With the vast majority of Americans eating meat, sometimes you have to wonder why this statement is controversial. But it is. For some Americans, a very small minority of Americans, meat to them is akin to murder. They are incredibly loud. Any news article I read there’s always the same ones commenting about how people should give up animal products completely – how unnatural they are or unhealthy or damaging to environment.
I suppose eating hormone injected, antibiotic dependent animal products is unnatural and certainly unhealthy. Americans eat way too much factory farmed meat, dairy and eggs which isn’t healthy, that’s obvious, but eating small to moderate amounts of pastured, organically raised (not necessarily certified organic) animal products can be healthy and it’s completely natural (just look at our physiology and it’s apparent that we are designed to be omnivores). Flexitarians, those that eat mostly a plant based diet with small amounts of pastured, humanely raised animal products, are considered just as healthy as vegetarians.
I would consider myself a Flexitarian now. We eat very little meat compared to before we started our year without groceries. This is because we now raise nearly all of our own meat. When you raise your own, especially on an urban lot, you come to appreciate the animal more and in the end eating a lot less of it. We can only produce so much meat at any given time and being one that never buys something I can’t make/grow/raise myself, it’s greatly reduced the amount of meat we consume.
We raise meat animals, not to save money, but to know where the meat comes from, how it was raised and how it died. I have first hand knowledge of the care and respect that animal received.That said, I will say that slaughtering animals is not easy – nor should it ever be easy. It’s hard and afterwards I want to avoid meat for a few days, and usually I do.
So why don’t I give up meat if it’s so difficult? Maybe the same reason why humans have such a difficult time giving up sex. Two of the most basic biological needs – eating and reproduction drive us all. I’m not about to give up either because I don’t see either as inherently evil.
Every living organism dies. Every living organism dies to feed another living organism. It’s the circle of life. I don’t view my life any differently than that of any other animal other than, except for that whole technology thing. “But we have logic and critical thinking!” they exclaim. How do we know that other animals don’t also have that? Have you ever clicker trained a dog? I’m not going to force my carnivorous animals to be vegetarian because that’s not what they are biologically adapted to eating any more than my goats are to eating a steak.
I eat meat because I’m not going to deny myself the evolutionary role we have in the food chain. I stopped eating processed food because I wanted to get back to what us humans should eat and are designed to eat – and that includes meat.
10 thoughts on “I Eat Meat”
Here's my take: http://www.nwedible.com/2011/03/failing-vegetarianism.html
I've always been sensitive to the raising of meat animals. At 5 years old I professed, at risk of being disowned, to my grandmother that I was vegetarian. My uncle commercially raised poultry, in interminably long sheds. As I've grown older and wiser I've realized I hate factory farmed meats, but see the virtues in locally, sustainably raised product. Sure, vegans, we can opt to raise zucchini, but those precious animals you profess to want to protect? They'll disappear without demand for their MEAT! Nobody will choose to raise them for fun. They are agricultural entities, raised for agricultural purposes. Pretending that hugging solves everything, in no way guarantees their survival. They survive, because there is demand. Without demand, they'll disappear.
Allow me to preface my statements by saying that as a vegan, I'm not offended by any remarks made here. I commend you for actually thinking about the food you eat and showing concern for animal welfare. I'll be the voice for "the other side."
What it boils down to is this: both vegans and omnivores alike (like you guys here, not the McDonalds crowd) are against one big thing–factory farming. Sure, we could go back and forth on some of the minor points made here, but why argue amongst ourselves when there is a larger battle to fight? I think what really needs to happen–on both sides–is that we need stop calling each other out and get in this together. If we could shut down all Smithfield operations, imagine how huge that victory would be for both sides.
The dollar is arguably one of the most powerful tools. By you guys raising your own meat and vegans simply not buying meat, that is a lot of money not going into the factory farm industry. If I can convince my parents–who happen to raise about 100 beef cattle each year–to support other small farmers instead of buying chicken or pork from the supermarket, that's still a win in my book.
Would I be happy if the whole world went vegan? I don't know, but that sure would make social eating a lot easier. 🙂
@StaceyG, Thank you for your very well put comment. Unfortunately, there is a very loud, albeit small, group of vegans (they are more like militant animal rights activists) in the SF Bay Area that aren't quite so understanding and would rather dictate everyone's food choices.
EXCELLENT post! Precisely why I raise my own meat (& do my own processing, except beef & pork, just b/c they're too big for my wimpy girl self to do (husband is squeamish) & we don't have the right "set-up", LOL), too. & I hate it, too, but . . . since vegetarianism just doesn't work for my body's nutritional requirements, I had to force myself to learn how & to deal w/ it, by golly! (whilst doing much crying, though. I'm such a soft-hearted sissy, LOL) So MY burning question is: How do your neighbors do when it comes to the "processing" part? *biting nails, nervously*
Also, mind if I "share" any of your extra-fab posts on my FB page?
Sarah, Thanks for your comments. I have to be honest, when I saw that someone named Sarah had commented on two livestock related posts I was a bit nervous thanks to a meeting I just came back from (I'll post about that tomorrow). Anyways, to answer your questions, we make sure the processing doesn't occur where any neighbors can see what we're doing (yay for tall corn and a water tower). Some of them are aware of what we do though and just simply ask us not to let them see, which we are more than happy to do.
And yes! Feel free to share the posts!
Here is a good video on meat: http://carnism.com
So for everyone elses' benefit, the above comment is a link to a vegan website. I allowed it because it's not exactly controversial in my opinion and the site is, well, not your typical animal rights site. It's kind of ambiguous about the point it's trying to make until you get further into it. It's coming from the "Golden Retriever" angle – seriously the video brings up eating Golden Retrievers, which must have been where the crazy lady got that line from.
I’m with you Rachel. I have lived in an area that allowed our family to raise their own meat, and when we moved to an area we couldn’t, it felt really strange to go and buy meat from the store, where we didn’t know what sort of life the animals had. I would much prefer to raise my own, and give the animals as much good life and respect that they can get! Bravo on a good post.
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