Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm a Freeg-etarian

Vegetarianism (or veganism) is a great way to make a statement about a particular aspect of the atrocities of our economic system, in the same way that dumpster diving makes a statement about waste. I find that for me personally, my conscience is clear when it comes to consuming meat that was wasted ("rescued" meat from dumpster diving). The reason I feel okay with it is that I feel that the animal's life was taken in vain to tossed in a bin. In a way, I think my maknig use of it is redeeming its life somehow. Something I cannot stand is finding perfectly good lamb meat sent over the oceans from New Zealand. It shows not only waste of the life of a baby animal, but also waste of resources (i.e. the transportation costs such as fuel and storage of the "product").

The issue for me is not in the eating of the meat, but in the funding of the process. If people all stopped paying for meat, the giant agribusinesses would lose money and be forced to reconfigure their project. So my way of protesting the cruelty and the many other issues with the meat industry is in not consuming meat that was purchased, and in not purchasing meat myself. For it's in contributing financially to that system (personally or through others) that we perpetuate it. Just for clarification, I am also fine with eating meat of animals that were raised personally for food (or "home grown meat", I like to say). I do not see a problem with using animals for food if it is done on a need basis and not for profit. It is profit and greed that create the crazy systems that rape the earth and its creatures.

I thought that this Q&A from the UK Freegans website was very good for explaining my position.

4) Are all ‘freegans’ vegans?

Although freeganism grew largely out of the vegan movement, not all freegans are vegans. Some vegans no longer find that the same arguments (e.g. inhumane treatment of animals) apply when it comes to using animal products that have already been produced and are now being wasted.

The direct impact of a freegan lifestyle on animals, people and the environment is less than that of even the strictest vegan who buys their food, as often large amounts of energy go into the production of vegan products for the market place.

Many freegans continue to follow a vegan diet for health and/or ethical reasons.

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