I have a confession to make. It’s terrible. It’s embarrassing. It’s gross.
My confession is this: I eat fast food. In fact, I eat it a lot.
I could blame my upbringing for that. After all, I grew up in the late 20th century, when televisions became baby-sitters and nature became something to visit in preserves. An entire generation of kitchen know-how was lost during that era: my grandmothers’ top-notch cooking skills never trickled down to my upwardly mobile parents, who were dazzled by the novelty of microwaves, TV dinners, and drive-throughs. As a result, I wasn’t raised in a house with home-cooked meals.
To make matters worse, I’m not a picky eater. Unlike my husband — who has certain likes and dislikes, and enjoys variety in his diet — I’ll eat anything*. And if I like it, I’ll eat it every day. Fast food makes that far too easy.
Also unlike my husband, I’m not a very enthusiastic cook. I’ll have a go at it now and then, but usually I end up making frou-frou crap like tarte tatin or schmancy sorbets — desserty things, not full meals. I don’t know why. Frankly, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
But I don’t want to blame my environment for my bad habits. I accept responsibility for my decisions: I eat fast food. Not all of it, mind you — I’m 99% vegetarian — but enough to know that I’m supporting a terrible industry that is hugely cruel to animals. Case in point:
So, how do I balance this craving for fast food with my (occasionally dodgy) moral compass? Apart from sticking to vegetarian options, I don’t have a very good answer for that.
I will say, however, that I don’t eat at McDonald’s. That’s partially because their vegetarian options are laughable/non-existent, but it’s also because McDonald’s and its network of suppliers constitute one of the biggest factory farming systems in the world. My lack of patronage may not cripple the company, but it makes me feel a bit better about myself.
I’m not the only one who’s wary of the Golden Arches and its cruel business practices. Enough folks complained about McDonald’s use of gestation stalls for pigs that the company vowed to end the process last year.
Now, there’s another movement afoot — one that would eliminate the use of battery cages by McDonald’s poultry suppliers. You can take part by signing this petition.
* Correction: I’ll eat almost anything. There are three exceptions: hard-boiled eggs, chocolate ice cream, and umeboshi, those salted Japanese plums. Ew, ew, and ewwwwwww.
[via my sister, Tiff]