The oldest homosapien is now thought to have lived 340,000 years ago. For our entire existence, we have killed and consumed animals in the wild, just like other omnivores and carnivores. Then around 10,000 years ago we found a way to have a steady supply of meat and plants through farming. Up until the mid 1940’s, it was not uncommon for people to have a full garden with both vegetables and animals being raised for meat in communities.
Within only 80 years, this practice has almost vanished except for a few progressive cities and rural areas. What happened? Factory farming took the place of self sufficiency, and the reverence, gratitude and humane treatment of animals also disappeared, except for the honorable family farms that still follow traditional practices. But what also happened was that prominent health professionals and studies began to demonize animal food, most famously the cholesterol and saturated fat in the animal foods. All of a sudden, all of the problems plaguing our health was coming from animal products. I have one question: if this was true, why weren’t our meat eating ancestors riddled with these health problems we have now? And why have skeletal remains of the hunter gathers shown such superb health? If you do want to point to the problem besides the chemical, sugar and vegetable oil consumption, point to the farm, not the animal.
The Ethical Treatment of Animals
The vegans and vegetarians that choose to avoid animal products for ethical reasons have a solid argument. No one who has witnessed how a factory farm is run can in good conscience eat this meat. People who haven’t would rather not know, and continue to plug their ears singing “lalalalala” while they eat at a fast food restaurant. Now, even if the ethical argument does not sway you, seeing how sick the animals are before slaughter might change your mind. If we eat sick animals, it’s not too far of a leap to show how this leads to sick and diseased humans. We do have a choice. Choosing animals that eat the diet of their ancestors also experience superb health, and pass that on to us. Here is a very powerful story from a vegan that built her entire lifestyle and business on eating vegan, only to find out that it was destroying her and her child’s health:
Create a Mini-Farm at Home if Possible
Recently, I have found myself having conversations with people regarding having my own chickens, a milk goat and possibly bees. Each time, I get a blank stare that is usually reserved for foreigners that keep answering “YES!” There is a complete misunderstanding that this is even an option in countries like the United States. Then the inevitable question comes up regarding actually eating one of the chickens. “So, you would actually kill the chicken??” Usually we are actually eating chicken while having this conversation. This is the first time in history that we have had such a disconnect with our food. A whole society suddenly feels uncomfortable with the idea of slaughtering animals for food, and finds it more acceptable to buy it at the store where someone else has killed it and we don’t have to think about it. I think we have actually lost the reverence and gratitude that came with the actual process, and the guilt many feel is from that disconnect, not the actual act. Many societies have a long tradition of saying prayers of gratitude for the animal they just killed, and have a deep respect while they live.
The price of cheese, milk and yogurt is getting out of control. Along with drought resistant plants, goats provide a great alternative to cows because they can be kept in smaller plots, while thriving on weeds and bushes that nothing else will eat. Cows require rich pasture land, that may not be accessible for a large part of the year if we begin experiencing longer droughts. Their milk is less allergenic than cow’s milk, and you can even get pygmy goats that will provide milk. They are however crafty and are quite smart, so you will be keeping an eye on a convict-like animal trying to escape Alcatraz.
Of 100 crop species that provides 90 percent of the world’s food for 7 billion people, 70 are pollinated by bees. In the last 50 years, the bees are disappearing at an alarming rate, with the most likely culprit occurring from chemical agriculture and GMO’s. In fact, I would say without hesitation that this is the cause. Europe has been ahead of the game by banning GMO’s in one country after another, while also proposing a 2 year ban on pesticides. If we don’t start keeping more bees organically, we are going to have a very difficult time growing our plants. This isn’t an issue the U.S. should take lightly and try to tackle by figuring out how to pollinate without the bees. It won’t work. Nature is too smart. We can’t miss out on raw honey, propolis, bee pollen and royal jelly that are all arguably some of the most amazing foods in existence. The oldest alcoholic drink of mankind is made from honey, called mead. But the bees are also telling us that the chemicals we are eating, are killing us.
What about the financial aspect of eating more pastured animal foods? Many of you have probably noticed your food bill has gone up dramatically this past year along with your taxes. And as long as we see bee populations plummet and droughts and floods continue due to global warming, food prices will continue to go up. Cottage communities will need to be brought back to make eating healthy affordable again. If you can’t keep chickens due to zoning laws, gather up enough people in the neighborhood to get zoning passed. Despite what some critics who have never kept chickens say, they are not loud and they do not smell when cared for correctly. Dogs make much more noise and you can’t compost their poop. I love dogs, but chickens make much more sense to keep in a neighborhood setting than dogs. Your compost pile is limited, and you can’t put meat or grains in it. But chickens are omnivores, and will eat all of your table scraps and recycle them into eggs, meat and fertilizer that you normally have to pay Home Depot to obtain.
Plant berry bushes along a fence and fruit trees in your front yard. These will provide food for many years, and you will no longer have to pay $8.00 for six blueberries. Don’t have a yard? Sunny spots in your apartment work fine for many vegetables and herbs. No room whatsoever? Sign up for a local CSA (community supported agriculture). If you are finding it difficult to obtain high quality meat where you live, consider buying it from US Wellness Meats. In many ways we are living in a very different world, but what we need to eat will continue to stay the same. It’s either in our hands to make it available, or Monsanto. I’m betting on us.