I get swayed easily by trends. I admit here in this public forum that I pegged my jeans, wore fluorescent colors, had a prairie skirt, etc. I have an iphone. I could go on but it sounds extremely materialistic.
So I've been reading some recently and listening to the news a lot, and I have found another trend I want to follow. I think I want to become a vegetarian.
When I was in high school and college, I experimented with vegetarianism. Mostly, I admit, I did it to piss off my mother, who seemed to love nothing more in life than serving huge dried out turkeys and chickens with no skin. But I took it seriously for a while. Then I got engaged, and what fool wouldn't want two sets of brand new, pretty dishes?
Now, I read Agriprocessors this, environment and sustainability that, and be damned, I've almost convinced myself again. I don't drive a hybrid, but I do have CFL bulbs, green power for my electric, I shop at a farmers market, I try to buy American and I try even harder to buy local. I'm even a member of a CSA. What meat does to our world downright sucks, and although it sure is yummy, I can't feel good about eating beef anymore.
I am disgusted and horrified by the idea that any company would put product before the lives of employees. Clearly I'm naive. But apparently Agriprocessors has sold out their employees and has done things in such a profoundly unethical manner (and inhumane!) that it makes me think twice before buying their meat. So I'm not. I have even decided to give up ordering from my new glatt delivery service from Brooklyn because the owner (over the phone) yelled at me and demanded my name and address when I asked about who does their shechita. Aaron's Rubashkins is all over their website yet he lied to me and told me that the beef and chicken is all from Ali's in upstate NY.
So I'm making a promise here to try to live ethically and sustainably and honorably. I won't buy the Agriprocessors' crap. I won't buy beef. I'll only eat it if that's what is served to me (don't want to embarrass anyone). I will continue to buy chicken and turkey (makes a really good meatloaf) and even lamb every once in a while. If something changes and we discover that it's all so good for us and that Agriprocessors isn't really the devil it sounds like it is, maybe I'll change my mind.
After I eat the brisket that's in my freezer. After all, wasting food is worse, right?
For more information about the Hechsher Tzedek, the move on the part of the Conservative movement to certify products produced by companies that adhere to appropriate ethical standards, read here, click here.