(This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post, “You Are What You Eat: Duh.”)
Energy is not always quantifiable. Nor are all types of energy measurable. Take karma, for example; most people I’ve talked to espouse some sort of belief in karma, or the power to precipitate one’s own ends. The Golden Rule is based in it, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
There are a lot of reasons not to eat meat, or to avoid factory-farmed food, or irresponsibly or unethically produced food. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll focus on one food: eggs.
Eggs, to most people, are a more benign animal-derived food. Laying hens don’t invoke images of chickens’ legs breaking under the weight of fat bodies, or chickens being caught by the legs and tossed/crammed into boxes en route to the slaughter house. Nope. We think that laying hens get to flap and scratch and move around (albeit, in a crowded house), and pop out eggs once or twice a day when their ready.
Far from it.
Laying hens have the most confined, miserable lives of any factory-farm species. Exposed to artificial light, crammed into small cages, roosting in their own feces, and often roosting under the feces of other hens, these animals know nothing but stress and idleness. It is not uncommon for farm workers to miss the carcass of a a dead bird due to the crowding and chaos.
I hate to use the Holocaust as an example, but anyone who has seen Schindler’s List or any other type of media on the subject can easily conjure up an image of human beings stuffed into boxcars and left in them for days or weeks under the most inhuman conditions. It’s about the same for laying hens–for their entire lives.
The hen will be a product of its environment: environmental, nutritional, and emotional.
The egg is a product of that hen.
You eat that egg, and it becomes part of your nutritional makeup.
You are what you eat; and you are everything that went into that egg. Every negatively charged emotion, every irresponsible practice, every unethical step of its production.
Some people are too “good” to buy stolen goods–but not if they don’t know those goods were stolen. Wake up and realize what you’re eating. I’ll call it a food’s “karmic load.”
It doesn’t stop there, and there’s no easy answer. Foods you think are responsible, organic, or sustainable often are not. Big Food works very hard to keep its consumers in the dark. Start asking questions about how your food was produced, whether anyone was exploited in the process, and if the environment suffered in the process. I’m not recommending that you do this from the viewpoint of some touchy-feeling tree-hugging animal-rights enthusiast; I recommend it from a practical standpoint…
You are what you eat. See my related post “What you’re REALLY eating (part 2): What Consumer’s Should Know About Conventional Food.”