Ignorance is Bliss // JP Hurley

If there is one thing that I can take away from my Critical Thinking and Writing course, it is awareness. Before taking this class, I never thought about where my food came from, or what kind of life it lived. I never thought about how my steak got to my plate, I just wanted something that tasted good. Admittedly, this class has stripped me of my innocence. I can no longer plead ignorant to the horrific wrongdoings of the meat and poultry industries. The corruption among the Mega-Corporations is being swept under the rug and is going unpunished. The factories are tantamount to sweatshops, forcing workers, who have been reported to defecate while working, to repeatedly ravage carcasses of freshly slaughtered meat for inhumane hours.

This class taught me to question my actions towards life. I will ever eat a burger the same way again, nor will I ever think about fishing, my favorite past time, the same way. The very first time I ever went fishing, I was a junior in highschool, I was with two other friends, and we had no idea what we were doing. After a trip to the local tackle shop, I figured out how to put a plastic worm on a hook. We traveled to the nearest fishing hole, and I set up my line.  .

IMG_0940

A bass I caught at the local pond

I threw my bait as far as I could and waited. I didn’t even expect to get a bite. Twenty-or-so minutes later, I couldn’t find my bobber in the water. A fish bit the fake worm under my bobber. I reel in and realize a fish had taken my bait! About ten seconds later, I get him to the shoreline and … SNAP, my knot came undone. An overhand knot brought the fish all the way up to the shore, but when I put all of the fish’s weight on the line, it forced my rookie knot to give way. I watched my first fish flop its way to freedom, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was so unbelievably frustrated. It felt like someone threw me a surprise party! It was such an unexpected fish, and I was so clueless. Except right when I was about to open my first present, someone came in and stole it right out of my hands. I lost my hook in the mouth of the fish, and he is probably still swimming somewhere in Nicasio, waiting to be caught again.

I now know that this incident could have majorly injured the fish. It is forced to live the rest of it’s life with a hook in its mouth, or worse it could have swallowed the hook and died. All life deserves to be cherished, but that often doesn’t happen in big businesses. There seems to be a point where, in order for a giant company to survive, they sacrifice their originality, genuinity, and morals in order to lower the cost of production. The margins for raising livestock are so small that their business model could only be profitable on a nationwide scale. Our meat is being shipped across the country, wasting fuel, time, money, as well as precious days on the expiration date. Just like my first time fishing, these businesses have no idea what they are doing. They are baiting consumers with low prices and catchy slogans, but beneath lies the hook, and once you bite, man is it hard to get away; however, they were ill-prepared. The meat and poultry businesses did not plan to be intentionally immoral, but were forced to by increased demand. They did not predict their massive success, and had to upscale fast to keep up with rapid demand. This is, basically, the predicament we face today.

I will continue to eat meat, but I will never forget what I learned in this class.

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