Saturday, March 16, 2013

Limited Enlightenment

This is my final blog post for my Animal Planet class. One might think after being exposed to all of the horrific ways that humans exploit animals, I would be depressed. Rather, it's the contrary. On the last day of class, one of my classmates stated that learning all of this information makes her feel more complete. As horrible and saddening as parts of what goes on in the world are, it makes us feel enlightened. As I told my boyfriend of this thought, he reminded me of the most fundamental reading of an integrated social science and humanities class we took in high school: Allegory of the Cave.

In Plato's "Allegory of the Cave", humans are chained inside of a cave, damned to look at a wall dancing with shadows cast from the light of the real world. The humans witness second hand what is happening because they can only see the shadows, they can't see what is actually happening. One of the humans is able to break free from the chains holding him captive. He ventures to the outside world and is blinded by the intense light. As he adjusts to the brightness of the outside, he sees what is actually happening rather than the shadows of the truth. He no longer is condemned to only see parts of the whole - he can now learn and engage with the world.

I feel like I have broken free from the chains and stepped out of the cave. I have been exposed to so much in this Animal Planet class that at times it has been overwhelming, just like the blinding light. It was difficult to adjust my eyes at first, since I had not been exposed to this type of material before. Luckily, I had already been exposed to interdisciplinary thinking in the class I mentioned earlier, otherwise the light would have been so much brighter. But as far as the issues surrounding the treatment of animals and the role that they play in our society, I was definitely enlightened. Not enlightened in that everything I learned was perfect and I now know the truth. Not at all. What I learned was that everything can be looked at in a different light - a positive light, a negative light, a neutral light, and all of the lights in between, spanning the full spectrum.

A certain thought has occurred to me over and over again while journeying through this class: What if we saw everything, every aspect of the world, through the lens of an advocate? What if we saw the good and the bad through a supportive paradigm? Wouldn't we see people in a different light, animals in a different light, ideas in a different light? What if the blinding light that the ex cave dwellers experienced was shown in different colors? This reminds me of a current topic I'm studying for my chemistry final...wavelengths and light (I knew I would be able to relate chemistry somehow).

Take one particular event. They exit the cave and see the word ANIMALS like it's on a billboard or a movie title up in lights. Then all at once the light blinds them - but this time it's not white light as a whole, but all the colors that make up the white light. It's red and orange and blue and green. Every wavelength, every different color is an argument - an argument in favor of some issue, however abstract, relating to animals. They see a light advocating for slaughterhouses, people have to eat somehow - and simultaneously see the opposite light advocating for veganism. They see the light advocating for pet ownership and immediately see the light advocating for euthanasia and also the light advocating for no animal companionship.

One may think the problem with this is that there's always an opposite, someone opposing the advocate. That's not the problem, that's the beauty. If you are only exposed to an issue through the lens of an advocate, chances are you may be more likely to support that side. If you simultaneously, or even afterward, see that same issue through the lens of someone advocating for the opposite, your alliances may change. Eventually, after seeing everything, every side of an issue, through the lens of an advocate, you can see the full complexity of the world.

In this class, I felt as thought I have not only seen the issues surrounding animals through the lens of an advocate, but also the antithesis. We have read a variety of pieces. However, it's just the beginning. There's so much left to learn, and I will never be done - not just regarding animals but everything else as well.

But what happens when I want to return to my original dwelling, to reenter my former abode still occupied by the chained humans that have only seen the shadows of what I have seen? In the "Allegory of the Cave", the "enlightened" experiences severe resistance to the knowledge and wisdom. After all, the chained up humans don't know any better. They can't imagine the outside world - like trying to imagine life on land if you've only ever known the sea. It's only possible if you go there and directly experience it, if you go there and are blinded by the spectrum of wavelengths that make up the continuous white light.

Furthermore, why would I ever want to return after being exposed to such a broad range of ideas, those different lights, that make up this thing I now call knowledge? Because we must recognize, I must recognize, that the whole of my life will consist of me stepping out of the cave time and time again. I am human, flawed and incomplete and have an infinite amount left to learn and experience. I will never harness all of the knowledge in the world.

Finally, knowledge does not make me any better than my comrades still dwelling in the cave. They all have the potential to step outside. Maybe some of them in my life already have. It's my obligation to encourage them to do so in a humble and understanding manner. It is my obligation to recognize the limitations of my knowledge, but to share what I do know with others, looking forward to the day that I will not be alone when I venture out of the cave and ultimately to the day when the cave no longer exists.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


My dad used to own a small toy store in Pioneer Square. I spent a large chunk of my early childhood years in the store - playing with the toys, reading the mind puzzle books, riding the pig rocking horse. One fun little toy I was always fascinated by was this pendulum toy. It looked somewhat like this graphic displayed on science blog:

You can pick up one of the balls on the end, or multiple balls, and drop them and they will bang into the other balls and make them swing to the other side. Many times I think of heated topics and controversial issues like pendulums. It is so easy to be hit by something - information, experiences, conversations, etc. - and be swayed to the other side, especially if you don't have much prior knowledge regarding the topic of interest.

So often there is the notion of black and white, left and right, good and bad. The stark contrasts are seen in politics, economics, religion, social issues, animal welfare, health and more. Are you a republican or a democrat? Do you support welfare/unemployment benefits or not? Are you religious or atheist? Do you support gay marriage? Are you vegan or an avid meat eater? Are you a health nut or fat?

I think that it's human nature to want to identify yourself with one side or the other because you are then provided with a support system, a group of people that you have something in common with. However, we must realize this tendency to categorize because it leads to blindness. When we categorize ourselves on one side or the other, we run the risk of not seeing an important issue the other side brings up or dismissing the other side's idea that could be brilliant. Also, I have found from personal experience, that it is very easy to be on one side your whole life and get tired of it and go whole-heartedly to the other just for a change and because of the excitement of new ideas.

I identify with the swinging pendulum because eventually, the swinging stops. The balls stop right in the middle where they started, but have the experience of being on both sides.

My mom has been preaching the concept of moderation to me for ever but I'm just now beginning to realize what she means. There are three areas of my life where I am noticing the pendulum reaching that equilibrium, that moderation.

The first area is in political views - both fiscally and socially. I took a political alignment test at the beginning of my senior year of high school. I scored pretty far on the conservative side. After being exposed to so many fiscal and social issues in my social justice based class, I swung pretty darn far to the left. However, I'm now realizing that I don't want to identify myself with either side because I disagree with parts of both! I would consider myself a moderate - not in that I don't care about the issues, but rather because I have a better understanding of both sides and agree and disagree with different parts.

The second area is in health. At the beginning of high school, I felt very fat. Due to extreme exercising and freaky health eating, I lost a ton of weight. I was about the same size for a couple years while I played volleyball. Looking back now, I considered myself to be obsessive. After volleyball ended senior year, I wasn't quite as health conscious. In fact, I swung kind of far to the "what I eat and how much I exercise really doesn't matter" side. That didn't last too long, because it's not my nature to be unhealthy and inactive. But the mental aspect was there - that I was free from any chains that had previously kept me enslaved to my weight and body image and I could do whatever I wanted. I've been extreme and obsessed over my health, and I've also resigned myself to not caring. Where I'm at now is a wonderful place. I'm passionate about health and care about my body tremendously, but I also realize that caring about my body means that I do things in moderation. Both sides to the extreme are incredibly detrimental to overall health.

The last and most recent area relates to animals. Before this class, I was so against being vegetarian I laugh about it now. I was one of the people that would respond to vegetarian related comments saying confidently, animals were created to be eaten, and it's a sin to abstain from that. With the amount of information I have been exposed to over the last ten weeks, I have often swung to the opposite end of the spectrum. At the beginning of the quarter, sometimes I would get out of class and not even want to eat food at all. I now realize that the issues surrounding eating animals are so much more complex than just being labelled a meat eater or a vegan. There's an infinite number of levels of moderation in between. Currently, I don't eat chicken, pig, cow, duck, etc. and don't really see myself changing in the future. However, I do occasionally eat fish. I've had a hard time justifying this to myself. Sometimes I am put into situations where eating fish is the best available option. I have an incredibly fast metabolism  and get hungry so easily, to the point of where I am debilitated if I don't get substantial food, and if there's no other source of protein in sight, I usually resort to fish. I'm still exploring that issue because I know that it is just as multi-faceted as the other issues of meat eating. Additionally, I'm not a vegan. I can't explain why other than the fact that for me at this point in my life, it doesn't feel right. I don't know why, it's just my gut instinct. I can certainly cut down on my dairy products and eggs, which I do, but I don't see myself completely cutting them out of my diet.

What I'm noticing is that I'm a lot like the pendulum. I see both sides in many different lights, but I eventually end up somewhere in the middle. However, I do not mean that by ending up in the middle I am complacent whatsoever. By being in the middle, I mean that I am pretty moderate in my views and personal philosophies. That doesn't mean that I'm not still exploring all of the sides that make up an issue. Furthermore - there's not just two! Perhaps a more accurate analogy instead of a pendulum would be a circling tetherball. I am still in the process of exploring all of the sides of the world, and I continue to do that for the rest of my life. Also, it's very possible to be on one end of the spectrum and still understand both sides. Who know's where my ball will come to rest in the future - for I've only seen a small fraction of the world.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


At the beginning of the quarter, Professor Garcia emphasized intersections. She told us to be on the lookout for all of the intersections we would see during our time in her class and beyond. The focus of the class is on Animals. However, the ideas I have been exposed to in this class and the lessons that I have learned are applicable to everything beyond it.

Last class, we talked about how important it is to keep the animal in focus as we discuss different issues relating to animal welfare and animal politics, etc. It is so easy to get side tracked and forget that we are even talking about animals. As I pondered this idea today, I was struck by how applicable it is to everything else I am involved in at UW.

I have an internship with Ink Aleaga, an advisor in the Student Athlete Academic Services building called Conibear Shellhouse. I help him plan community service and outreach activities for the UW athletes. My official title is Campus & Community Engagement Assistant. Our two main projects I have been working on recently are Women in Sports Month which just finished up last week, and Football Education Month in May. For Women in Sports Month, I coordinated visits where athletes went to surrounding Seattle public schools and talked to the elementary aged kids about how to balance athletics and academics, how to live a healthy lifestyle, and what it's like to be a woman in athletics. For Football Education Month, we are planning a whole month worth of activities for the football players including similar visits to the schools, career building workshops, and an NFL motivational speaker. The kids absolutely loved the female athletes and the visits that they conducted at their school. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go, but am very satisfied with the outcome.

Ink and I meet for a total of about three hours every week. We discuss very technical aspects of planning the visits and what we think people will enjoy, what's too much money, how to fit in everyone's schedules - and what's so easy is to forget who I am working for. I am obviously working for Ink because he approves my paycheck, but ultimately I am working for people. I am working to improve the lives of others, however simple the action. I need to constantly remember to keep the athletes and the children being affected by the athletes in the center of my work.

At the beginning of this quarter, I joined a Core Group through the INN, a Christian worship center right by campus. My core group consists of five other girls my age and a leader who's about twenty-eight that also went to UW. We meet weekly for a couple hours to discuss how our week is going, what we've been up to, what we need to pray for, and then study a critical message either from the Bible or a Christian novel we have selected. All of our conversations every Monday night come back to one idea - keep God at the center of your life. This is much easier said than done, for it is very easy to forget that God is with us all the time and to thank him for all of the blessings in our lives.

Recently, we've been talking about the difference between following a religion and having a relationship with God. Those things can definitely go hand in hand, but sometimes they don't. It is very easy to get caught up in the politics and details surrounding religion. I always have to bring myself back to the center - God and love. God loves me, and I love him. It's that simple, but yet so complicated when our minds are led astray.

I'm also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, a sorority in the Greek system. Lately I've been struggling with the fact that I don't have a huge amount of friends in my house. I like a lot of the girls - but I'm also very different from a lot of them. Sometimes I think how easy it would be to conform to fit the mold and be like everyone else (not that everyone is the same, but you get what I mean). However, I love who I am; I'm very content with being myself. I must strive to keep my values and my passions at the center of my activities and not change to conform to a mold that's not me.

In my Global Health 101 class, we talk about a multitude of issues, practically infinite amount, surrounding global health. There are so many factors to consider when learning and teaching and making decisions relating to global health - political, economical, educational, physical, logistical, social, moral, ethical, etc. I have come to find that global health is a broad term that is a synonym for "the world". As complicated as global health may be, we must remember that at the center of global health is health, and at the center of health are people. The people that are affected by global health in a broad sense are everyone.

As for my Chemistry class, I haven't quite figured out where the philosophical intersection lies...but I do know that I'll find it someday.

The common thread running through all of these different groups and clumps of knowledge is life. Animals, athletes, students, God, love, personal values, people all make up life. As I've demonstrated, it's so easy to be distracted and focus our attentions of everything else - and that's not necessarily bad all the time because everything needs some of our attention. But we can't forget that life is at the center of it all. In the end, all that I learn, teach, and experience should be in order to improve the lives of others and my own life. Life should be at the forefront of everything I do. If not, I run the risk of overlooking the most important gift that I could ever imagine: to live.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Throughout the class, the idea of love towards animals has come up frequently. Recently, we've begun to discuss certain types of love. There is love for the long haul, being invested in someone or some being for a lifetime. This kind of love could be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend, an animal, a child. The other kind is love in the moment, love for an instant. This kind of love could be saving a dog that's not yours from a burning building, picking up a neighbor from the airport, buying a stranger's meal at a restaurant when they realize they have forgotten their wallet.

But are those two kinds of love really much different from each other? As one of my classmates pointed out, is there a difference between a moment of love and a lifetime of love? Does love have a hierarchy?

Now obviously love for a lifetime indicates commitment - the lover has to be dedicated to loving the loved. Similarly though, one can be committed to committing loving and compassionate acts unconditionally, no matter the recipient.

Ultimately, love is a choice. We choose to love for an instant and we choose to love for a lifetime. As another classmate put it, love is not a finite resource. We can expand our love. In fact it is our obligation to expand our love. How we treat any being influences how we treat ourselves and all other beings (relating this to the last post about interconnectedness). Love is a practice. It must be exercised regularly just like any other skill/habit. When we choose love over and over, it becomes easier and more familiar.

Additionally, choosing love is the right thing to do, even if you can't see the end result. Sometimes projects that do not provide immediate results like health system strengthening and investing in a child and education are pushed aside for projects that do. It is if though more good will come from something if you are able to see it happen. False. Even if you can't see the result ever, choosing love is the right thing to do because it benefits others. I'm trying to think of an counterargument to that statement but I can't. I'm sure someone could debate that love does not one hundred percent of the time benefit others, but in general, Love Wins.

So no matter if we love every being for a moment, or one person for a lifetime, or one animal for their entire life, love is a choice and it is the right one. The first law of thermodynamics states that the energy of the universe cannot be created nor destroyed, just like matter. The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of the universe is always increasing. Matter on Earth is not created nor destroyed, it is only changed, just like energy. However, love is like entropy. Love has the capacity to increase forever.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Lately I've been pondering the question: why did God create animals? There's many ways to approach this question from a human standpoint. Scientifically, because we evolved from them. But then why create evolution? Is it that it reinforces that we are the most powerful because we are the only beings that have halted evolution?

Or is it for sentimental reasons, to be our companions? However, not all of them are companions. What makes an animal suitable for a companion?

Or could it be for food? However, God is all powerful and he could have created science and the world so that none of our food sources had life. The conclusion that I've come to with the help of my class is this:

Currently, in order for life to continue, life has to end. In order for beings to live, they must consume other living things - plants, animals, fungus, etc. Why does it have to be this way? A beautiful answer that we came to is that life doesn't end. When we eat food, any kind of food, it becomes a part of us. In a sense, the life is living through us. Not in the sense that I have the same spirit as a bacteria that lived a million years ago, but the sense that I am made of the same elements and the same matter. I believe that God creates new life all the time, but here on earth our physical bodies are all made of reused material. Thinking this way gives a wonderful sense of continuity. Death is seen as a tragic event, an ending. Looked at through the lens of continuity, death is a new beginning.

Furthermore, continuity spanning life and death fosters an interconnectedness of the world. We are literally made of particles that belonged to living beings since the beginning of life on Earth. Matter is neither created nor destroyed, only changed. Perhaps this scientific law holds more truth than previously thought.

Now if we do believe that all life is connected, might we treat life differently? How will we treat the most vulnerable members of the population - the poor, the disabled, children, animals...? When all life is connected, that connects everyone to the world in a more intimate way.

My beloved grandmother died when I was four. We had an amazing relationship, and I still think about her frequently. My brother was born a couple of weeks later. They are two of the most caring and loving people that have ever been a part of my life. They are also two of the most important people in my moms life. What kind of beautiful gift from God is that - that when one precious life ends that another one begins? I don't believe in reincarnation, but I do believe in the continuity of life. Life inspires, life loves, and life never ends.

So the larger point that I'm trying to make is that although life may be tough sometimes and it is easy to hate another life or take another life for granted, all life is connected. I am connected to you, and you're connected to me in more ways than we can imagine. That is one of God's most precious gifts to us.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I identify myself as a "freaker". I am irrationally afraid of many things - murderers, balconies, terror, knives, fire, earthquakes, sudden changes, spiders, the list goes on. I think that there is a "freaker", although to maybe a smaller degree, in everyone. The media plays off of this freaker attitude by fear mongering. In movies, television, radio, magazines and more, fear sells. One of the main reasons fear sells, especially when the feared are living, breathing beings, is because people love to rally against something to hate.

It is pretty evident to me that love is a pillar of society. I experience it every day. But how much do we experience hatred every day? How much do we experience that we don't recognize?

We read an article in Animal Planet about sharks and watched a video called Sharkwater. Historically, I'm not a huge fan of sharks, going so far as to not go past knee deep in the ocean in both Florida and Hawaii (even though I don't even know if sharks are there). How many of us have ever seen a shark in person?

Sharkwater portrays sharks in a much different light than Jaws does, or even Shark Week. The objective of Sharkwater is to show the public that sharks are much less aggressive and blood thirsty than we think they are, our thoughts and actions sculpted by portrayals in the media. Rob Stewart, the main person in Sharkwater told of how sharks actually fear humans as much if not more than we fear them. They can't even physically eat humans easily because of our body shape. But how many people know that?? I certainly didn't before watching this movie.

Immediately my mind jumped to terrorism. Media thrives off of demonizing sharks, the beasts of the sea. Media in America also thrives by instilling fear in the American population by demonizing and sensationalizing the terrorists in the Middle East. As I am learning more and more, I find that there are so many more sides to the issue of our involvement in the Middle East and our conceptions of Islam to which I have not been previously exposed. I won't get into these details now, but I want to point out the important parallels between the demonization of Islam and the demonization of Sharks.

Sharks have been known to eat people (not whole, but yes kill people). About five per year. Terrorists killed mass amounts of Americans in the 9/11 attacks. No one can justify either of these events. Now, sharks killing people unintentionally is much different than the intentional attacks of 9/11 that were meant to cause serious destruction, damage, sorrow, and terror. However, I want to focus on the aspect of beast making, (bear with me on the language here) of focusing all of the negative energy on one thing and ignoring the un-negativeness of other things associated with that thing.

I was disturbed and saddened by a tweet on Twitter I came across a couple days ago. A girl tweeted, "Islam midterm's reference site is #f*** (not actually starred out) #that #terrorist #shit." I was disappointed, especially since neither Iraq nor Iran nor Afghanistan were the source of the 9/11 attacks, but rather Al Qaeda. It's just those kind of ignorant comments that make me so frustrated with the negative media because they perpetuate them. The media has demonized not only the source of the attacks, which is arguably justified considering what they did, but more importantly - the whole Middle East. Being a bad, Western world hating person is not a criteria for living in the Middle East. They are people just like you and I. Yet the fear that has been instilled in us causes that tension, causes that push to jump to conclusions. I would venture to say that the percentage of the American population that knows to the best of their abilities with readily available information a detailed history of our involvement with the various countries in the Middle East is very small. I certainly don't.

Sharks are in no way on the same level as terrorists, but the idea of fear mongering is applicable to both and many other aspects of life. I certainly don't hold all of the knowledge of the world. I don't expect anyone else to. However, it's time to hold humanity as a whole, hold each other, to a higher standard. When we are judgmental, malicious, and ignorant we are hurting others and ultimately ourselves. We must be careful with our words and analyze how our limited knowledge shapes our different paradigms through which we see the world.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Lately I've been wondering if me eating less meat has any affect on anything at all. So I decided to do some calculations...

The average American person eats .5 pounds of meat per day. That's a decent amount of meat - 8 oz. I guess you figure that a 4 oz. piece of meat for two meals a day would equal 8 oz. Using that number, if I abstain from eating meat for a year, I would save 180 pounds of meat.

I want to have kids around the age of 25, and I think that's pretty doable. Right now I'm almost 19. If I eat a meatless diet for the next six years, I will have saved 1,080 pounds of meat.

Once I have kids, I'm most likely going to be cooking the majority of the meals (with possible help from my husband). If I cook the meals, meatless meals, for the entire time that my children are in my house - say I have two kids four years apart (about the average number of children for American families) and a husband for a grand total of four people in my family - I would save 15,840 pounds of meat in those 22 years. Granted, my kids could eat meals in other places, and maybe my husband has meat here and there - but I'm trying to have the best possible scenario. Also, maybe my kids don't eat as much when they're younger, but most certainly may make up for it in their adolescent years.

By that time, I'm 43 years old and have saved 16,920 pounds of meat. My kids are out of the house and making their own decisions. But maybe I have convinced them to be vegetarian - or at least influenced the amount of meat that they want to eat. Say they eat half as much as a normal person, .25 pounds of meat per day, taking into consideration what I have taught them for the past 22 years about our current meat industry. By the time they have potentially have kids, they have saved another 630 pounds of meat each if they have don't have kids for seven years after leaving the house, for a total of 1,260 pounds. Who knows how they raise their children. I'm assuming it would be with less meat...but I'll leave that out of the equation for clarity.

Fast forward 32 years to age 75. My husband now eats .25 pounds of meat a day instead of none because he really likes it. That's another 5,760 pounds I save by abstaining and 2,880 pounds he saves for a total of 8,640 pounds of meat.

I'm going to be optimistic and say I live to be 100, which is definitely possible with the rate at which modern medicine is advancing. Realistically, myself age 75 to 100 would not be eating .5 pounds of meat per day - probably more like .25. My husband's still eating .25 pounds. By abstaining from eating meat from age 75 to 100, I save 2,250 pounds of meat. My husband saves the same amount by having .25 instead of .5, just like he has been for the last few decades. In total that's 4,500 pounds of meat between us.

Add all those numbers up and in my lifetime, I have saved 31,320 pounds of meat.

With an average chicken, you can get about 2 pounds of meat. Cows provide an average of 585 pounds. Pigs give you 200 pounds. And cats I'm just going to estimate (since where would you easily find on the Internet how much edible meat a cat produces) - 8 pounds.

That's about:

15,660 chickens
53 cows
110 pigs

3,132 cats.

I include cats because I want to induce a squeamish reaction. If I tell you that in your lifetime you will eat 10,000 chickens, you may say okay, that seems high but I can see that. If I tell you that you will eat 3,132 cats - that's repulsive. I agree, it's repulsive. I would go out on a limb - literally as in even climbing a tree - to save one cat. Would I do that for one chicken? Something to think about.

But even if you don't care about the lives of animals, save your cats - if I abstain from eating meat for my whole life from this point forward and reasonably influence those around me, that's 15,660 chickens soaked in fecal soup and contaminated with E-coli that my family and I don't eat. That's 53 cows' feces that doesn't contaminate the environment - because yes industrialized cows produce toxic waste. That's 110 pigs that won't spread Zoonotic diseases, which are the cause of about 90% of all influenza.

So I come back to my original being a vegetarian worth it? I didn't address in here occasional meals containing meat, which is very likely. Or the fact that maybe I'll eat fish. Or maybe my kids will go out to eat all the time because they don't like vegetarian food. Maybe my husband decides that he will eat a .5 pound breakfast sandwich every day from Starbucks with bacon and a beef patty, which is disgusting but maybe. There is an infinite amount of permutations of how much eat can be eaten and when. 31,320 pounds of meat is on the high side and is a rough estimate that could be majorly subject to change - especially if the meat industry changed its procedures and habits.

Even though that's a high number, looked at in relation to the amount of animals farmed industrially even per day it's miniscule. It is easy to become so overwhelmed with the amount of change you can't enact, and forget about the amount of change that you can. Change is like the domino effect which I hinted at earlier with the influences that I could have on my family. If we don't start anywhere, we don't start at all. Maybe my kids didn't eat meat for the rest of their lives and influenced a good number of people. Maybe enough people stop eating meat over time that the market has to respond to the consumer demand and the system has to change. Maybe not. All I know is that I don't want to throw my hands up in the air right now and by the time I'm 100 say that I haven't even made a conscious effort. If my eating habits only stop one cow from being brutally killed, one person from becoming infected with E-coli, or are as impactful that they stop a Zoonotic pandemic that originated from one pig, then I have succeeded.