Food Revolution and eating pets


I’ve been reading the absolutely outstanding The Food Revolution by John Robbins (that’s Robbins as in “Baskin-Robbins,” incidentally) and one section really hit me when I read it. I knew that for a long time cow parts were rendered into feed for other cows resulting in “cow cannibalism,” if you will. Fortunately, in 1997 a law was passed in the United States to prohibit this (in order to prevent the spread of Mad Cow Disease), but the naturally herbivorous cow is still fed a variety of other animals that wind up at the rendering plant.

And here’s the crazy part… for all those people that joke about how Asian countries eat cats and dogs: if you’re eating beef, you are too. To quote cattle-rancher-turned-vegan Howard Lyman, “Another staple of the renderer’s diet, in addition to farm animals, is euthanized pets—the six or seven million dogs and cats that are killed in animal shelters every year. The city of Los Angeles alone, for example, sends some two hundred tons of euthanized cats and dogs to a rendering plant every month. Added to the blend are the euthanized catch of animal control agencies, and roadkill.” Believe it or not, it gets more disgusting… but I’ll let you read more through the previous link, if you’re so inclined.

I don’t intend to gross out the visitors to the Veg Blog, but I feel the need to mention things like this because it continues to astound me what has become common practice in the meat industry. These are things I simply never knew and only learned about after I became vegetarian. Sometimes I wonder how much sooner I would have stopped eating meat if I had known what I know now…

4 Responses to “Food Revolution and eating pets”

  1. Jen

    Have you read Lyman’s book? We found it at one of those book-fair type places for just a couple of dollars. My husband read it, but then we lent it to his grandfather while he was in the hospital and haven’t gotten it back yet. I am not sure I can even stomach reading it all – but reading the first chapter is what gave me the final push to give up the last little bit of chicken I had occasionally.

  2. Ryan

    Jen — No, I haven’t read Lyman’s book… that’s next on my list. :) I have read Gail Eisnetz’s book SLAUGHTERHOUSE, though, which I have a feeling has a similar tone to it…

  3. Peter

    What a nice site, Ryan! A pleasure to read someone who has a viewpoint but isn’t aggressive about it. Well done.

    At times in my life I’ve become vegetarian due to lack of money, and can live perfectly happily on beans, bread and other veg. for long periods.

    I don’t go in for “substitutes”. If I want meat I’ll eat meat, if I want veg. I’ll eat veg. Quite a lot of people find the idea of, say, “meatless sausage” a bit silly.

    But, each to his own. Vegetables are incredibly healthier than meat, and tons cheaper too, as long as you avoid those expensive supermarket substitutes.

  4. Ryan

    As I’ve mentioned before ( ), I chose vegetarianism for ethical reasons… I enjoyed the taste of things like sausage and chicken, so when I’m jonesin’ for a sloppy joy, the soy crumbles (“fake meat,” if you will) serves the purpose just fine.

    At the same time, I’ve cut back on meat substitutes big time since I’ve grown to appreciate and like the taste of vegetables that much more since I’ve “turned.”

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