I have to thank one of my imaginary friends (Hi, MammaLion!) for sharing this information with me. And by thank, I mean find the bathroom so I can barf. Seriously.

I’ve decided to go vegetarian. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile anyway. I don’t particularly like meat, being a vegetarian is good for the environment, and then there’s the whole animal torture issue.

I’m not an animal activist. I don’t particularly care for animals as pets. I don’t like it when dogs jump on me or lick my hand. Cats annoy me. I think the PETA people are a little on the nutty side. But when I read about workers at Tyson Foods, who also supply all the chicken to KFC, torturing chickens and pissing on the meat that will eventually end up on my dinner table, I was positively outraged.

There are videos showing the chickens being beaten to death, dropped into boiling water while still alive, and being hung by the neck. The videos also show various workers peeing onto the conveyor belt that moves the bird bodies along.

When you couple this with the meat from downer cows, cows that are too sick or injured to even walk, that has been recalled, I can’t even look at a Happy Meal without throwing up a little.

A few weeks ago, 143 MILLION pounds of beef was recalled after it was revealed that Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, California, was slaughtering and processing downer cows. Much of that meat had been sent to feed children in schools.

Okay, we always joked about how awful the school lunches were. We always suspected that the lunch ladies were spitting in our chili behind the counter. We never would have imagined that the hamburger we were eating had previously been a cow so ill that it was lying in it’s own shit for days, and then rolled along in front of a forklift to be slaughtered. If the cow is that sick, what could it possible do to the people that eat it? At the very least it can’t be as nutritious as meat that comes from a healthy cow. I guess “happy cows” DON’T come from California.

As with any recall, you can’t recall the meat that people have already eaten.

Of course, not everyone can just go vegetarian. Take my husband, for instance. He’d sooner die than stop eating his beloved steak. But what you can do is buy local.

Yup, there’s that pesky ‘buy local’ thing again. The family farm that we buy our milk and eggs from also has meat at certain times of the year. I know how these people treat their animals, because I can see them. I can pet the cow that provides us milk, see the chickens roaming in the fields, and I know how well-treated all the animals are. They are clean (except for the usual dirt and mud, because they are free-roaming!) and healthy. No one is going to take a poop in their feed bucket or bash one on the head repeatedly until it dies.

So if you were eating fried chicken while reading, and totally lost your appetite, I apologize. But don’t shoot the messenger!