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Current Dilemma: To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat?

After reading a long list of books educating me on the perils of meat/poultry eating, the impact on the environment and the terrible inhumane treatment of animals I am left pondering the question, should I eat meat or should I not?
I have chosen at this point in my life to refrain from eating any meat/poultry that hasn’t been raised humanely and fed an organic diet without antibiotics & hormones. What this means is that I believe strongly that the factory farming industry is literally a hell on earth for those stuck inside. I believe it is morally wrong to support those industries and when faced with the choice of meat or no meat, I will gladly choose no meat if it means I have lessened the suffering of an animal.
But, there are alternatives to the factory farming industry, and I have found that I can justify them on my moral spectrum. This is a choice that some may call hypocritical, I understand. I have been struggling with this myself. What has finally helped me clear my head is the idea that by supporting a small (hopefully local) farm that raises their animals with compassion for the natural habits and needs of their livestock I am saying to the world, I want more of this type of farming. I am willing to put my money where my mouth is.
Kevin, my fiancĂ© and I have made the choice that under no circumstance does any meat/poultry enter our home that we don’t approve of. Yes, it means spending an extra dollar or two for that roast chicken meal. We have accepted this not as a luxury item, but as an ethical choice that we are not willing to give up. Eating out has become harder, but it has helped us find restaurants that support our beliefs and they have become our favorite spots for date night! In my opinion, not eating meat as much as before is a win win, and now when I do eat meat, I know it’s better for the animal and my health. So, please look for grass-fed beef (and milk/cheese products!), organically fed poultry and humanely raised on the labels. Support the stores that sell these products, let them know you appreciate it. And don’t feel guilty asking the waiter to find out where the meat comes from, maybe someone in the kitchen will get the hint and start ordering differently! Any thoughts…. (Picture Credit: Roy Lichtenstein's 'Meat')


amy said...

I agree! We are lucky enough to be able to raise our own beef- pasture raised. The meat is naturally lean. No hormones or antibiotics. Much better for the kids. We buy our daughter organic milk as well.

Anthony said...

It's great to see people actually thinking about their diets, but this is all going in the wrong direction. There is still plenty of cruelty present in the "humane" animal industries. And it is never something one should feel good about support- at best slightly less guilty.

Chickens are still killed at the ripe old age of 6 weeks- an incredibly short fraction of their possible lifespan. Even "free range" chickens seldom see the outside.

Dairy also is just inherently inhumane. All dairy cows are kept constantly pregnant, with the babies being taken away just after a bond is formed. Half of those calves go on to become veal.

And organic milk is chock full of hormones. It is irresponsible and thoughtless to feed that to a child. Milk is natural a conduit for hormones to the growing calf. Today's dairy cows have been bred to have more hormones than ever before.

Eat less and forget this whole "happy meat" campaign. It's largely a fallacy and one of the biggest marketing ploys yet.