Bonnie showed me this video over the weekend, which is actually an advertisement for restaurant chain Chipotle. Take a look:
First of all, how friggin’ awesomely haunting is this version of “Pure Imagination” by Fiona Apple? I’ve been humming it for days. But second—and more important—how about the message conveyed so heart-wrenchingly by the animated story? The first time I watched it, tears sprung into my eyes, I wanted to hug the scarecrow, and to be honest, there haven’t been subsequent views because the sad eyes of the cow make my heart hurt too much.
Aren’t we supposed to get harder as we age? That doesn’t seem to be happening for me. I’m getting softer. I cry much more easily than I used to (though, to be fair, I’ve always been a pretty easy crier), and I’m way more affected by the injustices in the world than I was when I was in my twenties. That goes double when it comes to animals. Any cruelty or injustice carried out with an animal as the victim absolutely horrifies me. I despise no celebrity more than I despise Michael Vick, thanks to his dog-fighting days. Don’t send me e-mails. Yes, I know he did his time. I don’t care. The man had no trouble training dogs to fight to the death and then killing the ones who lost, all in the name of money, and he’s still making millions in the NFL. I would spit on him if I could, I kid you not. I have taken to buying only shampoos, conditioners, and soaps that are cruelty free because I can’t stand the thought of some poor monkey or rabbit having shampoo squirted into his eyes or rubbed into his fur to see if it stings or gives him a rash just so I can have soft hair. (Side note: cruelty-free cosmetics are NOT plentiful.) And thanks to the Chipotle ad, I am once again reminded of the abhorrent conditions in which we keep dairy cows, chickens, and other livestock (not to mention the scary shit we inject them with) so that we can feed the people of our country.
You’ve all heard me talking in the past about the possibility of going meat-free. This ad has made me revisit that. I don’t love meat. Some people do, and that’s fine. I don’t. I can list on one hand the meat products I would miss as a vegetarian: turkey bacon, Bonnie’s chicken soup, my mother’s chicken cutlets, and my mother’s meatballs. That’s about it. Four things. I think I can manage. Conversely, I can think of no vegetable that I don’t like (with the exception of onions, and I can deal with them when I have to). So it seems like my path is clear, doesn’t it?
Bonnie does love meat, though she is also touched by the plight of the animals we read about. So, we’ve decided that we will cut our meat consumption way back (I’ll cut mine entirely) and what meat we do buy will be organic. I do wish organic meat wasn’t so expensive…I think many more people would buy it if it didn’t cost twice as much, but therein lies the rub, as they say. And since we’re cutting our consumption back, we should be able to be able to afford less meat for more money.
I know this decision of mine won’t change the world, but I think that at least if I am taking steps to make a change, that’s something, right? And I’ll feel better knowing I’m not part of the reason bad stuff is happening to those animals. It will still go on, I know, and it will still upset me to the point of nausea, but at least I’m doing something.
In the meantime, I want to say thank you to Chipotle for opening my eyes and my heart (again) to changes I can make, however small. And any of you out there who are vegetarians or who have suggestions for me, feel free to comment. I am open to education. Tell me what products work for you. Share your recipes with me. What do you grow? What do you eat? I’m all ears. (And I plan to continue to eat seafood…is that allowed?)