Today, like every other, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I went to have lunch at Glar. I got in the sandwich line, ordered my usual, and sat down. I took the first bite and realized I was eating ham. Ham is meat! Of course, I haven’t yet made any final decisions about becoming a vegetarian, but what if I decide, yes, I will not eat meat? No more ham sandwiches for me. What am I suppose to eat in Glar if not meat? Everything good (as much as anything in Glar can be good) is meat! Hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, oh god chicken sandwiches! I’ll never get to eat Chick-fil-a again. Never again will I enjoy the pleasure of a Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich dipped in Chick-fil-a s sauce coupled with the best chocolate shake known to woman. No Taco Bell either, or Burger King, or Chipotle. Basically, vegetarianism equates to no fast food. If I can’t eat fast food and I can’t eat Glar, what am I going to eat in college?
And still, I continue to eat meat in Glar. Each hamburger I eat is a last hurrah of sorts. If I’ll never get to enjoy these foods I’ve grown up with, why not eat as much of it as I can while I still feel ethically unobligated? If I think about it honestly, I know that that kind of thinking is immature and counterproductive, but I don’t want to think honestly. I want to hide in ignorance for just a little longer. To face the realities that factory farming is not only detrimental to the animals that it abuses and exploits, but to the environment and human mindset as well is difficult.
Some might think me heartless for what I’m about to say, but it’s the truth. I find it difficult to sympathize with a chicken in a cramped cage, or a turkey chick that doesn’t get to see the sunshine. I honestly feel no sadness or emotion for these animals. While I do enjoy the idea of pets and want to someday have an adorable pug puppy, I’ve never felt very close to animals. Some unnamed element, perhaps fear or self-centeredness, has kept a distance between animals and myself. This detachment is probably why the “I love animals and you should too” argument for vegetarianism always fails to impress me. However, an argument in the same vein but with a different emphasis has made an impact on me. This argument involves the welfare of not just animals, but humans and the ecological system we live in as well. If you view humans, animals, and the environment as one interdependent community rather than competing residents of earth, then damage done to one is damage done to all. The sanctioned abuse of animals is a cultural and societal cue that tells people it’s okay to be cruel and careless. What’s to stop that mindset from extending to other areas of human involvement? Nothing really. Clearly, humans are quite adept at being cruel and careless to the environment and other human beings. So for the sake of the psychological and sociological health of mankind, it would be best not to fuck with animals. It’s in our best interest really.