Musings on Coffee and Meat

A wee bit of interesting reading to start your day with: the world is running out of coffee. Apparently, a fungus, pests and weather are all contributing to making that loveable morning cuppa something you might one day be unable to afford. As they say on TV, well, dang.

Now as someone running a herbal tea business, I can’t say I would be sad to see coffee go. I don’t drink much of it myself, and we all know tea, even black tea, is healthier than coffee. But coffee’s not quite the anti-Christ. It does have health benefits if you enjoy it rarely. (By the way – 3 times a day is not rare. Talkaboutcoffee.com states that two cups a day are okay, but then again they’re in the business of getting people to drink lots of coffee. I did a little research and it turns out two 8 ounce cups is an acceptable limit according to some medical bodies, however personally I still think it’d be healthier to cut back to one or even less. It’s easy to get stimulants – legal ones – elsewhere).

Anyway, so coffee’s becoming harder to get. The article I linked to above is the short version; here is the longer, more interesting version for those who have the time to read it.

While we’re on the topic of food and ethical choices, this picture has been doing the rounds:

A lot of meat eaters like to raise points such as this one, waving things like this in our faces with glee, revelling in the fact that vegans, vegetarians, or those who aspire to be either, “don’t even know” about stuff like this. This has been a frustrating confrontation I have dealt with for a large portion of my adult life.

Look…yes, probably, in this day and age at least, it’s very hard to avoid using something that has some form of animal product in it. But we can try. And if we happen to own an emery board that is made out of a cow’s skin and we don’t know it…so what. Avoiding animal products as much as possible is still going to make a positive impact on the planet, even if animal products creep into our lives somehow. Using an emery board is not the same as chowing down on a steak meal 14 times a week. Please.

As with coffee, meat or animal products are not the epitome of evil. You can have some if you need it. As a friend of mine says, in order for us to live, something has to die (and she’s not just talking about animals there, she is talking about plants dying to nurture us too. Something has to give way so that we can flourish).

The thing is, surely there’s a better way of doing this. Surely marching thousand of animals towards the killing floor of an abbatoir each day is not the best way for us to get our protein. I’m not even going to start on the things that are wrong with killing animals in abbatoirs (Goddess, we’d be here all night) but I’m sure there is a cleaner, healthier way to get meat. And if animals can live a fairly happy life before we slaughter them as humanely as possible, great, let’s dig in. But they’re not happy in many of the situations we put them in, and there is a lot about abbatoirs that are not humane.

I won’t go into the evils of factory farming (that’s a totally different blog entry!) but I am definitely in search of alternatives, such as small local organic butchers. When I find ones I am happy with I will spread the word here so those of you in my area can buy from them if you choose to. I am toying with the idea of creating some sort of listing of brands and products that I am satisfied with so that we can share the love when it comes to things like this.

I do love how blog entries pan out. I started this intending to talk about the plans my fiancé and I made the other night to, well, basically, live forever. OK, I’m exaggerating there, but we did talk about how we don’t want to let our lifestyles shorten our lifespans. I have one grandmother in her mid 90s and another in her late 80s, so I’d hate to let the team down. But I guess I kind of did talk about this anyway.

Healthier food equals a healthier body.