During my lecture to the Animal Science 597 students -- as with all my presentations -- I emphasized the importance of food choice! I sincerely believe that we should be able to select the foods we want for ourselves and our families. Thus, I fully support the many different types of production: conventional, organic, locally raised, naturally raised, etc. I believe the ability to choose our own food is extraordinarily important! No one -- and no government entity -- should be able to force certain foods or production methods on us!
The handsome young man with me in the picture above is one of my very favorite people, my wonderful younger brother! He currently lives in Philadelphia, where he is very active in the cultural scene of that city. My Philadelphia brother is one of those amazing people who is so kind of heart and such a pleasure to spend time with! I am so happy whenever we are together! We are, however, two very different individuals -- and this includes our diet. For his well-being, my brother is a vegetarian. I think this is awesome! I love vegetarians because they show the importance of food choice. I have extremely different health concerns from my brother, though. Because I am typically very low in iron and have a gluten intolerance, I structure my diet around protein-rich red meats, dairy, and fruits & vegetables. My brother's diet works for him; my choices work for me. The freedom to choose our own food is very important to both of us!
Despite my support for vegetarian choices, I was very disturbed to read in the paper this morning that a few local restaurants had joined with a so-called "animal rights" group (Mercy for Animals) to offer vegan menu items during "World Go Vegan Week". These restaurants are Phat Wraps, Knead, Columbus Brewing Company, Surly Girl Saloon, Dirty Frank's, the Tip Top, and Betty's. I will no longer support these businesses, and I will be contacting those that I have frequented to express my concerns.
To clarify, I have NO problem with these restaurants offering vegan choices! Food choice is important and I believe in the market dictating production. If businesses wish to offer vegan options and consumers wish to buy them, I think that is fantastic! My concern is that these restaurants are joining with a group that exists to shut down farms that raise livestock and businesses that are involved with meat processing. This is NOT food choice -- this is forcing an agenda on consumers! Mercy for Animals is very clear in all its publications and presentations that they intend to promote world veganism . . . thus putting farmers like me out of business, subverting the ability of individuals to choose their own foods, and adding to the world hunger problem (since meat is a protein-rich food source that provides needed calories).
Please support food choice! Please voice your desire to be able to select what you want to feed your families! Please use your dollars to support businesses that reflect this!