OK: time to revist the issue of meat-eating. Why? Because last night, when I was wandering through the meat aisle in the Food Emporium in search of the perfect chicken to roast up for dinner, I realized that anything bearing the Perdue label no longer even registers as a possible purchase for me...and I think that's pretty cool, because it certainly hasn't always been so.
I spoke out about my feelings on this topic once before, and I want to say that I was wrong (or at least uninformed). I didn’t know much about the issues at play here, mostly because my primary concern at the time was putting delicious dinners on our table for the lowest possible amount of money (and unfortunately, we all know who sells the cheapest, biggest chicken breasts). I still prioritize high-flavor and low-expense when it comes to food, but what I’ve learned over the past few months (mostly from online research following a tear-filled experience watching Food, Inc alone late at night after a couple of glasses of wine) has led me to make some changes in my approach to eating meat.
I’m still a meat-eater, obviously, and my love of meat (or belief that meat-eating, if done responsibly, is healthy, natural, and basically A-OK) isn’t going anywhere. While I respect the rights of others not to eat meat, I don’t see vegetarianism (much less veganism) anywhere in my future (although I suppose you never know). But I want to be clear on this point: I no longer purchase meat from industrial farms, and have learned enough about the subject that I now feel that seeking out cruelty-free producers is 100% worth the extra time and expense. I don’t think that makes me a saint...I think that makes me a responsible meat-eater. I continue, however, to refuse to judge those who choose to eat industrially farmed meat: I judge the people who run these miserable operations, knowing full-well what they're doing.
So that’s where I stand, but there are sites that can speak to these issues with much more authority than I, so it’s link time. Go HERE to learn more about the dangers of factory farming, and HERE to read a great article about “ethical omnivores” (meat-eaters who will only eat meat and dairy products raised in a cruelty-free environment).
Finally, a few resources (via VegSource) for meat-eaters who would like to support cruelty-free brands: