For Your Health, the Planet & the Animals: VBM
I recently watched Earthlings and cried the whole way through. There has to be something I can do to reduce all of the suffering of the animals we use as food, I thought. And then I read THE CHINA STUDY and was shocked to learn how unhealthy the Standard American Diet is–even cow's milk, which I thought I should be having three servings of per day! And you know how concerned I am about water on Planet Earth. Well, when I found out that it takes 2,500-5,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, that was it . . . I knew I had to take action.
Now, I don't want to do anything extreme, like go vegan. Veganism is too fringe for me, and I'm pretty sure you have to be a Communist, or at least a Socialist, to be a vegan. And I don't think vegans believe in God, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't believe in God. I mean, where do they get their morals from? How do they know what's right? And what are they living their lives for?
Also, veganism is expensive, and I'm on a budget. And it limits you in that you can't just go anywhere to watch a football game if you plan to eat anything. I hear that some places fry their french fries in lard and if I can't eat french fries when I'm at a restaurant, well, what can I eat? It's all too high maintenance.
Then there's the parenting part. I don't have a kid but I might some day and I wouldn't want to impose my beliefs on some poor, unsuspecting child. That would be like brainwashing, and that's just not right. Besides, when it comes to birthday parties it's not like my vegan kid would have anything to eat. Who ever heard of a cupcake without eggs and butter in it?
Luckily, I think I've found a way to assuage my conscience about all of the suffering, environmental devastation and negative health impacts of eating animal products all day. I call it VBM: Vegan Between Meals. Here's how it works:
- Rather than eating all day long (I call it grazing), I'm restricting my meals to three times per day.
- Between those three meals, I am committing to bettering my health, the Planet, and the sentient nonhumans who live here by being vegan. This means that between mealtimes I will not consume animal products, use products tested on animals, attend a rodeo or polo match, go to Seaworld, wear leather, silk or wool, or drop any toxic substances into the eyes of rabbits who are clamped down (or even not clamped down, which is far more humane and acceptable).
- But I have to be realistic and reasonable, as it's not like the whole world is going to go vegan just because it's the right thing to do. Face it, it's just too hard to give up all that. I love my steak and my bacon. So I'll do my part between meals.
- For instance, at mealtime, if I want to put on my suede shoes and silk suit and go to dinner at Ruths Chris Steakhouse then head to the dog track for an evening of gambling and to watch the dogs run–and they love to run–I can do that.
- After mealtime, I return home, remove my suede shoes and silk suit and change into my cotton espadrilles and linen suit and live like a vegan until my next meal.
We all have to step up to the plate and align our actions with our beliefs. VBM is the least I can do, but I am committed to doing my part.
Mark Bittman, foodie and bestselling author, started (unintentionally or otherwise) what has become something of a movement called VB6, where he's Vegan Before 6pm and then after 6 he eats whatever/whomever he wants.
And it's really just food he's talking about, by the way, as he cut out a lot of the animal products and processed food from his diet and his health improved enormously.
Satire was my favorite subject in school since I was in high school (yes, we had Literary Satire, taught by Mrs. Tinkhauser). Jonathan Swift was my favorite author.
You lose the effect when you say, "Ha ha, it's a joke!" It should be so disturbing due to the fact that it seems real but somehow can't be.
But I don't want to upset anyone.