Note: Vegan and vegetarian discretion is advised; graphic images are presented here. Also, I am all in favor of everyone choosing a diet that is right for him/herself. Opinions here are expressly my own.
|GF Oatmeal Muffins - good but needed a different flour base I should have listened to Shawna!|
Taking a step back. I eat meat. I don’t eat a lot of it as previously stated in many blog posts. I think there are moral, ethical and environmental implications for eating meat that comes from factory farms (or CAFO’s - concentrated animal feeding operations). I’ll leave that discussion for a different time. I choose not to eat any meat that I do not know where it comes from. This basically means that I source any meat that I purchase directly from the farm or I purchase at Bi-Rite Grocery or Avedano’s Meats - both stores are committed to purchasing meat from the most ethical, humane and environmentally friendly farms. I don’t eat meat when I travel.
|A tasty breakfast with almond butter and tea|
|My butchery skiz-ills|
|Breaking down a whole leg of lamb (demonstration)|
I’ve never been much of a meat eater. When I was a child, I told everyone that I was a vegetarian – except I loved hot dogs and pepperoni. As I grew older, I still didn’t eat a lot of meat and hamburgers certainly disgusted me. Then in college I had a medium rare steak, and I was a goner.
Meat from the corner Gristede’s market in New York City where I lived for 3 years is disgusting and nutritionally detrimental at best. One step up from pink slime. Meat from my local, organic and pasture raised CSA in San Francisco is nutritious, healthy and contributes to health – when eaten in moderation (i.e. 2-3 meals per week). Eating meat from organic, pasture raised/fed and humanely treated animals gives the body nutrients that are found no where else in nature. Where else do you find vitamins B12 and D? Bio available iron? I would also argue for omega-3 fatty acids, however these fats can certainly be found in vegetarian dishes.
My personal philosophy is that food is medicine. I don’t want to live a life tied to supplements (which one has to be careful about due to heavy metal contamination) and want to live a life that uses foods to support my body’s nutritive needs. Eating meat a few times a week sustains me.
It is not ethical, in my opinion, to eat meat from a Styrofoam, shrink wrapped package, which contains a product that has been questionably treated. It is ethical to eat meat that you know came from a local farmer who humanely treated their animals, fed them a proper organic diet and raised them on pasture land without harmful antibiotics and growth hormones.
Lastly, we have cultivated these animals to give us nutrition over thousands of years. We have relied on them to sustain us and they have relied on us to propagate their species. Is it ethical to allow these animals to roam only to not survive as they rely on us humans? I argue that no, it is not.
Now, as I am an adult, I still sometimes indulge in that hot dog, only now it’s from my local farm, with grass-fed organic beef and it doesn’t contain nitrates. This is the future me and this is the future of ethically consuming meat.
Again, this is simply my opinion. Everyone is entitled to decide what works best for your body. But I challenge everyone who consumes meat to think about the moral, ethical and environmental implications of eating meat. Maybe you change how you consume meat, maybe you don’t, but at least I think our health and our environment deserve a few minute consideration of our actions.
Do you agree or disagree with me? How does meat play a role in your life? In thinking about the NY Times challenge, what would you say?
Be happy. Be healthy!