I’m a “vergetarian”
I watched Vegucated on Netflix not long ago. It is a documentary about three people who agreed to eat a plant-based diet for six weeks.
Here’s the synopsis from the website: “Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time.”
I had to “rewind” the movie a couple of times so I could take the following pictures of my TV screen (so low-tech, I know). The first one shows the ratio of vegetables Americans typically eat compared to animal products and processed foods. The blue and green sliver of the pie is vegetables, and half of that is potatoes. I think the blue and green part is 9% if I remember correctly.
This chart shows how killer diseases (like diabetes or high blood pressure) decline (red) as more plant-based foods are consumed (blue) and which countries have fewer instances of killer diseases.
If that wasn’t enough to horrify me and stop the movie and rewind it so I could take these pictures, the short segment on the factory farm industry was. I had tears streaming down my face and had to turn away from the TV when I saw and heard how animals are treated. And it’s not just the animals who are raised for food who are mistreated, it’s the ones who produce milk, eggs, and cheese: babies separated from their mothers, treated as commodities (chicks roughly “processed” on conveyor belts), cows branded and castrated without anesthesia, chickens with their beaks snipped so they can’t peck each other, animals who never leave cages (even “free range chickens” are only given three square feet of floor space, as I recall), chickens who are bred to produce larger breasts who cannot even walk because they are top heavy…
It kind of took my appetite for meat away and I am not sure about my interest in any animal products at all right now, really, though I am eating cheese, and I had some won ton soup the other night, which is probably chicken broth-based and has pork in it (though instead of the usual chicken and vegetables, I ordered tofu and vegetables. I grew up eating tofu before anyone knew what it was — and hated it, largely because of the embarrassment of being so “crunchy” — and while I would probably never buy it and cook it for myself, I don’t mind eating it now).
I don’t expect everyone in our household to become vegetarian when I am finding it a challenge. I have been thinking hard about shopping at our local slaughterhouse (yes, we actually have one in town) and last week I got eggs from “happy chickens” from our neighbor. I am not sure where to get the milk and cheese and yogurt that is “cruelty-free,” though.
I do know that I regularly go for an entire day now without eating any animal products at all. I don’t imagine it’s impossible, but knowing what to do and actually doing it are two very different things, as evidenced by the fact that I’m even on the journey back to good health. But I didn’t put all that weight on overnight so I can’t expect to take it off overnight. I’m progressing in my vegucation, but for now am a “vergetarian,” (who loves making up new portmanteaus).