Meatless Monday

I had a shock this weekend.

While driving back from St. Louis, we were passed by a semi. (Have I explained to you how slowly my husband drives?) Riding next to us, the bars of their cages open to all manner of pollutants & elements was row after row of factory farmed chickens.

Feathers were twirling away from the semi, settling onto asphalt, windshield & neighboring field. Gaping wounds were bleeding. Birds were laying down, breasts and wings overlapping in overstuffed cages. Laying, because their thin legs were too week to support their bloated bodies.

Are those turkeys? Joe asked as another feather drifted toward our windshield & flipped toward the sky before settling on the car behind us.

No, I said. They’re chickens.

I was sobbing. Heaving, breathtaking sobs. And I had no idea where it all came from. I mean, I’m sensitive. I love animals, but I’m not the cry-for-the-deer-on-the-side-of-the-road or throw-red-paint-at-the-fur-wearer type. I truly thought I’d prepared myself for this. I’d seen images of factory farms, read book after book about them, known people who were raised on them. I’d never seen any being so close to an inhumane death after such a damaged existence.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that humans are meant to live among & eat animals. I think that dairy does good things for the body when consumed responsibly & made sustainably. But this process, this force-feeding of chickens living an inactive lifestyle, is inhumane for all parties involved.

Think about it this way: Take a month. Sit in your recliner. Do not move. Do not walk, go outside or even stand. Better yet, sit on a couch. With seven of your friends. No one standing for a month. Have fast food delivered to your seats daily. Keep a store of chips & soda nearby. Enjoy.

At the end of the month, how healthy are you? What is the nutrient makeup of your body? Would meat that lived this life provide real nutrition to your body? Does it contribute to your health?

Imagined what not eating this meat could do. Not just for the animals or the air or the reduced pollutants going into our environment. Think selfishly. What would this do your your body?

Meatless Mondays have been around for ages, since the days of victory gardens & Rosie the Riveter. Now, it’s a national movement dedicated to fixing part of our food system. This is what they have to say:

…Our goal is to help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet.

Presidents Wilson, Truman and Roosevelt galvanized the nation with voluntary meatless days during both world wars. Our intention is to revitalize this American tradition. We’re spearheading a broad-based, grassroots movement that spans all borders and demographic groups. By cutting out meat once a week, we can improve our health, reduce our carbon footprint and lead the world in the race to reduce climate change.

Here’s more on what the once a week reduction can do:


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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2 Responses to Meatless Monday

  1. Pingback: lent: the vegetarian returns | francofile

  2. Pingback: Wheatless Wednesday | francofile

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