The Shitty Guilt Fairy can do one.

Morning Campers! So with a couple of months of ups and lows.. damning realisations and uplifting epiphanies I am kind of, in an almost, balanced state. Kind of. 

“Why?” I hear you cry.. Well, it’s all do with carbon footprint/eating meat/breathing air, that sort of thing. I somehow managed to almost convince myself that I was solely responsible for the demise of the earth. That if I had one more drop of milk in my tea then I may as well just drop a nuclear bomb on us all.

The problem is we are surrounded by lies, hypocrisy (me included) and greed. Once humans have established they like anything, they mass produce. Some of us decide that because we can’t stand Daisy the cow being kept in a barn all her life, having her calves ripped away from her at day one of their crappy little lives, that we will avoid milk. Or avoid eating beef.. but we’ll keep our leather shoes thank you very much. Or because we have been told that eating GM foods is bad, we buy organic… but that results in more land, more resources being taken from the indigenous species of that land. So we might give up meat but then as a friend put it… what about plants? Don’t plants breath and live? You could use the same argument that you are still killing a living thing to satisfy your hunger.

(Wait. This means that even cutting our lawn is tantamount to murder.. well that’s a good excuse for letting the garden go to shit I suppose).

And it was probably at that point that something inside me died. A slow, writhing around in pain sort of death. He had a point. I couldn’t even have a strop and scream “FINE! I’ll eat cardboard then!!” (death of tree) “and I’ll never wash because I am somehow ruining something else somewhere by using water ..and.. I’ll not wear glasses because that means electricity has been used to cut the plastic of my incredibly fat lenses (bad eyesight), not to mention the fish that are going to gag on them when they somehow end up in the ocean because I haven’t put them in the right recycling bin and I won’t even think about food… I’ll just eat myself!!!!”..

So the past few weeks really has been a constant debate with myself and the world. I should be vegan? Is that actually what we as humans are supposed to be? There are strong arguments for and against. Just check out your teeth. It doesn’t help that I actually like the taste of meat. Or that I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with killing an animal to eat it. I don’t see a lion having any of these pangs of guilt as it stalks its prey. Most will say that’s because we are the more ‘intelligent’ of all the species. Intelligent my arse. If intelligence means raping the Earth and ripping it of all of it’s resources, then I’d far rather be a ‘dumb’ lion.

So the conclusion has been this: I will do what I can and when I can. Sometimes  I will eat meat. I will drink milk. But I will make a concerted effort to only eat it occasionally (this I have already managed) and where I feel that at part of the animals life has been as natural as possible. I shall reduce milk intake. I will try and be conscientious about my actions, my choices. I hate the realisation that I am a speciesist.. That I choose some animals over others. That the pain of one doesn’t stop me from devouring it. I hate that I have been brought up in a consumerist world, eating what I want, when I want it, with little regard for the impact that I have. I wish I had never savoured the delights of cheese. That I would far rather wear a leather shoe than a pvc one (surely that’s not good ecologically either?).

This has kept me awake at night. What with Aleppo, Yemen, Berlin, the UK’s homeless, the animals,  my chickens who can’t leave their coop because of bloody Bird Flu and are now pecking at themselves through stress and the poor visiting fox who just wants to eat them, my mind has been fit to burst. I want to save us all. I want to put it all right. But I can’t. So.. for today I shall eat my organic, no palm oil peanut butter on toast (how many species have died making that?) and get ready for my last day of my current nursing placement. For today, I shall try and let it all go.