When I was in the Geez office a couple of weeks ago I asked Aiden why he was a vegetarian. His answer included nutrition, compassion and something about connectedness. It got me thinking about eating meat. The more I thought about it the more my chicken drumstick became unappetizing. Meat was grossing me out and I grew up on a cattle farm. What would my parents say?

While I was reading the freeconomy blog by Mark Boyle yesterday I came across a link to watch Earthlings (you can watch the full film here). Anyone who eats meat, heck, anyone who is a consumer needs to watch this film. If you do watch it make sure to bring a snot rag and a puke bucket.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, Earthlings exposes humans’ oppression of animals in five ways: pets, food, clothing, entertainment and science. I balled through the whole thing and didn’t sleep much last night because the cruelties I saw were appalling.

I couldn’t believe what is done to animals that are part of product testing. According to the Humane Society“25 million vertebrate animals are used annually in research, testing, and education in the United States.” It is difficult to get accurate information about animal testing, how many are used and what they are used for. But one thing is for sure, many are not treated with any mercy.

After seeing what happens in slaughter houses I know now that at the very least I want to know where my meat comes from but I am leaning towards scrapping meat altogether. I have gone without meat for the last couple of weeks and I haven’t missed it. At first I felt so overwhelmed by my new knowledge and didn’t know what to do with it. Then I started doing some research and thinking about what I can do or at least what I should not do.

For those who enjoy eating meat but want to do it as humanely as is possible, Temple Grandin has high standards for slaughter houses and there is a story on her work here.

Leaping bunny is a company that certifies cosmetic companies that are cruelty-free. You can print out a pdf guide  to cruelty-free companies or they will even mail you a pocket size guide  for free.

Caring Consumer  gives two lists: companies that do test on animals and companies that don’t.

After reading through these lists I was shocked at all the products that I had and thought were good and safe, that have been tested on animals. I also had never put too much thought into where my meat was coming from and just blindly trusted my supplier. But I guess the first step to change is awareness. Now I know, so now I can change. – Megan Kamei, editorial assistant