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Friday, 28 June 2013

Sometimes I wonder....

...why I'm not a vegetarian.

I love animals.  I hate cruelty to animals.  I love to see the chickens running around this village and the sheep passing the house each day to graze over the hill.

I hate zoos and circuses.  No animal should be kept in captivity, just to entertain us.  I despise people who hunt animals for pleasure...it horrifies me.  My heart wants to save all the animals of the world, but my logical brain knows this is impossible.

But I eat meat.   I think I justify it because animals have always killed other animals to survive, since time began.  It's easy to pick up meat in the supermarket, which bears no resemblance to a living animal.

I don't think about it a great deal until I see a dead animal, which happened early this morning.

I fed the dogs at 5.30am and let them out for a run up the hill.   Sammy and Blondie were back within 10 minutes.  Megan followed a few minutes later...with something in her mouth.  She has a habit of bringing me "gifts" with that expression on her face that says "look what I've got for you...aren't you pleased with me?"

It was the remains of a tiny lamb.  Megan dropped it outside the gate and left it there.  She seemed to have no desire to do anything with it other than to bring it to me.  There were two street dogs just up the lane, watching Megan as she came through the gate.   I imagine the lamb was something they had found, and Megan had taken it from them...she's good at that...she will intimidate other dogs and they just back off.

I don't think it's likely that the dogs killed the lamb.  The sheep and their offspring are never left unattended.  I would imagine that it was stillborn to one of the sheep while they were up on the hill with the shepherd.   And it would have just been left there to rot.

Naturally I had to dispose of it.  In my rush to get a shovel, my dodgy ankle gave way, which is going to cause me grief today.   My sentimental side wanted to give it a decent burial, but being practical I threw it on to some waste ground, where it will feed the stray dogs and cats.

Incidents like this stir up all sorts of emotions for me.  Will I carry on eating meat?  Probably.

Are any of you vegetarians?  If you're not, how do you justify eating meat?  I'd really like to know your views.

22 comments:

  1. Some people say I'm a hypocrite because I don't eat red meat but do eat small quantities of chicken and turkey. I could probably give it up easily enough but its the only meat I do eat.
    If I had to kill the fowl, then I certainly would give up immediately.
    I eat fish but wouldn't like to catch & kill one! I don't worry about eating eggs and cheese though.
    I think you probably did the right thing giving the lamb to the starving dogs and cats. Once it is dead it seems a waste to bury it. Such is the way of Nature.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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    1. I rarely eat red meat Maggie. Mainly because it's so expensive here. I eat chicken mostly, but like you, not a great deal of it. And it's healthier than red meat anyway.

      And you're right about the dead lamb. It's the way of nature. There will be a couple of stray dogs or cats who won't starve today.

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    2. Linda, I am funny this way. I do not eat beef. One farmer hear us had "wild" cattle and couldn't catch them so got some shooters out to kill them but they'd been coming to me as I walked past and this day they ran to me.I thought Robert was going to have a stand up fight in the field he was so angry for me. After that it just hurt me too much to think about eating them. I also used to help the neighbouring farmer to lamb his ewes. To bring a little animal into the world like that is amazing. They used to be born in February and by June away to slaughter. OOOhh I couldn't bear it so never eat lamb either. However it is my personal thing so I will still cook steak for Robert but I DO eat venison. Any venison I eat is deer killed on the hill- quickly and expertly and that I can stomach. Funny isn't it? However we are fisherfolk through and through- brought up on all kinds of fish and that I enjoy. My main meat is turkey. I would do what you did with the dead lamb- let some poor creature eat it and enjoy it. Elizabeth

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    3. Welcome to my blog Elizabeth, my dear friend. I think our emotions tend to take over when it comes to meat. It's difficult to eat meat when you have "known" the live animal. We sometimes get meat given to us at Kurban Bayram. I'm ok with it as long as I didn't see the animal when it was alive. The dead lamb particularly upset me, as it was only a few weeks ago that I was holding a lamb that was only 3 hours old

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  2. I have been vegetarian in the past. For two separate but fairly lengthy periods of time. I started eating meat again because my body can't absorb iron from vegetables. And yes, I know all the vegetables that are good ways for most people to obtain the iron their body needs. I tried all that. And, given a choice between meat (a natural product) and iron tablets, I've gone for the natural product.
    That said, we eat small quantities of meat by UK standards. And a lot of that is chicken.

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    1. I think I would have done the same as you omentide...opting for the natural product rather than the pills. I don't mind sticking with chicken. It's pretty versatile. Any meals I cook with chicken, end up with mostly vegetables anyway

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  3. We don't eat much meat either, Ayak, and then mainly white meat. I justify it by remembering that humans evolved as omnivores and by trying to be sure that the meat I buy comes from a reputable source with decent standards of care.

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    1. When I lived in the UK I would only buy free range chicken or eggs Perpetua. I too, preferred to know they came from a reputable source. Not so easy to do here though I'm afraid.

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  4. Like you said "it's the way of nature. There will be a couple of stray dogs or cats who won't starve today." I too am not a big meat eater....I do eat chicken but in small amounts, when I saw them chickens being be-headed at the 'pazar' I almost stopped eating them also. When we go out I do order some kind of meat but usually more then half ends up in my husband's plate....must admit I do like 'koftes'.
    Fish I basically eat it only Fish'n Chips style the English way and I do enjoy a tuna salad sandwich which comes out from a can.
    I have never eaten a big T-Bone steak but my husband does grill them often....but I have something else....I'm a carb person. :=(

    My dog Teesha use to bring me dead skunks in the wee hours of the morning, which I'm sure she caught and killed. Not fun because the whole week I too smelled and the house like a skunk. It actually happened 3 or 4 times...a bad memory.

    Take care....hope all is well and your ankle gets better.XX

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    1. Thanks Erica.

      Oh Teesha bringing skunks for you must have been awful. I've never seen a skunk, but of course have read about how badly they smell, and how it lingers for ages.

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    2. Consider yourself lucky...never smelled or seen a skunk. Almost every night in the summer we get skunk 'smells'....sometimes can't even sit outside on the patio due to maybe a skunk could walk in any moment, which has happened. But funny I live in a big city and the subway is near my house...where do they come from????

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    3. Oh I don't envy you Erica. I'm sure it must be quite unpleasant. Yes I wonder where they come from?

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  5. The dead lamb story reminded me of when we had just moved into a Pennine village, surrounded by fields of sheep. Lucy, our then springer spaniel pup arrived home with a lamb carcass. We went to the local farmer ( as newcomers into the very small village) to tell him, hoping he would not insist our gorgeous pup should be put down. He was with group of his old farming friends and they told us the dog would have to be shot, as they could not ever allow her to be near sheep again. After a few minutes of us begging, he laughed and told us that there was no way our daft dog could have killed the lamb....that she had just found an already dead one. He said that she might gum something to death, but she'd never draw blood....springers having been bred as hunting retriever dogs. We laughed about it afterwards, but for a few minutes we were devastated, thinking he really would shoot her.
    I hope your ankle isn't too badly damaged again. Jx

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    1. That must have been an awful experience Janice. Good job the farmer was joking. I must say I do worry when I let my dogs out, because this is a farming/ hunting village. The men go out at night shooting wild boars, and I am always anxious that my dogs just might be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I make sure I never let them out after dark, but when they are gone for longer than usual I do worry.

      The ankle...limping a bit, but it's not too bad, thankyou.

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  6. See if you can get hold of a copy of 'Skinny Bitch' by Kim Barnoiun. Don't let the title put you off it really does expose the entire US meat and diary industry as the corrupt organizations they are. It also explains how animals are reared and slaughtered and the cruelty involved under the guise of being humane. I can only imagine that things are no better in that industry in Europe and Turkey with possibly less stringent requirements. Read it i promise you will not regret it and be thankful you did.
    As an animal lover i gave up red meat almost twenty years ago followed by chicken and turkey and honestly do not miss it. I do however eat fish and dairy so really can't call myself a vegetarian. Over the last twenty years i have fallen off the band wagon a few times especially with chicken,there are times when it is just to difficult to give up the craving but thankfully these are short lived.
    We are lucky we live in a country where it is so easy to have a vegetarian diet,with all the fresh vegetables and legumes it makes it easy to go without meat,well for me that is.
    John

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    1. Hi John. It's strange that I never actually crave meat. I think I eat it out of habit more than anything else. I would miss vegetables more, to be honest. Thankyou for the info re this book. I will look out for it xx

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  7. My main message is watch that ankle, Ayak! The slightest 'off' movement can make you come a cropper ..... like me!

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    1. Thankyou Claudia. I am being very careful. I saw the picture on Facebook and I'm sure it is very uncomfortable. Hope it heals soon xx

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  8. I can go months without eating meat and then have a craving for a lamb chop or a hamburger. i can no longer eat octopus after seeing a program made by Brian Cox showing how intelligent octopi are. I wonder how long this will last.

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    1. I think we can get used to going without most things BtoB. I used to miss bacon and sausages when I first moved here, but I got used to being without them. You will remember the time you were here when Mr A brought home bacon and sausages from the shop in Gumbet. I was more excited at the prospect of them, than actually eating them. They stayed in the freezer for quite some time.

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  9. Amazing - I've been thinking of this exact same stuff for the past few weeks. I finally decided that after years of bemoaning cruelty to animals, I'm going to make a stand. From now on I'm going to try my hardest to eat only local, grain fed, small farm raised, organic meat and dairy and eggs.
    Right away this means spending more at the grocery store, eating out less, and forgoing ice cream and milk chocolate or any of a hundred other items that you would never think about as having dairy in them... Which reminds me... just had a bagel and guess what - there's eggs in it! Sweatshop chicken eggs, I'm sure :-(

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    1. Deniz I don't think we can ever be 100% sure of the origins of what we eat. We can only do our best to make sure we don't buy stuff where we know an animal has suffered to produce it.

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