Midsummer madness

It’s Midsummer again. The longest day of the year, full of light and no night at all. The nightless night, as they say. Most of Finland escapes to summer houses and cottages and drinks too much. So far five people have died while celebrating Midsummer.

I also escaped to the summer house. But instead of drinking, I ate potatoes.

If you have ever visisted Finland, you know that we love our potatoes – to a degree where anyone not Finnish thinks that there’s nothing else to eat. Boiled potatoes, potatoes in a casserole, fried potatoes, sliced and baked in the oven, you name it.

Naturally, our Midsummer delicacy is also a potato. Small, fresh, with a thin skin. Seed potatoes are planted sometime in the spring, and around Midsummer the small jewels are dug out from the ground to our dinner tables. Prices per kilo may be ridiculously high, but the taste is heavenly.

Eating potatoes doesn’t give you a bad conscience, either. I’ve pretty much read Eating Animals now. In addition to the examples I mentioned earlier, I’ve learned more.

I’ve learned about the nasty, disgusting shit water that is often sold inside the meat, up to 11% of the overall weight. I’ve learned more about the antibiotics, genetic manipulation and cruel ways of slaughtering the animals. What I never really knew/realized/thought about before, is the breathtaking number of shit pools around these factory farms. Massive, stenching, health-risking shit pools. If you fall in there, you die. If you live near a factory farm, you probably face serious health risks. The pools of liquid shit seep into the soil, poisoning waters and earth. I recommend you to read the book just to understand the statistics of shit. You will be surprised.

It’s not only about making the animals live a painful, short life, and killing them in a cruel, painful way. It’s also about making ourselves ill. Or what do you think about the increased allergies, asthma, nasty influenzas, frightning viruses and killer cucumbers? Killer cucumbers did not turn out to be killers after all, but the connection to factory farming is pretty evident.

A month ago I heard people say that they will never eat anything Spanish again. Well, sure, go for it, if you can. But it’s not going to save you from the second generation of killer cucumbers, if you keep factory farmed meat in your diet.

The thing is, this kind of information is not really available unless you really start looking for it. Surely the book has its own agenda, but why not think about the issues raised for a while. For me, the information provided by, say, the meat industry, Finnish bread information or the dairy industry is equally biased. They’re all promoting their own cause.

But in the end it’s really about values, just like all politics.

Finland is a very good country for getting information through to people. If it’s a high enough authority who says that drinking milk is important, people will drink milk. We respect our authorities and hardly ever question them.

I’m not a vegetarian myself. I used to be for quite a few years when I was younger. But I did it for myself, not for the animals. Now, having considered the issue for a good few years, I’m starting to think vegetarian is a good option. After reading the book I’m considering it even more.

♥ In the meantime: taking a daily nap increases your quality of life exponentially

♦ Song of the day: Elbow, One day like this

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