A whole bunch of different things have come together in my life lately to suddenly make me much more concerned about the world, this country's role in it, and my role in it. Mostly I'm seeing this from a health standpoint - specifically exercise and nutrition, by nature of my education and my personality.
For years I've known that the average American eats a poor diet and doesn't exercise, and I've always been interested in ways to change this. However, only recently have I started reading more about it. Call it growing up, but suddenly it occurred to me that if I was going to rant on and on about things, maybe I should be well-informed. Add to this my recent thoughts about what exactly is in the food I eat, and I've been reading specifically about the American Diet.
One book I began to read is Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth by John Robbins. I'll admit, I got a little bored with that one and I think I'm on chapter 3. In the meantime, I finally joined the Chapel Hill Public Library and am now reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.
At first while reading this book I was bugged by the labor practices of the fast food industry and urban/suburban sprawl. Then I got to the chapter about Colorado Ranchers, and one specific rancher who took his own life, unable to face the bleak looking future afforded to him by the meat packing industry. Then there was the chapter about changes in that industry since the early 20th century and all the social problems created by such changes. Then, was the chapter where the author toured a slaughter house. Oh. My. God. I read the whole chapter aloud to Doug and then burst into tears. Oh. My. God. I understand how people want to be vegetarians.
Hey, Amy...I'm going to need to know where to buy some beef that doesn't go through all that, ok? That is, if I can ever bring myself to eat beef again. Damn.