Almost tears. Twice in the same day?!

29 Jun

Yesterday, I found myself holding back tears. Twice. And not for the same reason.

After having my nephew here for a sleepover with the boys, my sister and I met in Troy, Michigan, for lunch at Panera and a matinee movie with all six of our kids. We took them to see Toy Story 3. Though their ages range from 5 to 12, I think they all enjoyed it from beginning to end. I know I did. I’ve seen the two previous Toy Story movies more than once. Like those, I laughed out loud through most of this one. But, I can admit — I got choked up at the end. I won’t give away what happens, but I was a little surprised at how “invested” I had become in a group of toys trying to continue making kids happy. Pixar really does a fantastic job of showing the “feelings” of the toys — between the wonderful cast doing the voices, and the creation and animation of the characters’ faces. It was a great movie with a tear-jerker ending. I highly recommend it.

I also held back tears earlier in the day, while driving. (Crying while traveling up I-75 with a carload of kids would not have been a wise thing to do.)

Before I get into why I got choked up, let me take you on a quick tour through the last six months.
I have high blood pressure. My prescription meds caused an allergic reaction so I quit taking them so I could work on controlling my BP through diet and exercise. In January, I went vegan. I completely stopped eating and drinking anything that came from an animal. Studies show that living a vegan lifestyle can be a huge step in controlling BP.

I’ve always been a meat eater. Choosing to eliminate animals from my diet meant educating myself by reading. A lot. I read everything I could get my hands on to help me understand veganism and what to eat and how to cook it. And I still read all the time on the subject.

In the process of making this transition, I’ve learned truckloads of info about the meat industry in this country. More than I ever wanted to know. It’s a scary, frightening industry filled with cruelty, mistreatment, filth, drugs, germs and untimely death. It’s disgusting.

Like most Americans, I was blind to how meat gets to my grocery store. I just bought what was on sale or looked good without giving much thought to how it got there. Now I know. I’ve read. I’ve seen the pictures. I’ve watched the documentaries.

Don’t get me wrong — I do not think humans should stop eating animals. Humans have hunted and fished and farmed forever. It’s part of the food chain. But we must stop supporting factory farming. Animals raised for food should be allowed to live the way nature intended. Not jammed into barns, forced to eat chemical-laden corn instead of grass, jacked up with antibiotics to deal with the illnesses caused by living in their own droppings, and never seeing the sun until they travel to the slaughterhouse.

Which brings me to why I got choked up while driving yesterday. I passed a semi. Not just any semi. An enormous truck, jam-packed from top to bottom and front to back with tiny cages stuffed with chickens on their way to slaughter. The ones on the outside edges being whipped by the rain and wind. The ones on the inside still unable to see the light of day. And all of them frantically trying to figure out what’s going on. If you’ve seen the movie Food Inc., you know exactly what I’m talking about.

It makes me sick to my stomach. It breaks my heart.

And leaves me with one request: PLEASE know where your meat is coming from. Buy directly from local farms. Not only are you supporting your local economy, you’re also showing factory farms (grocery store meat) that you do not support their cruel practices. It’s a simple choice.

You can find local farms in your area by visiting You can learn more about where your food comes from by watching the movie Food Inc. And you can learn more than you want to know about factory farming by reading Eating Animals, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and many more books in your local library, or by searching the web.

Thanks for listening.

Happy Chickens at Omega Farms

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2 Responses to “Almost tears. Twice in the same day?!”

  1. Nancy Mitchell June 29, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Excellent post.

  2. Tamie Spears June 29, 2010 at 11:06 am #


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