I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years now, dating back to a trip to Europe I went on when I was in high school. I never liked the texture of meat and who could blame me since I grew up with offerings like cube steak, hot dogs and pot roast. I can remember hearing my Mom pounding the cube steak with a meat mallet. I dreaded those dinners. All the fried onions in the world couldn’t make up for the endless chewing I was forced to endure. So it was while in Germany when I couldn’t even recognize what the meat was (it was gray!), that I finally decided to give it up entirely.
Over those past three decades I didn’t really give much thought to my daily consumption of dairy and eggs. Karmically I figured I was exempt because no animal was dying so I could eat greek yogurt, cheese and eggs.
That all changed this summer when I started giving tours at a farm sanctuary in my area. When I found out that the meat and dairy industry are really one and the same, that was a game changer! Cows give milk because they have given birth. Nowadays cows are all artificially inseminated and have a pregnancy of nine months (just like humans!). Once she gives birth, her calf is taken away and fed formula so we can drink her milk. If that calf is a female, it will most likely endure the same lifetime of being impregnated and milked over and over. If it’s a male, its bound for either a veal crate or slaughtered for pet food or cheaper meat. Either way, they take her baby and she is often traumatized by that. Some cows milk production severely suffers and farmers call it “expendable loss”. Now I view milk as just what it is….baby cow juice. After all, it’s rich in fat and protein for a calf to grow up consuming, I’m not a baby cow nor growing so I’ll stick to nut milks!
I’ll write about eggs next time…