[Dailyuw - opinion]
Fortunately, we don�t often have to think much about the products we
consume. If something tastes good or works well, that�s what we want to buy.
But our vast system of consumption creates a huge disconnect between a
product coming into existence and us finding it on store shelves. It�s
easy, and beneficial, to be willfully ignorant of how products end up in
our hands and in our homes. If we have to be ignorant of the effects of our
choices in order to deal with them, however, there�s something wrong with
the choices we�re making.
This ignorance predominantly manifests itself in our diet. Long past
hunting and gathering and �Little House on the Prairie� lifestyles, the
average American plays little to no role in the production of food. We
simply buy it at the store or at a restaurant, ready for consumption aside
from maybe a little cooking. Where our food was grown, processed, packaged,
and shipped from is of little concern. In terms of meat, dairy, and eggs,
where our food was raised, fed, killed, and slaughtered slips past our
But the greater food system, especially the production of animal products,
is something we should be aware of and actively think about. Food is
something we have to interact with every single day, and those interactions
aren�t just about our tastes. Our purchases are supporting a greater system
that has a variety of impacts.
Being vegetarian or vegan isn�t about restrictions. It�s about fostering an
awareness of the impacts we have and making informed decisions. Adopting a
strict diet banishing all animal products may not be for everyone, but
everyone should at least think about what they�re eating and how it ended
up on their plate. The choices we make do have impacts beyond our taste
buds, and we can�t remain ignorant of how we affect the world around us.
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