or even veganism
The German cheap-meat production company “Tönnies” was shut down completely recently due to at least 1500 employees getting infected by Covid-19. Investigations revealed quickly why this could happen in the first place: horrible conditions for the workers, underpaid and cheated foreign slaughterers doomed to live like cattle themselves in overcrowded, run-down yet overpriced accommodations: a perfect environment for a virus to spread. The entire municipality is now at risk to go into lock-down again, and local politicians are considering to make Tönnies pay for all the consequential costs. On its website, as shown on the above-depicted screen shot that was taken today, the company is still presenting itself as clean, claiming to be “healthy”, “sustainable”, and “responsible”.
It might appear easy to blame the Tönnies CEO or board for this mess, or maybe even the cheap meat industry in general. But the truth is that our very own increasing meat consumption over the past decades has prepared the perfect ground for the cheap meat industry to be built upon. So if we want to change that, we should not blame the industry nor wait for politicians. The only ones who can tear this dishonourable industry down are the very same who called for it in the first place: It’s us, you and me, the consumers who day by day choose what we want to put on our plates and grills.
Of course, I know all the arguments and excuses why we “should” keep eating meat. Even Christians claim that animals have neither rights nor dignity as we believe in our God-given right to subdue creation. However, the Tönnies case reveals the weakness of this kind of logic as it does not at all reflect the caring love of the Creator. All we are reflecting instead is selfish greed.
Many recently published studies suggest to reduce our meat consumption significantly, for a large variety of reasons. Therefore, I’d like to echo and emphasize these calls for change by proposing the following:
- Aim at having meat products of any kind (including sausage, bacon strips on a salad etc) only once a week.
- Aim at a vegetarian diet for 5 days a week.
- Aim at trying one vegan day per week, just for personal development and discipleship purposes.
The more are daring to give it a try the more will experience how easy it actually is, probably much easier and way more fun than expected.
Last but not least, allow me to briefly look at the issue from another angle: The Corona/Covid-19 pandemic is in fact just a little pre-view of a much bigger health care problem on the rise: Antibiotic resistance (like MRSA), i.e. multi-resistant bacteria that will make it very difficult, maybe impossible, to treat human infections, as antibiotics won’t work anymore. Antibiotic resistance has been on a spooky rise during the past few years. If it’s not stopped it might bring us back to former centuries where people would die from quite simple infections because they couldn’t be treated. The main reason for antibiotic resistance is the global meat industry (and the meat industry alone), as more than 75% of all global antibiotics are given to livestock (so far, more than 70 Million tons of antibiotics have been used for livestock in 2020 only, check here how much it has risen since I wrote these words).
So please, give my suggestion a serious try, even if you think the meat you’re eating is clean from problems. After all, it might be as clean as Tönnies website.