During this past month, I’ve been exposed to a lot of disturbing pieces of food production. Most of these pieces involved the factory farm system. When people talked about how animals were mistreated, I was rather apathetic. I used to think that because I was a vegetarian, I was uninvolved and therefore blameless.
I’ve learned that being a lacto-ovo vegetarian doesn’t make me any less responsible for the inhumane situations animals are thrust into. Dairy cows and layer hens face the same, if not worse, conditions as animals raised for flesh. I still eat eggs on occasion, and I still like yogurt and ice cream. While I know I don’t want to support a system that relies on suffering, I don’t really want to give up deliciousness. I now have to deal with a dissonance between what I feel is right and what I really like. To make matters worse, my personal decision really won’t have an impact on this system. Even if I choose not to take part, I’d only be one person. What difference could I possibly make?
Even if my diet doesn’t change, I have grown as a result of this class. I’ve become more aware of my own beliefs and more sensitive to contemporary social issues. I’ve been inspired to critically engage with these issues in order to better understand them.