Friday, July 14, 2006

One Door Closes...

Last post about my Sociology class, folks. I promise.

Last night was our final class. We took our last test and answered some extra credit questions about factory farming. (more about that in a minute) and I couldn't help feeling that this was a lot like closing night of a play. I've seen these people four nights a week for over a month now. It's pretty intense. We got to know each other a little bit, friendships developed, maybe even a crush or two. When you're in a professional stage production the same things occurs. You see your cast and crew almost every day and you...well, you bond. Then, one night it's just all over. The curtain goes down, you all go out for a drink afterwards or maybe a cast party and you promise to call.

But you never do.

Or if you do call, or maybe bump into each other at another audition, it's just not the same. That's how tonight felt. We all took our tests and met up at a little pub down the street. It was cool, we exchanged numbers and promised to keep in touch. I'll probably see some of my classmates around campus. Perhaps we'll even be in another class together, but it won't be the same and that makes me feel kind of...orphaned somehow.

Maybe it's just that I'm going through a really cool period of my life right now and these people will forever be associated with it. I'm just starting to realize my potential, I guess. I'm finally acting on the ideals that I've always said I believe in. Women being valued for their education instead of just our bodies, actually using my creativity and enjoying something outside of planning a wedding or making babies. Who knew? It was seriously suggested tonight that I look into going to UCLA. Me, applying to UCLA!


I have to start applying for financial aid.

So anyway, the last thing we covered in class was something called speciesism. It's like sexism or racism only it's biased against animals. At first it sounds a little out there even to an animal lover like me. But when you think about it, it starts to make sense. Basically it's the idea that all sentient creatures have a right to live on this earth and we as human animals do not have the right to deny them that life. This is especially significant when you really get into what goes on in factory farms. I'm not going to get into the gory specifics, but it's not good. If you want to learn more about it, you can start here.

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"Whatchya got there little kid?"

We watched a twelve minute documentary called Meet Your Meat in class the other night and I think I made it through about five minutes before I had to leave the room and sob in the hallway. I really should have known better than to stay for any of the film, but I guess I was hoping if I closed my eyes I would be OK. What the %@&*! was I thinking? After watching the film I'm seriously considering switching to soy milk and giving up eggs altogether. Tofu burgers are just as tasty as the real thing and soy beans don't get beaten, mutilated or otherwise abused. They also don't scream in fear. I like that about soy beans.

It's all about distance I think. I mean let's face it, how many of us would eat a burger if we actually had to raise and kill a cow? I know I would never have the stomach for it. Since our meat just arrives at the grocery stores, neatly packed and ready to toss on the grill, we don't ever have to think about how it got there. I guess I'm starting to think about it.

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Look at those eyes and that softy little nose!

Fortunalty there are people who are trying to combat factory faming and it's terrible effects on animals, our health (ie. Avian Flu, antibiotic resistant strains of "super" bacteria) and the environment. There is one group called Farm Sanctuary that has two rescue farms, one in upstate NY and another in northern Cali. I'm thinking a road trip up north would be pretty cool right about now.

But no! I start my next class on Monday. Yep, it's on to the Health 11 and another step closer to my scholarly goals and dreams. Maybe I can ask the professor about switching to a vegan diet and what supplements a growing girl might need. Hmmm.

I doubt my Health class will be as cool as Sociology was, but then you never know...

Happy chickens!
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Very, very sad chickens.
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Melody said...

I very much encourage you to look into a Vegan lifestyle and diet. There are many wonderful, vegan bloggers here... I have been an on and off vegan for several years now.. (and a lifelong vegetarian)..
check out this site:

tons of great recipes, links to a great book and a cool forum.

Marz said...

Yay for soybeans! And soy can be made to taste and look like so many things. We just found a new soy product that looks like steak strips for stir-fry or fajitas. I'll tell you all about it later.

Yeah, raising your own meat is very hard to do, its the reason that my dad refuses to eat chicken. When he was a kid, each one of the kids (five) use to get a free chick every week from the feed store. They would raise it and before you know it, chicken dinner! Hard to do and also too much chicken after a while. But when you are a family of seven on a budget in the 50's...

Marz said...

P.S. Good post today. I especially like the picture of the happy chickens.

The Lone Beader said...

Interesting post, Meesh. I agree, but I could never become vegetarian or vegan. I love fruits & veggies, but I could never live without a nice Filet Mignon every now and then....

I also love happy chickens:)

meesh said...

Going vegan or even vegetarian is going to be a process I'm sure since I'm diabetic and I have to look out for hidden sugars and all of that fun. Not to mention I also really love a good steak. (sigh)I was totally that kid who wouldn't eat her vegetables!

Thanks, Melody, for the link!

And thanks Marz and Lone Beader for the encouragement! :)

Hooray for "happy chickens"!

GingerStep said...

get you're man's so much easier to change eating habits (and other habits) when your significant other is trying too!

Go vegans! I'm going to check it out. I was vegetarian a while ago, I started eating meat again when I was having protein issues (it was a long time ago, my palate has since expanded). I read about "Meet your Meat" on a website last weekend. Hmmm.. You and Marz always inspire me to be better informed!!

Thorny said...

Your feelings about your sociology class made me all nostalgic and "camp-sick". I used to go to summer camp every year for at least two weeks, and I loved it. Loved. It. And every year, the same thing happened - we all promised to write each other, and occasionally you would, and maybe even meet up with your very bestest camp buddy later on. But it was never quite the same. Outside the safety of camp you would discover that in reality your bestest camp buddy was a popular athlete, and you were a dweeb who wrote fan-fiction before anyone really new what fan-fic was. That last campfire of the session was always so sharply bittersweet.

I also like your comments about speciesism - my hubby and I have been leaning more and more toward a vegetarian lifestyle (my twin toddlers' continued refusal to even /touch/ meat is part of the impetus for that, no lie). Thanks for giving me more "food for thought".

(Also? There's been lots of "Mommy Wars" discussions in my corner of the blogosphere, and I just wanted to mention that the reason I started reading your blog was your saying that we should stop criticizing every move Britney Spears makes with her kid. Just thought I'd mention. grin!)

Onetallmomma said...

Yup, we are very far removed as a culture from the source of our meat, milk and eggs.

Here in Maine we are dealing with the annual PETA uprising against killing lobsters.

meesh said...

That's a tough issue I'll bet. I mean, lots of people make their living catching lobsters, but do we HAVE to toss them in the boiling water alive to eat them? It also creeps me out when they have them is the tank at the restaurant or grocery store.

You know, I just don't know what to think of PETA. I like most of their goals (anti-fur, spay and neuter etc.) but I think they sometimes cross the line. It's hard to effect change when people can so easily dismiss your group as being a little nuts. Also, they use a lot of advertising that expoits women and I really don't think that's cool.

Painter Beach Girl said...

I figure that if is in the natural cycle of thigns for animals to be killed for food, then so be it. But to raise them unnaturally for production in doing so, I am against.