Promises Unkept, Intentions Good

 

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As the title nudges at, I have not kept to my promise of being here more often. There was a time I felt so compelled to write. Every evening, I was there in front of the keyboard, fingers tap-tapping away at furious speed, only pausing to take a sip of coffee and inhale sense, hit backspace and clean up mistakes. What’s changed then? A lot of things, and most of them good. I shall not delve into the details, however there is no real excuse as to why I have not been writing other than the fact that I did not give it priority over other things in my life. And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I do not think a career as a travel blogger ever existed beyond the realm of my imagination – I simply lack the discipline.

To go back to the title however, it was not merely for the above stated lack of commitment to writing/blogging. A few months ago, perhaps it might have been a year, time seems to flow, each day following the next as one fresh ripple after the other, no seam or visible separation discernible. However, I digress. Let’s call it an even 7 months ago I embarked upon this personal journey of choice where I tried to wean myself off meat and partake of a vegetarian diet. I did not go cold turkey (accidental pun, I promise), I started off cutting out red meat, subsisting on vegetables and chicken, with a healthy dose of eggs thrown in gingerly cracked open.

Let me start by explaining my reasons, mainly it was for the animals, I felt like a hypocrite saying that I loved animals while munching on a perfectly roasted chicken wing. My second reason was that it’s better for the planet – along with recycling, reducing use of single use plastics and being careful with water, eating a vegan/vegetarian diet is right up there with those concerned with living sustainably. I’d like to say all my friends and family rallied around with support of my decision, but no, my decision was met with surprise, incredulity, debates and even jokes. I did not take offence at any of this, feeling that I was doing the right thing.

I did not stick to it beyond a few months though, there was too much temptation at every turn, I felt like I was never full or satiated eating only vegetables, and cooking became somewhat boring. These are all personal problems, things I could have worked on. However, being in the final semester of my master’s degree, I chose the easy route, bought a burger and ‘mmmm’ed in satisfaction at my first bite. None of this is to discount my earlier sentiments; I still believe that animals are treated with extreme cruelty in the meat, dairy, poultry industries. The thing that I do have trouble with, and this (if it ever gets read) will cause many people anger and frustration, especially those who believe that our lack of sharp pointy canine teeth is evidence of our inherent vegetarian diet, … the thing I have trouble with is that I do not believe humans are vegetarian by nature. There, I’ve said it. We are omnivores, not meant to be tearing flesh off dying animals with our bare hands (with a noticeable lack of claws) or latching on to their butts with our dagger-like teeth as we run them down. Evolution gave us the advantage of tools, to bring down animals bigger than us, faster than us and eat them for their meat, and fire to make both vegetables and meat palatable.

I do not agree at all with the way humans treat food production, vegetables, fruit, animals included. As with the many who also share this view, I can see that greed and convenience have bred the state things are in today. Growing more food than we need, stocking supermarket shelves to the rafters all the time lest there be a whiff of ‘not enough’, and then throwing away the un-purchased food once the expiry date hops around. Do not even get me started on all the food that doesn’t merit coming face to face with humans at all because it didn’t grow in the perfect shape we expected it to. A less than round tomato, heaven forbid! And all this while millions starve, and millions more scavenge waste piles looking for something to calm their rumbling stomachs.

This is of course a very big topic, and there is no way I have touched on anything in depth here, this has been more of a rant, an exploration of the thoughts about this subject that rattle around in my head. The problem with the ‘animals reared for or as food’ industry is not one that can be solved in one go. There is no one magical solution that will put an end to this –  it is a grand challenge, a global grand challenge. Will there ever be enough forward thinking amongst politicians, policy makers, leaders and regular Joes and Janes like you and me that will allow an overhaul such as the one we will need to end the food crisis? To mitigate the waste before it becomes too big to push out of sight into landfills? A weighty topic is this, but one I feel strongly about – from the producers to packagers to consumers, is there a way that all of them can work together? Must it be left to the money hungry to decide what becomes of our world, or can small changes we can all make herald changes, hopefully causing a positive domino effect?

These are answers I do not have. However, I am so open to hearing from you all though, ideas, thoughts, personal struggles, triumphs. What do you think about waste in today’s world?

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