A Meaty Subject

My head is about to burst! We had a guest speaker today and, after standing on the porch for an hour after church listening to him talk, I came home. I had to force myself to take time to eat and get some sun. I usually enjoy my 30 minutes outside but it was at least a couple of hours long today. I thought it would never go by so I could get inside to the computer. I have a bowl of nectarines and blueberries on the counter next to me and I’m grabbing a bite now and then. Can’t be leisurely! Gotta get this done!

I’d met the man a few weeks ago when he, his wife, their two children and a friend were visiting our church. We’d sat at the same table at the fellowship meal and I told about the watermelon situation on my blog post. There isn’t a lot there about the people. I learned he was a former USDA food inspector but he didn’t go into any details just like I didn’t mention I was a raw vegan.

Back to church. My OJ/pineapple smoothie was calling me. As soon as I finished playing all the songs I had to play before the sermon, I dashed out to the bathroom. I missed hearing some of the background the speaker had to share. He told some about his youth (which I won’t go into because that’s his story to tell). He grew up on the Standard American Diet and was into a lot of the activities many of the young people of his day enjoyed. From a later passing comment, I got the idea that he may have been planning to go into medicine but somewhere along the way, he was hired by the USDA. He worked for them many years in both chicken and red meat processing plants.

He stated he didn’t have notes (a pity—I would have liked a copy) and would be speaking whatever came into his mind to tell us. Well, I must say that he has an active mind! He has facts and figures stored up there that could slow down any Windows machine. I jotted down a few lines but I was fascinated by listening and, with him talking, it would be hard to listen and write at the same time. He doesn’t speak slowly and I’m not saying he should.

First off, when he was first studying before joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he had a problem about becoming a vegetarian. The pastor assured him it wasn’t a requirement. Well, that was good because he liked his meat. Later on, he applied what he was studying to the things he saw every day at work and was convinced he should quit eating meat. He’s been a vegan for something like nine years.

Here are some of the facts and figures he told us…65% of all the cattle in the United States have bovine leukemia. The school I attended most of my grade school years used to have a dairy. When their herd was tested, they all had bovine leukemia. The dairy was closed and the herd disposed of. I knew they didn’t have a dairy any more but I didn’t know why until today.

Only .0001% of the cattle in the USA are inspected. This leaves the door wide open to diseased meat making it to the market.

Chickens with skin cancer used to be discarded but no more.

Chickens with their gut torn open during processing were once put through a thorough washing to remove all traces of fecal material but now they are sterilized with an antibacterial agent so the poop is still there but the bacteria’s rendered dead.

Chickens are fed small amounts of arsenic to stimulate their appetites to fatten them for market. They only live for a couple of months before they’re slaughtered, anyway, and they have to grow and develop fast. The arsenic is a heavy metal that cannot be eliminated. It settles in the soft tissues and is eaten by aficionados of such dead bodies.

The priests in Levitical times were commanded to eat meat but the size of the portion was as large as an olive pit. The meat from the sacrifice was to be washed free of all blood and the fat was not to be eaten. (I knew that but I didn’t know about the portion size.)

Deer in the wild have a form of Mad Deer Disease that is similar to Mad Cow. Resources on the WWW say that it can’t be transmitted to other animals but who knows? Besides, would you want to chance eating venison from a deer that might/might not have it? Sheep have scrapie (you’ve heard of a downer sheep).

Even if you raise your own animals, it’s possible they will contract diseases from the other animals living in the area.

Vitamin D3 in milk does not occur naturally. It has to be added from a meat source (which includes fish).

Milk is pasteurized for about 15 seconds and if a sample is cultured, it will still grow Stuff.

The calcium in fortified OJ comes from animal sources.

Carmine, aka Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120 is a coloring made from ground up cochineal beetles. It’s found in everything from yogurt to juice drinks.

If you have to read the label, it’s a good idea not to eat the “food” inside.

The french fries at Mickey D’s are seasoned with beef powder (can’t be called “meat”—see next paragraph).

And I may not have been a vegetarian when I thought I was a vegetarian all those years I was eating fake steak, phony baloney and not chicken. One of the tests of something being meat is if you can stick a fork in it. If it’s processed and washed and turned into a spice, it can be listed as such on a label. Not ever having tasted the real thing, I don’t know if the fake stuff actually tastes the same as what it is mimicking but that’s the rumor and no one could pin the manufacturer down. If they made the “spice” themselves, they, by law, would have to list the ingredients. If they buy it already manufactured (as an ingredient), it can just be “spice”. Devious.

The wife is from Brazil and they may be on their way back down there as missionaries. The mention of all the tropical fruit had my mouth watering and I was ready to hitch a ride.

One of the members was telling about raising his own goats and eating their meat. After today, he’s having second thoughts. He invited the group to his house for lunch. If I’d had the house presentable and enough watermelon chilled, I could have invited them myself but I’m sure they wanted something more substantial than that.

Before I left, we swapped e-mail addresses and I confessed to being a raw vegan (three years and counting). I’ve encouraged the man to set up his own blog. He was talking about doing some audio. I don’t know if it would be audio tapes or files on the WWW. Whichever, he has a lot of knowledge. If he puts something out there, I’ll let you know!

And remember what Ecclesiastes 10:17 says, “Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” We’re all royalty, right?

2 Responses to A Meaty Subject

  1. Fruitloop July 5, 2008 at 10:36 pm #

    Wow, Tommie, every now and then we need a wake-up call. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  2. Tommie July 5, 2008 at 11:56 pm #

    I wish I could remember it all. I was riveted to my seat and was disappointed when he announced the closing song.

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