Since moving to Louisiana, I’ve been living in a way that is not in line with my beliefs. Before moving, I was a vegetarian (who also didn’t eat anything with eggs) and was decent about recycling. For the last four years, I’ve fallen too deeply into the attitude down here, or at least, I’ve lived by it. Recycling is made impossible because it is just not done here, so to find a center is difficult and they still don’t take everything. It’s not like in my hometown in maine where we were issued, or could rent, recycling bins and they would be picked up once a week, filled with things ready to be repurposed. Here, there isn’t even bottle or can redemption, so that really compounds the issue. Not only is recycling in general very difficult here, but even our bottles and cans are added to our bulging trashbags and landfills.
For almost 4 years now, I’ve felt guilty about this lack of recycling, what I’m doing to the earth, but also for eating meat and, in so doing, encouraging the mistreatment of animals. These animals live and die horribly, cruelty free is not what we would consider cruelty free if it were being done to humans or dogs or cats, and really, it’s impossible in a small town to even find much better than organic. Organic around here is generally better for human consumption, but doesn’t mean much for the animals. Anyway, with that line of thinking, i returned to my old vegetarian ways last week, but my conscience has still been wagging it’s fingers at me, urging me to stop denying what I know is true: by consuming dairy products, I’m encouraging the same kind of treatment of animals that I’m trying to avoid through vegetarianism. If I am going to live my beliefs, being a vegetarian simply doesn’t cut it. The animals in the dairy industry have lives just as rough as those in the meat industry, and the dairy industry actually feeds the meat industry with the calves yanked quickly away from teh endlessly impregnated mother cows and those same mother cows once they’ve been exhausted, usually at only 5 years old. I know that a lot of people will think this is propaganda, and in a way I guess that’s true, but I wanted to write about how I came to my decision, why I didn’t feel that I could continue voting with my dollars for industries that do things that I can’t stand to think about. If I have to avoid the truth in order to continue eating meat or dairy products, then I honestly shouldn’t be doing it. That means that I know it’s wrong and I don’t want to bury my head in the sand anymore That’s why I don’t mind if this is considered propaganda… the people who say that are just like me, trying to avoid the uncomfortable truth of what their diets cost animals.
And, the recycling thing, well I’m going to start that today, even if I have to drive 30 miles once a week to drop it off. Laziness is no excuse to mindlessly pollute the planet, especially since, even when we recycle, we still produce a lot of waste. And what do I have to be lazy about?! I don’t even have a job, I am a housewife with all the time in the world to cut down my negative effect on the planet.
Basically, I’ve accidentally, and through following what my gut has been trying to tell me for years, gone full hippie. And that’s a decision that I’m very comfortable with.