What’s for breakfast?

When i was little…i LOVED eggs. I mean i just LOVED them. Hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper, omelettes bursting with peppers, onions, cheese and indian spices and of course the ever so addictive slightly runny version that I now find completely disgusting.

I used eggs in everything too. I loved cracking them perfectly and finding that I had successfully separated shell from yolk. I used them in brownies, cakes and muffins and became an expert at buying the “right” kind too.

Of course, that’s the beauty of being a little kid. You only know what your mommy and daddy tell you, and as long as you see cute little pictures of hens laying eggs with a big smile on their face on TV, you think its wonderful! Great! Fantastic!

Then, you grow up and realize that the media oh-so-tricky. They lied! They tricked you! Those hens aren’t giggling and getting a good nights rest, they’re laying on top of eachother in crowded, filthy coops swarming with feces, salmonella, blood, infection amongst other things. It can’t be true. How could this go unnoticed by the bloodsucking media? Well that’s just the best part of it – the media only prints what they want you to know. The food industry has power – all the organizations supporting egg production have power – and this power has been used to make you believe…fluffy happy little facts that aren’t even true.

But what? Industries and the media don’t want to help you learn the truth? At first, i couldn’t fathom the outright disgustingness and injustice of the situation. Little baby chicks being smushed and killed and thrown around like trash? Wasn’t this wrong? Why didn’t anyone care? Furthermore, putting the ethics aside, wasn’t the unsanitary conditions of these farms and factories bad enough?

The recent egg recall has spurned a considerable amount of debate all over blogs and comment boards on various websites all over the internet. I love reading comments – i know it sounds like a waste of time, but i like knowing what others are thinking. I sometimes agree, sometimes disagree, sometimes i find a comment particularly stupid and sometimes i love it.

That being said, i’ve seen a variety of viewpoints on the egg recall since it happened and have tried to separate the different types of people as follows…

  • “Ignorance is bliss”/”Ignorance is delicious”/The “uneducated” that really don’t know any better/The “proud” meat eaters: This is a very general group and i don’t want to generalize and assume all that eat meat/eggs/dairy are ignorant, because this isn’t true. Ignorance has been a long time solution to many of the world’s man made problems. I quote “I don’t care, its yummy” and “Oh well, let me enjoy” – quotes from the stubborn and unwilling to admit – or the ones who already know but don’t feel the need to act on it.

We cannot call these people idiots, for it is all about perspective. Everyone’s fighting for something. And your friend Jane who eats beef three times a day may recognize that there is a severe problem in the meat industry but may not feel that this is an issue she cares enough about supporting to the point of changing her meat habits. She might be fighting for starving kids in China – but this issue may not rise to the top of her concerns.

Or, we have those “rednecks” and “backwards people” (I’m not supporting this terminology, just stating a common viewpoint) that are ignorant and stuck in their narrow small bubbles and unwilling to learn and educate themselves about world issues.  They immediately shoot you down and refer to vegetarians as psycho hippies.

There are also those that just really don’t know because they don’t have access to the information. In this day and age of technology fueling most of what we know…its hard to NOT know. But it happens – you aren’t going to see headlines claiming “Factory farms are evil!” on a major media story because that’s not what the media or the food industry wants the public to believe. You need to search for this information – and thats where it becomes difficult to understand what’s real and what’s an illusion. We, as consumers, want to believe what we see.

I also want to state that there are those that don’t know because honestly, they have bigger things to worry about. I’m speaking of families in lower income households that struggle to purchase food and live in a decent apartment. Its not really high on their list of priorities to spend $2.00 extra to purchase free range items. And i don’t blame them. It’s all about perspective and priorities. We need to get the government to stop subsidizing things like corn and beef and get them to subsidize fresh produce – it will help us, our future healthcare costs, the environment, everything!

We also have the rich and spoiled – not to say that equals ignorance – but there is a certain sector of rich and spoiled that like to indulge. And you will see those kinds of people at steakhouses – a hedge fund taking out clients for a $100 piece of meat, for example. Its considered to be a sign of luxury, indulgence, riches, and enjoyment. Lettuce doesn’t really have that rep 🙂

We also have the “Survival of the fittest” debate. There are people that believe we have evolved to the top of the food chain and it is our right to consume animals. Animals eat other animals. And we eat them. So what’s the problem? Why the hoopla?

The environment around us fuels what we are and what we become – and while there are a decent amount of people that make their own decisions, there is also something to be said for habit. It took me a long time to stop eating meat even though i knew there was something wrong with it. And that was because it was so deeply rooted in me as being “normal”…that i couldn’t stop.

The majority of these consumers fuel the entire production of crappy, filthy products. We have the choice between free range and organic versus cheap mass production – and we choose to purchase whats cheapest, regardless of whats the most humane or, debatedly, the healthiest.

  • Free range/local farm supporters: Then we have those that agree there is a problem with major corporate farming and push the free range, organic, locally grown grass fed poultry/dairy products. I am not here to push vegetarianism on others, but i would like all people to take action to stop supporting unethical and to be honest, DISGUSTING industry practices, as well as unenvironmental ones.

These people consume meat but they are raising the standard of quality in the industry. The standard NEEDS to be raised and the only way it can be raised is if individual consumers put a stop to the madness and start demanding more.

  • Vegans: Vegans deserve a special category…these people have completely sworn off of the consumption or use of all animal products. We have vegans that push PETA agendas and tell others that meat, eggs and dairy is bad for them, its not natural, its full of antibiotics and hormones. And it goes the other way around – i can’t tell you how many times i’ve gotten a lecture telling me how i “need meat” to survive.

Most of these people would also tend to agree with the fact that animals deserve to live and don’t exist for the primary purpose of slaughter, abuse, etc. Animal rights are a concept that some may scoff at, but some passionately support. Who are we as humans to deny animals the right to life? Some would argue against this and say that its a privilege for animals to live, not a right. And thats where the debate begins. Who are we if not compassionate human beings and where is that care and concern when it comes to animals? Why do we kill cows but not dogs? The debate surrounding the consumption of meat products is a fiery one – habitual meat eaters are unwilling to back down and more than often the veggie agenda is viewed as being “extreme”. There is MUCH criticism against PETA, even from the veggie community. But the bottom line here is, meat is NOT for human consumption. Neither is eggs. Or dairy. Any product derived from an animal is not to be consumed.

There are also vegans that believe human beings are not physically able to consume and digest animal products properly. Protein isn’t compromised if you are a vegetarian/vegan – research has proven it. There is also significant debate surrounding the fact that humans, are in fact, probably omnivores.  We weren’t meant to consume meat – which is often faced with the “Well, why shouldn’t i? They taste good, and they’re there, so who cares?” Yet another argument revolves around the fact that if we were MEANT to eat meat…we would be able to eat it raw:

“The final point I would like to make on how we as humans were not meant to eat meat is this. All omnivorous and carnivorous animals eat their meat raw. When a lion kills an herbivore for food, it tears right into the stomach area to eat the organs that are filled with blood (nutrients). While eating the stomach, liver, intestine, etc., the lion laps the blood in the process of eating the dead animals flesh. Even bears that are omnivores eat salmon raw. However, eating raw or bloody meat disgust us as humans. Therefore, we must cook it and season it to buffer the taste of flesh. If a deer is burned in a forest fire, a carnivorous animal will NOT eat its flesh. Even circus lions have to be feed raw meat so that they will not starve to death. If humans were truly meant to eat meat, then we would eat all of our meat raw and bloody. The thought of eating such meat makes one’s stomach turn. This is my point on how we as humans are conditioned to believe that animal flesh is good for us and that we were meant to consume it for survival and health purposes. If we are true carnivores or omnivores, cooking our meat and seasoning it with salt, ketchup, or tabasco sauce would disguise and we as humans would refuse to eat our meat in this form.”

Aside from the ethical and healthy standpoints of consuming animal products, many vegans don’t consume animal products because of the effect on the environment. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to make a pound of beef, cattle ranches are responsible for a staggeringly high percentage of deforestation, and recent research suggests that meat production may be responsible for almost HALF of total carbon emissions.

I like this website: A Vegetarian’s Guide

The egg recall has resulted in a HUGE amount of debate.  Some are blaming the consumers and saying hey, everything has salmonella. Cook properly! Some are blaming the farms, some are blaming the corporations. Some are picking on industry practices.

Personally, i would tend to agree with the fact that industry controls suck. There is absolutely no quality control on what we are consuming.

I do find it amusing that people are blaming the consumer for not cooking correctly. What, we are supposed to EXPECT salmonella now? Its become a way of life?

The basic problem with this recall is that its just beginning. In the past few years, we’ve seen e-coli and spinach, tainted peanut butter, beef, and now eggs. This particular recall has expanded to a half BILLION eggs.

Apparently, there was a time when eggs were considered to be a pretty safe food. But thanks to the mass production of eggs….not so much anymore. Customer safety is dead. Its up to us to watch after ourselves.

I like this: “Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein

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About fuelyourlife

I love food, nutrition, and fitness and primarily believe that food is medicine. Your body is a temple - treat it like one!
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