Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Vegetarian Experiment

Growing up, I was never a huge fan of most meat. Put a piece of steak in front of me and I would rather not partake. However, I do like some meat like pepperoni, bacon, sometimes chicken, fish, etc. Although I eat a lot of vegetarian dishes, I also tend to enjoy meat products. However, I really want to try giving meat up altogether.
The other night, Ryan and I sat down and watched a documentary entitled, "Earthlings." This is a movie depicting the horrors of how where are meat comes from. I always knew that animals were being slaughtered for our meat and that it wasn't the most pleaseant of experiences, but I had no idea the extent of it! The best way I can sum up the situation is that the lives that are being taken are not being respected. All life (humans and animals) should be respected and treated kindly. I am not against eating meat, but the ethics behind it are seriously lacking! I don't want to support an industry that unnecessarily tortures and ridicules animals. Having an animal be shut up in a small space for it's whole life, subjected to injury and disease due to it's cramped living conditions, hung upside as it has its throat slit and left to bleed to death (which can take a lot longer than you might think) is not acceptable. For an animal to have a metal rod shot through it's head, have it's throat slit, and dropped to the ground (all while it's still alive) isn't something I can support. So...

I'm going to try to cut out meat. In some ways I could fool myself into thinking this will be pretty easy. I prefer tofu to chicken, I prefer soy sausage to the real thing, I don't enjoy most red meat (even veggie burgers are fine by me.) However, I know that old habits die hard. The types of meat that I do usually eat could be a struggle to cut out. Unfortunately, it's been so ingrained into our minds that meat is meat and it's acceptable to eat it, regardless of how it comes to be on our plate. Ryan made a good point when he mentioned that this moral issue isn't something that will ever be called into question in your life. Most people are not going to question your choice to eat meat or keep you accountable about where that meat came from. Most people don't want to think about it. This decision is something that I have to commit to on my own, because the majority of people think the notion of giving up meat is silly.

In my discuss with Ryan after viewing the documentary brought to light the importance of moral consistency. If I am alright with eating meat, I need to be alright with the way it is slaughtered. If I'm not alright with the way it is slaughtered, I can't be alright with eating it. So, I'm going to give this a try. We'll see how it goes, and hopefully I will be on my way to a life of vegetarianism!

Homemade shampoo and conditioner experiment

I have tried making my own eco-friendly shampoo before out of baking soda and water. I couldn't tell if it was working or not for the first couple days and eventually just gave up. I was making it in the morning and pouring it into a jar. I would pour the whole jar over my head until it was empty. This was a little bit of a pain because I would need to prepare shampoo each morning before showering. However, I'm going to give this another try and store it in a pump bottle so I don't waste any. I've been researching it and a lot of people use this recipe for their regular shampoo routine. Apparently it takes a few days before your hair gets used to the new shampoo (just like when you switch to a new brand of shampoo that you bought at the store.) I also wanted to make my own conditioner, but all I could find were recipes using parashibles like mayo and avocado. However, I've finally found one that I can store for a while! I'm going to give this a shot and see how it turns out.
Lately I've been washing my hair with Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap, an all natural fair trade liquid soap. It works really well, but it's a lot less money to simply make your own shampoo. I'd rather save Dr. Bonner's for body wash.

Shampoo Recipe:
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup water

That's it!

Conditioner Recipe:
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup water.
(Honey is supposed to be good for conditioner as well, so you can add a tablespoon or two of this if you want.)

I've heard that your hair won't smell like vinegar when you rinse it. We'll see....