A lot of the books I have been reading lately keep talking about separation from nature and not knowing where the food we eat is coming from. I honestly didn't think much about it. I live in the city; the closest I get to where my food comes from is the local farmer's market.
And then I arrive in Illinois to visit my family. On the two hour drive from the airport to their house, I come way too close to the source of some people's food than I can stand. At first there was just corn fields, some of which were ready for winter and others that were untouched. We saw the grain bins that were so full they were overflowing and corn that was piled three stories high on the ground. Next we passed a cattle truck. You could see noses through the small holes in the metal sides. Not wanting to acknowledge where they were obviously headed, I opted to believe that they might be moving them to another farm. Lastly, we drove by two semis moving chickens. You could tell that they were still alive, but the poor things were packed so tightly. Between the lack of air, the freezing cold wind, and the fact that chickens in close quarters usually peck each other to death, the drive probably saved the slaughter house a few minutes by killing them.
And people wonder why I don't eat meat of any kind. I might tell people that one of the biggest reasons I became a vegetarian is health reasons, but if I am being completely honest, it's because I can't eat a burger without thinking about how it came to be on my plate. I can't eat a turkey sandwich without wondering how the turkey was raised and if it was treated kindly. I'm even at the point where it is difficult to eat eggs or dairy. Of course there is free range chicken, etc., but requirements for those classifications are just now starting to be strictly regulated.
I hope this doesn't sound like preaching. My husband still eats meat, most of the time I cook it for him, but that's his decision. I just can't eat it in good conscious and that was before I witnessed a very small portion of that animal's life. It wasn't how they were raised or how they died. Maybe if more people saw those sorts of things, they would reconsider what they are putting in their mouths.