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Friday, April 05, 2013

Writing Towards Freedom

It's time for this year's Tread on Trafficking campaign. I'm naming mine Writing Towards Freedom this year for two reasons. One, the personal goal I have taken on in conjunction with the fundraising this year is to write at least 10 minutes per day, 6 days per week. (A lot of a little goes a long long way... just like donations!)

Two, Writing Towards Freedom stands for WTF, which is exactly my response to the idea that people find it acceptable to prey on other humans, children in particular, through sex trafficking.

One friend wrote me an email asking why this is such an important issue for me. My response:

Why is it personal to me? I'm not sure. Maybe because the thought of it makes me so sick that I almost CAN'T think about it much. When my friend first blogged about the organization I went to their website and then actually started crying as I
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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Meat Quota Reached

I wrote in June about this year's meat-eating experiment. In a nutshell, I wanted to see if I could eat meat 25 times or less within a year, starting with the beginning of the season for my CSA. Well, I hit number 25 during Pesach. I guess I really should have started with Pesach because I ate meat 7 or 8 times (depending on how you count.... I had soup with a tiny bit of meat in it on the last two times because it was delicious soup, but skipped the chicken those days). Pesach is an interesting time. We're so limited on what we can eat, we're providing for family, we're sometimes guests, it's a chag and therefore worth if not actually commanded to eat meat in order to show the importance of the day. I also was glad to have almost all the meat I consumed at that time purchased from Grow and Behold and therefore, organic, free range and all that other good stuff.

In any case, over the year I have found that I am losing my taste in meat more and more. I have several times eaten it and felt it wasn't good enough to be worth it, it sometimes made me feel a little ill afterwards, and sometimes I was just very aware of the loss of life necessary to create it. I have also become very sensitive to how often others consume meat, how much of it, and how little aware. Prime examples are Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have lunch duty at school and which happen to be fleishig days at school. Mass amounts of meat are prepared for these kids, and a depressing portion go straight into the garbage without the children even consuming it. They grab what's given to them, eat a few bites and then would rather chat with their friends, or just don't like what they've been given.

Finally, I've been reading little bits of a book I stumbled upon last year at Powell's called Judaism and Animal Rights. It's a collection of varied and excellent essays discussing every angle I can possibly think of regarding meat consumption and other issues around animals as we face them both today and in Jewish history. I am really coming to believe that drastically reducing our consumption of meat is a Torah value more consistent than any demonstration of food consumption we do today in the name of Judaism. Thanks to this book I also see why that's a controversial idea, but there any many great thinkers and rabbis who believe this to be true. This is true for health reasons, ethics reasons from many different angles, and even in sheer awareness and appreciation of the gifts G-d heaps upon us.

So I'm trying again this year, starting again at the resumption of the CSA distribution, but I will see if this time I can eat meat just 18 times before next Pesach. That way I can begin again the following Pesach with as much as I need, but still be able to count my meals for the rest of the year without worry.

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