Occasional Change.org petitions attract my interest, and my signature. It is amazing how such a variety of subjects become petitions on that website, but it is also heartening to see how many changes have indeed occurred because of them.
Shortly after Thanksgiving last year (2014) I realized that I had signed yet another petition related to animal cruelty in the farming industry on the Change.org website but had yet to make any personal changes as a result of doing so. The catalyst for that realization was the text of the animal cruelty petition that I had just signed; the phrase “frightened birds” generated a mental image in my mind that I just couldn’t shake. So I decided that I would stop eating meat.
That decision has opened my eyes to how much meat features in our diet, in restaurant menu options, and in advertising, to name but three areas of life. Indeed, at a popular chain restaurant recently I counted four items on the menu that did not include some element of beef, chicken, bacon, fish, or other animal flesh, which is something I had never noticed before. I am not about to confine myself to eating salads for the rest of my life so I compromised…I selected the Chicken and Mushroom pasta dish and told the waitress that I wanted it without the chicken. She likely thought I was completely nuts, and I can only imagine what the kitchen staff thought of my modification to the dish, but the situation also gave me an opportunity to explain my reasoning for eschewing the chicken part of the meal.