acts hastening climate change. A holistic redemption by those powers that be seems absent. A pity! Great lines Sherry! Very exhaustive take!

    Hank

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  15. Thank you. I am almost vegetarian – but had not realised this effect of it.

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  16. Sherry, here is what I just read before reading your poem. "Cows drink 45 billion gallons of water and eat 135 billion pounds of food each day. A lot of farmland is needed to feed them instead of people. 70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million are killed for food every hour. I get weirded out when I see some kid take one bite of his hamburger at a diner and wants to throw out the rest."
    Maybe there is a message here.

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  17. We here are about 90% vegetarian, I would say. Apart from chicken once in a while or so and salmon very sporadically. Sad about the treatment of animals & also the factor of climate change!

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  18. I am a vegan and the reason I chose to be one is the very ones you state here so eloquently!

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  19. To be honest, I'm conflicted on this issue. I grew up on a small farm. Before I was old enough to legally drive, I had delivered calves and visited a slaughterhouse (beginning to end). We cared for our land and our animals (even those destined for slaughter). Still, I know those family farms have been largely replaced with corporate agriculture which is a horror. Even I have adopted some meatless days now.

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  20. Great initiative and tribute to a great cause!

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  21. your poetry does a lovely job bringing this issue to the forefront - The health benefits of eating more veggies and fruit are real... less meat is a great idea and science seemingly has reversed their mind on the health benefits of milk - with that said I am trying to make a small difference - eat organic and signing up for a coop farm weekly basket of goods and getting my meat from a local farm - grass fed, etc. Lovely right on a tough issue.

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  22. I've been vegetarian for many years. Going vegan has been a challenge for me, but I hope to overcome it. It's actually good for my health. I love the strength in this write Sherry. We can't deny those facts and hopefully more people will join the food revolution.

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  23. Your voice is so needed...thank you, for the powerful truth delivered both poetically and in facts. This is so true:

    "we all can reduce our meat consumption, and ensure whatever meat we do consume is grass-fed, and humanely raised. Small steps such as eating meatless more often, having one plant-based meal a day,"

    And is how I've been managing the difficult facts. If it were just me to feed I'd go vegetarian in a heartbeat but the rest of my family wouldn't like it. Sigh.

    Thank you.

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  24. Hey Sherry--I am with you here! I have been a vegetarian for about forty years. I do eat fish occasionally, to avoid anemia--and eggs and milk, but we are lucky enough to get them from local producers, small farms, and I feel like I'm helping to keep them in business. I should try cashew milk though! Anyway, loved the poem. k.

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  25. Hear, hear! This is so true, Sherry and we need to let more and more people know that it is possible to change the fate of our planet through such revolutionary acts as changing our diet!

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!