I Heart Cows

And no, not because “they’re delicious” like some people say.

I have not eaten meat since I was 16. I have no desire to ever eat meat again. No poultry, no fish, no beef, no seafood. For me, it’s all about the animals. I remember when I was in 7th grade and suede leather bomber jackets were so incredibly in. And by some miracle, that was one trend my parents actually purchased for me. I still remember sitting in my bedroom, feeling the soft leather and thinking, “This was an animal. And now it’s dead so I can have this jacket.” It made me feel sick to my stomach. “Maybe it was sick so they had to kill it anyway.”

It’s no surprise that I became a vegetarian.

Living in a meat-centric state like Wisconsin, there have been many times I have gone hungry. Weddings, work functions, family/friend gatherings, even some restaurants. I’ve gotten pretty good at finding something for myself to eat just about anywhere, though.

So last week, Oprah broadcast her vegan challenge. No meat, dairy, or animal products for 7 days. I have always admired the woman and I love that she’s getting people to think about their food. Whether they want to become vegetarian, vegan or neither.

I was also very proud of Lady O for doing what no mainstream public television show has done before – she showed the inside of a meat processing plant.

I knew it was going to be hard to watch. I have a very weak stomach and like I said above, I love cows. There’s something about these animals. They look so proud, so pretty, so intelligent. I think it’s their pretty, big brown eyes. The fact that Wisconsin is known as the dairy state may have something to do with it, too.

But even I was surprised by my reaction when I witnessed what happens to these cows from the farm to the slaughterhouse.

I cried. I sobbed. I whimpered. And I couldn’t help it.

A big part of the show was about how “humanely” they kill the cows. Talk about an oxymoron. Is it ever really possible to humanely kill anything?

Contrary to what you may believe based on this post, I do not pass judgement on meat eaters. I’ve been ridiculed and picked on for 16 years for my beliefs, so I wouldn’t do that to someone else.

But.

I think everyone needs to understand, appreciate and respect where their food comes from. Something died so you could eat. A beautiful, living, brown-eyed, blinking cow died for your hamburger. Maybe if we all kept things like that in mind, the world would be a little better.

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