We chose not to include MEAT of any kind In our Healthy Meal Plan, however we do upon occasion include animal products such as eggs, cheese and yogurt.
The best possible animal products are those we raise ourselves from organic animal sources. In other words, from our pets. We have experimented with raising chickens in an urban setting and driving to a local ranch to help them milk their cows to have reliable, organic sources of animal products. We give them names and love them like you would any pet.
It used to be commonplace for the generations before us to milk the cows and collect the eggs before they left for school each morning. But this generation has been taught that farm animals are smelly, dirty, and low class. People of higher class would not involve themselves with such activities as petting farm animals. They carry disease! Icky Pooh!
But the truth is, everything about interacting with farm animals is positive, healthy and happy—being near them, feeling their warmth, allowing them to be part of our every-day lives, fertilizing our ground as they go along, mowing our grass or pecking up all the bugs that would damage the fruit in the garden. When children are raised around farm animals they rarely have the allergies seen in children that have been protected from “getting dirty.” And te number of children who are lactose intolerance grows as we get away from home-grown, organic dairy products.
Animal products from these natural resources in our own backyard actually build health and well-being rather than diminish it. The problem is allowing big business to take on these tasks because they don’t raise animals with the love and care that we would. Their only task is to make enough food for everyone, so they have to “mass produce” animals in a nameless, faceless, mechanical way. They perceive farm animals to be nothing but “products.”
The conscious consumer understands that negative energy causes illness and disease as much as any other factor. How much negative energy is in our food if the sources of all meat and dairy are coming from animals that are being treated in this manner? It boggles my mind to think of how much negative energy is being sent into the environment of planet earth from the hearts and minds of these fellow beings. Do we really think we can escape such negative energy without it returning back upon us?
The only answer I can come up with is to produce my own groceries as mankind has always have done for generations of time. I choose to keep my own chickens in my own back yard, and give them names so that no one will be tempted to eat our pets! I want to have a friendly family milk cow named “Betsy” that gives and gives, with very little needs of her own. All she needs is a patch of grass and she is good to go.
As I came to this conclusion, I determined that I would stop buying any and all animal products from the grocery store. I would make them myself or find someone who raises them with their own labors. I love cheese. I love ice cream. I love eggs once a week. I need eggs for the properties they bring to baking. But I have learned to live without meat, by replacing it with Mega-Meat. I don’t see any true dietary need for the slaughter of animals. We have so many other food sources available to us. It’s not like we live in the tundra where there are no other calories to be found. It’s no longer a survival issue for us. We have a constant endless flow of fresh foods, bulk grains and beans. There is no reason other than pure indulgence that would lead us to end an animal’s life because we like the way it tastes. Doesn’t that soun d a lot like the “big bad wolf” drooling and licking his chops as he looks at the three little pigs?
Many elderly people will tell you that they grew up milking cows. It used to be part of everyday life. There was a cow in every back yard. Now yards have gotten smaller and smaller and zoning has made laws to prevent you from owning a cow. I believe it is all part of a greater problem of being forced to be dependent. I believe owning a cow and chickens is and always has been an important step in empowering self-reliance instead of total and complete dependence.
To experiment, I fenced off a small area in a shady corner of the yard where we gardened and got three chickens about half grown. In a few months we had more eggs than we could keep up with. The propaganda we have been fed is making us believe that animals are “dirty” and “smelly” and “undesirable”. It may be true if you cage an animal in too small of an area, but if an animal is allowed to roam free in enough space, their droppings go back to the earth in a short amount of time, making the land more fertile.
We found that raising three chickens is equivalent to the cost and effort of raising a dog, but a lot more profitable. Our three chickens each laid one egg a day, so at the end of each week we had 21 eggs. Most families buy a dozen eggs every week. We grew very attached to our chicken pets and would never consider eating them for meat. The eggs were more than enough to get from our chicken venture.
Part of the time we kept the chickens on our balcony because we had no land to put them on. I made a cube shape with PVC pipe and bought some bird netting to drape over it. It worked perfectly and was very light and portable. I brought them to a grassy area next to our house where they could eat bugs and grass.
When they got muddy or dirty, we bathed them like we would bathe a baby in the bath tub. They cooperated and let my little boy dry them off with a towel. We absolutely loved every minute. When summer came and the balcony became blazing hot, we had to find a permanent home for them at a ranch outside of town. Some day we hope to own chickens again.
These are my conclusions and some of my personal efforts to live in a world with a food industry that has become so mindlessly corrupted. Some people think I am crazy trying to raise chickens in a suburban environment, but I don’t have time to elaborate my reasons for them. I just smile and feel proud of my decisions. Now that I live in a neighborhood where it is against the law to raise chickens I find myself longing for another kind of life. One closer to the earth with interaction with the animals that made breakfast such a treat. One day I want to own land and a farm like my grandparents did and have others who join with me to put the breaks on the runaway train that brings our food.