I’ve been thinking about this post for some time. I am an animal lover and I also eat meat. I spent an hour or so shooting pictures of this mother and her babies. She loves her babies, you can see it. They love her. To pretend it is any different is just a bald face lie. After the shoot, I swore to myself that eating pork was all over for me. And then it happened. I was hungry and a ham and swiss on marbled rye with honey mustard was on the menu. And when I’m done, I realize I’ve just consumed a Pig and Swiss on marbled rye.
I know this is a matter of consciousness. I am aware now that the piggy experiences love and fear, just like me. I eat them because they come to me in the store, already chopped up and sanitized in a little yellow tray wrapped in plastic, or from the deli because it is the special of the day and I’m short on time. I wonder if I would be so thoughtless if I was the person who had to look them in the eye and listen to them squeal as I ended their life.
Sorry to be a bummer if you eat meat, remember that I eat meat too so I’m not on a high horse, telling you what to eat. And I struggle with it. If you look around my blog you’ll see I’ve got a deep and abiding love for all animals. I went through the same thing with cows and chickens after spending a little time with them. Do you know that chickens will greet people they know, avoid people they don’t know, and enjoy a good scratch from the people they trust? So there is no meat left for me to eat without guilt instead. There is no such thing as a dumb animal. They are instinctual and different from us, but they experience similar emotions. So I swear I’m going to just consume the plants and then WHAM, I find myself enjoying a juicy pork roast, fresh off the grill.
For now, I’ll keep trying to cut back on the meat consumption. And in the meantime, in the tradition of the First Nations of British Columbia, I’ll give thanks to these creatures for their sacrifice, that through the gift of their life, I am nourished.