Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Before you take that bite, think about the journey the animal took to your table.

I know the feeling. You’ve been hungry all day. It’s dinnertime, and all you can think about is taking that first bite. I’m the same way; nothing focuses my mind like the smell of free-range, organic chicken in the building. But wait! Before I eat, I try to think about how that meat got on my plate. We all know meat, like money, doesn’t grow on trees. Meat comes from animals, animals like you and me. But a lot of people don’t realize how poorly these animals are treated. Would I want to be stuck in a crate so small I couldn’t turn around? Would I want to be fed bland food that was full of strange chemicals? No way! But many of my cow, hog and chicken friends have to live like that every day. If an animal gives its life for our nourishment, I think it deserves our respect and care.

There are some things we can do to help our friends on the farm. I make sure that all the meat I eat is free-range and organic. Organic farmers let their animals behave like animals; they can walk around, chat with each other, the chickens can flap their wings, the hogs can role around in the mud. Also, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the news. New bills are always being proposed to improve living conditions on farms, and it is up to us to make sure that these bills get enough support to become laws. A good example of this is the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act that is going to be voted on this year in California. Being a dog and a New Yorker, I can’t vote in this one, but maybe you can. If this bill passes, a lot of animals are going to be much happier.

OK, now that I’ve said my piece, it’s chicken time! I mean free-range, organic chicken time!

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