Thursday, March 25, 2010

Veggie Might: I Want to Be Tofu Butcher

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about all things Vegetarian.

Last night there was a vegetarian quorum in my living room: two lacto/ovo vegetarians, one vegan, and one omnivore (who had once been a vegetarian). We voted a moratorium on the question, “So, will you ever eat meat again?”

BA mentioned she was coming up on her 17-year vegan anniversary and that people still asked her that question. We all nodded in sympathy. “They may as well ask if I’d ever eat wood.”

Well, according to the trend piece Flesh Mob in the New York Press, it’s not such a crazy question. Apparently, the bacon craze and conscious carnivorism has vegetarians abandoning their previously held convictions and signing up for butchering classes and joining CSAs for the grass-fed beef—really getting back to the land.

“People were encouraged to avoid meat with scary PETA videos and horror stories about factory farming, but these days, newly carnivorous New Yorkers are able to cushion their consciousnesses with locally grown, free range and all-around-happy meat.”

I found the claim that vegetarians are lining up to become butchers quite disingenuous. Whatever their reasons for becoming vegetarian, none of my current veg-head friends would dream of consuming meat just because it’s de rigueur.

Most former veggies I know, including BH of our living room quorum, made the switch after some soul searching and for myriad reasons, including access and convenience, love (of another human)—and nearly all of them eat meat sparingly.

Plus, I thought people were catching onto the idea that a little meat goes a long way. What happened to being a flexitarian to improve one’s health, bank balance, and environment?

A 2009 Vegetarian Resource Group Poll put the nation’s vegetarian numbers at about 3%, up from 2% in 2006. Even my sister, whose husband hunts and fishes, and a pair of dear friends and avowed omnis are giving part-time vegetarianism a try.

Food is deeply personal, and increasingly, has become moral and political. I am not questioning people’s decision to eat what they choose and live as they believe is right. (I have lots of omni friends!) My beef (har) is with the framing of the story: that vegetarianism is a “phase” we’ll all get over when we grow up—an get a good whiff of frying bacon.

Maybe wood pulp and poly-cotton will be the next big thing. BA and I are on board, since they’re vegan.

Readers, what about you? Are you vegetarian, vegan, part-time vegetarian, or conscious carnivore? Would anything make you change your diet? How do you balance your ethics with your grocery bill? Is food a moral issue in your household? Let ‘er rip in the comments.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr member FantasyFan.)

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39 comments:

Marcia said...

I am mostly vegetarian. I would say that 90-95% of my meals are vegetarian. I cook meat about once or twice a month, and we eat it sparingly, and it generally makes leftovers.

I aim for eating "happy" meat. From the farmer's market when I can, or organic, free-range when I can't. I generally only prepare it when I have guests.

However, I will also eat it when I am a guest in someone's home (this is a convenience factor).

I'd say 50-70% of our meals are vegan, particularly lunches and dinners. We do eat dairy and eggs occasionally. We put dried milk in our homemade bread. But my evening meal preferences are along the lines of vegan, though there is occasionally some cheese tossed in there.

Drake said...

I'm a vegetarian(ovo-lacto) andtry to eat as locally & seasonally as I can. (I will buy pineapples, because they just don't grow in Indianapolis, but aside from the obvious things that can not grow here, I get them locally/seasonally.)I buy all my eggs from local farmers & the same goes for sour cream & dairy products. There's a quart of organic skim milk in the fridge, but that's my husband's. I don't support the large-scale dairy farms, so I'll get my cream & milk from the farmers' markets. My husband does eat meat, but not that often. I'm the primary cook, but even when he cooks, he usually goes meat-free. When he does have meat, it's free range, grass-fed, local meat. About 75% percent of our meals actually come out vegan, unless we throw cheese on top of pasta or something, but because a lot of my friends are vegan, I'm conscious about not using honey or dairy products in dishes I plan to share.

Susan said...

I was lacto/ovo vegetarian for 10 years before some health problems led me back to eating meat. Now I try to source my meat locally when possible and still try to eat conscientiously and healthfully, but I do eat some form of meat at least once a day, most days.
Since returning to eating meat, I find I have more energy and better focus, and I have stopped fainting randomly. I have people tell me I must have been "doing it wrong" in terms of vegetarianism, but I worked quite hard with a nutritionist to get me healthy while maintaining a vegetarian diet, to no avail. Meat was the answer :-)

April said...

This is a very interesting question, indeed. I was a strict vegetarian for 12 years, vegan for 1 1/2 of those years, and I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I would start eating meat again.

I started the vegetarian diet when I was 12, mostly as a way to be different from my peers. As I grew older, I embraced the health factor and environmental/animal consciousness. When I graduated college, started making "real" money, started cooking, and ultimately had full control over my food choices, things started to change.

For one, I started watching Food Network, and some of that food looked soooo tempting (which is strange, considering I had shunned meat for so long--I wouldn't have expected it to look good).

Also though, I did start hearing more about ethical and humanely-raised animal products. Now that I was making money and could afford to buy the products I felt were ethical and good for me, I started the transition.

At first, I only at chicken, and said I would never, ever touch beef. But eventually, my tastes grew, and now I really eat anything and everything.

Here's the caveat--I still prefer to eat grass fed, free range, you name it meat. If it is being served to me, I will eat it, but when I have the choice, I go the ethical route. And really, we eat meat maybe once a week. Since it is a bit more expensive, we don't include it in every meal, and I feel better doing it that way anyway.

But, had you asked me 10 years ago if I'd ever eat meat again, my answer would have been no.

lizrunsdc said...

I'm mostly vegetarian...I started making the switch gradually after seeing Food, Inc. I have only eaten meat a handful of times in the last two months, but once the farmer's markets are open and "happy" meat is more accessible I might change my mind.

Charity said...

I have been lacto/ovo vegetarian for about 7 years. For a long time after I made the change, I'd have nightmares about accidentally eating meat or eating it intentionally and feeling guilty about it. I don't think anything would make me eat meat again, though if I were in the right circumstances (an Asian country, maybe?), I might eat fish. That would still be really difficult, though.

My ex-husband is an omnivore, and it was pretty tough. I love sharing meals with people, but when we ate at home, we often prepared our own meals & ate separately. I can understand the love/convenience factors motivating people to change their practices, but I don't think I'd do it even for those reasons.

Sara A. said...

I've been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 13 years now. Ethically, I would like to be vegan, but I have tried it and found that it took a major toll on my health.

Would I be a "conscious carnivore"? No. To me, you can be conscious about it, but it there isn't conscience involved when you kill an animal.

So, I guess, the line with me, is, do I have another option besides the animal product? If the nuclear apocalypse comes and all I can eat is animal products, then no, I don't have another option, I'll eat meat. But otherwise, as Morrissey sang, "It's death for no reason, and death for no reason is murder."

Anonymous said...

I was a vegetarian for 10 years. I woke up one morning about a year ago and realized that I just didn't have a moral issue with eating meat anymore. It was literally an overnight transformation--if you had asked me the day before I started eating meat again, I would have told you it was impossible that I would ever give up vegetarianism. I still eat a lot of meat-free meals, because that's what I know how to cook, but I'm very happy with my new(ish) omnivorous lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

I eat meat, my family would like to eat more of it. So we compromise, instead of a 12 oz steak, they get a 6 oz steak and all the veggies they want. It's healthier in the long run and no one feels like they are missing out or deprived.

Because of that my kids enjoy brussel sprouts, collard greens, broccoli, artichokes, the list goes on and on.

My sister is "vegan", though I'd say she is usually vegetarian since she loves cheese, but she'll tell you she's vegan. And she'll run through phases where she lives off of tater tots and carrots. Not exactly doing it the right way, but she means well.

Polly Zero said...

My husband and I are mostly economical vegetarians. We might eat meat once a month, providing it is in something that can stretch for more leftovers. We eat a lot of veggies, beans, and rice otherwise. The recipes we enjoy are a blend of vegan, vegetarian, and typical omnivore fare.

It's definitely made us very creative in the kitchen and open to new flavors. Plus, we eat hardly any junk that way.(Ice Cream, why can't I quit you?!")

panaili said...

I think I'm in a weird situation. When I go to restaurants (maybe 2-3 times a month), I will eat meat. Also, my roommate occasionally makes steaks, and I eat those because they taste amazing. But on a regular basis, I usually don't eat meat. (Unless eggs count as meat.) This is mostly because 1) meat is expensive, and 2) the dishes I tend to make don't need meat to be appetizing.

Of course, part of this is facilitated by the fact that I don't eat pork or shellfish, for religious reasons. It's interesting how fewer options there are when you cut out pork. :)

dyan f. said...

Like Marcia, I'd probably classify myself as mostly vegetarian. I eat tons of grains, beans, eggs, veggies, etc., and am pretty satisfied for the most part, but occasionally there's nothing like ordering a side of bacon at brunch, or indulging in a cheeseburger when you're at the bar with friends.

Anonymous said...

I used to have a bunch of vegetarian or vegan friends in my 20s and 30s. I've always been an onmivore - but a vegetarian friendly one (I can and have baked a vegan cake). I have the same friends, but the last holdout has begun eating meat.

Often its been love - a relationship with a vegetarian or a meat eater - that has changed diets.

But a big factor of late is food intolerance. When you discover yourself reacting poorly to wheat or dairy or soy, your options for food become limited. If you are already self limiting your options through choosing not to eat meat, it starts to get dull and difficult to feed yourself.

wanderluck said...

In the spectrum of carnivore-vegan, I'd put myself on the conscious, meat-loving side of omnivore. I enjoy new kinds of produce, as well as the old favorites I grew up with. Just to backtrack and give a little background, I grew up in the Kentucky hills and have raised beef cattle almost all my life. I grew up well aware that the cattle I was raising were going to grow up to be beef (and that the hog would be pork chops and so on). I got a B.S.A. in agribusiness to go work for big Ag in the hopes of finding a happier medium between farmer and corporate.

I used to think anyone who claimed vegetarianism (or veganism) was a quack or a fake. I've since learned to accept others' decisions as their own - I'm not going to make you eat meat if you don't make me give it up. But I do still believe that there's nothing wrong with eating meat, and that food "documentaries" are mostly a load of crap propaganda, full of scare tactics and representative of a very, very small portion of producers.

I do, however, believe that local and fresh as possible is the way to go. If I had the option to raise my own meat, dairy, eggs and produce, I would do it in a heartbeat. Not only do I miss the freshness and knowing exactly what's going into what I'm eating, but I miss the connection between animal and producer. There would be less waste of the end product, as well.

Kate

sara l said...

I've been lacto/ovo for 14 years. I've always said the only two ways I'd stop are during pregnancy (cravings or health) or if I was living in a remote village that raised/killed it's own meat. My omni husband is really hoping I'll start craving meat.

For kids our compromise is they'll eat meat, but only local ethically raised meat.

Ducks said...

We are mostly vegetarian. After 10 years of vegetarianism and a few months of veganism, we went to Peru to do our anthropological fieldwork. In Peru, we found it impossible to refuse meat that people had raised on vegetarian feed in their own homes, slaughtered humanely, and cooked just for us. It's also a deadly insult in Peruvian culture to turn down offered food. Our first meat was guinea pig -- and I had had them as pets as a child.

When we returned home, my mom was bitterly offended that we would eat food for Peruvian hosts but not for her. We considered it carefully for a few months and then relaxed our standards. The happiness that it has given her for our meat-lite, conscientious diet to be flexible has been worth it.

miss manners said...

I spent years (about 8 or 9) waffling back & forth between true vegetarianism & being a pescetarian before falling off the wagon & back onto meat. After five years of disliking my eating habits, i spent the last year strictly pescetarian (easy, living on an island,) but now that i am back in the heartland, i cannot stay away from the stuff.
Thankfully, i live in an area where choices of local, organic, free-range meat are aplenty, & as long as i limit myself to that, i don't feel bad at all!

Libby said...

I have been struggling with this issue for a few years now. My husband has been a vegetarian for over 15 years and I am to the point where I only eat meat a few times a month (at restaurants...I NEVER cook meat). For ethical, environmental, and most importantly nutritional reasons, my goal is to one day be totally vegan, and I am very close. However, I can't seem to quite get there for a few reasons:

1. Health issues. Ever since I adopted my super healthy, mostly vegan style of cooking, I get dizzy a lot and also nauseous if I don't eat very frequently. I have been anemic for over a year (maybe longer) even though I eat a TON of iron-rich foods. After doing some research I discovered that the vegetarian sources of iron are all classified as non-heme, meaning that they are not easily absorbed. Additionally, whole grain foods and soy further inhibit the absorption of iron, and every meal I make is packed with whole grains and soy! Its very frustrating and I’m starting to wonder if I need to start eating meat again, but I really don’t want to. At the same time, I can’t live the rest of my life with anemia.

2. My social life. I live in a small city and there are only a few restaurants that cater to vegans. So basically, if I want to go out to dinner with friends, I can either eat before I go and just sit at the table while everyone else eats (which sounds terrible to me!), or I can eat meals with meat and dairy in them. I always end up doing the latter.

I would love love LOVE to be a real vegan but I just might not be able to do it…and that is such a bummer to me!

Becky said...

I'm a vegetarian (lacto/ovo) who tries to make at least half of my meals vegan. Why don't I eat meat? I have so many reasons. First, hunger is so widespread in the world, and you can feed more people by eating lower on the food chain. I'm an environmentalist (I'm a lawyer at an environmental non-profit), and meat and dairy products have unjustifiably high carbon footprints, not to mention the other environmental harms (pollution) done by meat and dairy farming. But really what it comes down to is that I love animals and there is no need to eat them. I can get everything I need from plants and don't have to feel guilty about eating a living, breathing creature with thoughts and feelings. Eat a cow? You might as well suggest to me that I eat my dog.

GrowingRaw said...

I've been flexitarian for ages, and eat organic meat maybe once a month, in addition to fish once or twice a month. My partner hasn't eaten meat at all this year, and found the step from flexitarian to vegetarian to be effortless. The kids eat organic meat or fish approximately once a week.

We have a shelf full of dried legumes and we're enjoying experimenting with different beany dishes. Adzuki beans are a new favourite - I wouldn't say they taste exactly like meat, but they have the fullness and tastiness carnivores crave. Adzuki bean filling in tacos is super...

Last night I caught an interview with Jonathan Safran Foer on ABC's lateline. He's the writer of a book called 'Eating Animals' and is very much against factory farming. Everything he had to say was interesting, but he also pointed out that although most people in Western society can't imagine themselves becoming fully vegetarian they are easily capable of eating less meat. He mentioned a statistic that if everyone in America ate one less meat meal each week it would be equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road each year. Here's a link to the Lateline interview.

ScienceandtheCity said...

I'm an omnivore, and that's very unlikely to change anytime soon (although, as other commenters show, you never know).

Since I am a grad student without a lot of excess cash and I do care about animal welfare and the environment and such, I try to buy ethically raised meat, which means I end up eating less of it because it's not so cheap. I stretch the meat I buy more and I also eat many vegetarian meals. I have many veggie friends (no vegans, though) and our food tastes are very compatible.

I think since I graduated from college and have been cooking and shopping for myself, my eating habits have evolved substantially. I grew up eating the American diet of meat at almost every meal, with a side of veg and carb. Now I have a huge variety of meals in my repertoire, many with little or no meat. I think it helps that I live in a city with TONS of food resources and progressive people, and also that I love to cook and try new things.

Jenna said...

I suppose a conscious carnivore is the best way to describe me. The meat I eat is local and grassfed - and while it IS more money, I balance it out with being more careful with it. We don't eat meat at every meal - heck, we don't eat meat every day. And what we do eat is stretched as far as possible. One roast will go for days, and even at the end what is left is set aside for the stockpot.

Partially it is personal taste - but there is a health side to it as well. Like several others in my family, I have a genetic "flaw" that makes my body not work all that well without animal protein. Toss in celiac and other food allergies, I'm already restricted in what I eat, I'm not too keen on tossing even MORE onto the Can Not eat list.

Courtney said...

i would like to know if there is anybody else who is vegetarian because of texture issues with meat.

Emily @ Relishments said...

For the past year and a half or so I've been a flexitarian (or "mostly-vegetarian). I occasionally cook or buy meat, but I try to avoid it for health and moral reasons. Plus its fun to try out non-meat recipes. Sometimes I think about going 100% vegetarian or only eating humanely raised meat, but it seems inconvient (and my husband's not ready). Maybe some day...but I know that I'm eating 100x better than I was 2 years ago and I also know that giving up meat doesn't automatically make you healthy. I'm happy with where I am.

Leigh said...

Thanks for the amazingly thoughtful discourse. We can always count on the CHG readers to be frank, open, and respectful.

Taking a quick tally, it seems that there is a pretty even three-way tie between the omnivores, mostly-veg, and lacto-ovo vegetarians among you.

Kate (wanderluck), I'm curious to know where you live and if you have access to local, grass-fed, etc. meat now. Is it just because we in large cities can "afford" it that we have access?

Thank you all again for your comments! Keep them coming!

Knitting Magic Girl said...

I'm an omnivore, but I eat mostly vegetarian about 4-5 days a week. The meat that I do end up consuming is mostly fish, and occasionally beef, but never poultry since I have an allergy to all things with wings.

I really just prefer vegetables over meat. If I do consume meats, I prefer them to be organic, grass fed, free range, happy meats. Just seems to be that there's so much more flavor in the vegetables and fruits I eat than in the meat, although nothing tops a good steak in my book when I need a good dose of iron and protein.

shesaserging said...

Interesting discussion! I found this blog recently and I really enjoy reading it. My story is similar to many others'... I went veg (ovo/lacto) in college for ethical/health reasons. I had gained a lot of weight eating cafeteria food! The cafeterias were really accommodating in providing vegetarian alternatives and because they weren't mass-produced they were a lot better. A few years later I went completely vegan, but quickly found it to be too difficult. I like cooking, but I would like to go out to eat with friends at least occasionally, or go to their house to eat, and it's nearly impossible to find vegan food on a menu.
Then... I got married. To a carnivore. He knew what he was getting into, because he met vegan-me. And, because I stay home, I do all the shopping and cooking, so pretty soon I made the concession to pesca/lacto/ovo because he wanted something more substantial.
Then... I read The Omnivore's Dilemma. Much to my husband's delight, I decided I was OK with pastured meat, which I had never heard of before. So now we are pretty omnivorous, but largely veg, for financial reasons.
I love food that is cheap, healthy, and good! And I'm so happy to say that my son, not knowing any different, happily eats (mostly) what we eat--fish, beans, rice, plain yogurt, oatmeal, and all kinds of fruits and veggies. I love nothing better than to go shopping with him and hear him exclaim "Broccoli! I love broccoli!" :) Yay for healthy food!

Delilah said...

I was a vegetarian for three years until I came to the realization that my biggest problem was with factory farming and not meat eating per se. However now that I officially "allow" myself to eat organic/free range/local meat, I probably only do once a month or less. It just never, ever seems necessary. I don't enjoy spaghetti any more with ground beef or meatballs mixed in, a sandwich isn't made any better with some slices of turkey, and frozen quorn is easier than cutting up a chicken breast and tastes the same. I'd say I only eat meat when meat is the focus of the entree, and I have such varied food tastes that it's easier and usually cheaper to just make/have a different entree. I believe people evolved to eat meat when it was the only food available and that's so far from the truth these days that it's ridiculous. There's just never a need.

wosnes said...

I was raised eating meat and have followed a vegetarian and vegan diet. Now I eat meat again. The biggest reason I eat meat is that I feel better when I do. Also, I'm not fond of grains and I don't feel nearly as well when I eat them. I don't eat a lot of meat and there are usually one or two meatless days weekly.

I've done Mark Bittman's "vegan (or at least vegetarian) until 6" since long before he came up with the idea -- about 10 years. I stumbled across a meal plan I thought would work for me and my family and truly didn't give much thought to the fact that breakfast and lunch were meatless. Meat occasionally creeps in before dinner, but not often.

Rebecca said...

Hi.
I always cringe when I hear that question. "So will you ever eat meat again?" Really?! As you said, it's a very personal question.

Why not ask - "So what's your favourite recipe?" or "Where do you shop for x?" or even "Are you part of a CSA?" There are so many foodie topics that are far less emotionally charged and equally more interesting.

Over the years, cooking to a wide variety of restrictions (dietary, food choice and/or religious) has led me to discover a wide array of recipes. Some I love (and still make) while others weren't so successful. :)

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

I'm an omnivore, but I almost always eat vegetarian breakfasts and lunches. I'm not just an enormous fan of meat and it's kind of expensive anyways.

So, we do eat meat at our house, but not nearly as much as you'd expect for a family of 6.

Anonymous said...

Fiance and I are currently omnivores. We've had many discussions about starting a vegetarian diet, but I don't think either of us is ready to completely give up meat. We eat about 3 meals with meat a week, and have been experimenting with vegetarian recipes on the other nights. I found a local organic farm that sells its own beef, pork, and eggs - so I've been using them to get almost all of our meat we eat.

I was a vegetarian for about 2 years in college which I started for multiple reasons, including wanting a healthier diet. But as my situation changed, I saw that my "healthy vegetarian" diet turned into cooking up a box of mac and cheese, or meal after meal of pasta. I also discovered I'm intolerant of mushrooms and peppers, which made it hard to pick a vegetarian option when I went out to eat. And I started craving meats when I saw them (and smelled them), so I started questioning why I would deprive myself of it if it was something I would enjoy.

wanderluck said...

Leigh, I live in a semi-rural area of northeast Georgia, about 40 miles from UGA. I have limited access to "local" grass-fed beef and organic meat - if I drove to UGA, I could get some of their "experimental" grass-fed (experimental in that it's part of a test herd of organically fed beef, not experimental in the traditional sense). And if I remember correctly, there's a grass-fed operation somewhere about 60 miles from here. The Athens, GA area CSA has a semi-participant meat operation, but not the CSA local to me (that I know of).

As odd as it may sound, living in an urban area with easy access to Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe's gives most city people the opportunity to get grass-fed, "organic" meat without a lot of trouble. You'd think living in the country would afford the rest of us the same opportunity, living "close to the source", wouldn't you? Not so. For one thing, the market doesn't apply to semi-rural and rural areas; consumers living in rural areas (and with a family background in rural areas; I'm not talking about suburbia or urban transplants) will more often than not ignore anything with an organic or grass-fed label for two simple reasons: cost and, if cost isn't prohibitive, taste. Grass-fed beef never has and never will taste or have a texture like grain-finished beef (or pork, either, for that matter). A large market can afford its consumers a dispersion of input costs across a wider base; a rural market cannot. As such, the product usually won't be offered; if it is, it's usually quite expensive. A rural individual will be much more likely to go halves with a neighbor on a whole beef or hog, and split the product at slaughter, than to buy cuts at the grocery. Still, in this day and age, it doesn't happen nearly as much as it used to.

As I said previously, I would prefer to raise my own meats and grow my own produce. If the market was still decent, I'd go back to raising beef cattle at home, but the trickledown from market to farm has gotten progressively smaller over a very short number of years. State production quotas won't allow for a large number of producers at all, much less for a number of new producers to enter. It really is a sad state, and I personally don't like to see that way of life going down the drain.

Slightly off-topic, this has inspired some thought in my head and I've posted those thoughts on my blog. I'd appreciate if anyone would like to drop by the site and help me start a discussion. I'd like to be able to have a real conversation and get some actual insight on the subject(s) as opposed to the mostly negative, name-calling back-and-forths I've suffered in the past. Thanks. :)

Kate

ma and pa otter said...

our whole family went veg this year...from being pretty hard core meat eaters. it started when I (the mom) looked up 10 reasons to be a vegetarian and found this link http://www.vegecyber.com/others/about_vegetarianism.shtml
I knew all the health stuff already and for the most part have fed my kids fresh organic food since birth...but something about the quotes at the end...something about the idea that we are supposed to be evolving and that eating an animals muscle and skin and blood isn't worth the 10 minutes of "mmmm".
Especially when the substitutes and alternatives are so amazingly "mmmm".
I told the family that I would continue to make for them whatever they wanted but they all eventually made the choice. My husband, a big tough work- out kinda guy was the first to turn when he realized that he had a 50% chance of having a heart attack by 50 at the rate he was going...then he saw Food Inc and read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and it was all over. Now he doesn't even like fake meat. He doesn't want it to resemble meat at all.
We are all unbelieving that we could willingly eat meat for so long. Is it just a phase? Are we like militant reformed smokers...preachy and appalled?
Anyway, my 3 kids now eat a larger variety of foods than I could have ever hoped and I do feel like I would rather eat wood than an animal.....And I frankly don't believe that there is a conscious way to eat meat ...either you are willing to kill animals or not...read Eating Animals for the truth about "cage free" and "free range" ...
thanks for the great post!
Annie
If you want to know more about who we are, check out our family blog plumpotter.blogspot.com

chacha1 said...

Hmm, my comment yesterday never loaded. Was it because I said I'm a carnivore, or is the screening process squirrelly?

Anyhoo ... I love meat. Cooking it, eating it, trying new things. Foie gras! Escargot! Bone marrow! bring it on! :-) Also, fwiw, I feel better with animal protein - more energetic & clearheaded.

I've never had a vegan dish I considered palatable, though many vegetarian dishes that were delicious. Can't imagine life without cheese.

Anonymous said...

I have not eaten any meat for almost a year now. I am still in transition and still consume minimal amounts of eggs and milk products in baked goods, such as in breads or cakes.
I try to buy local/organic/in season produce as much as I can as my budget allows.
I chose to eliminate/reduce my animal protein intake due to digestive and minor health problems I was experiencing. Almost 1 year later I can feel the benefits and notice a significant improvement in my own health.

Anonymous said...

I am a Vegan. The reality is that Factory Farming does exist. And you don't have to listen to PETA to realize that it is killing our country.

Watch the documentary Food, INC. Read the book Eating Animals.

I do not eat meat because of a moral issue though. I do not eat meat because it is not the best source of protein.

Take a gander at the book "Eat to Live".

Great Article Thanks!

Lucy b said...

What exactly is "happy" meat? Is it the same as "happy" animal? And if we allow that animals can experience "happiness", can they not also experience "sadness, fear, pain"? We all choose to eat and live, according to our own personal ethics. Mine just happens to be abstention from killing other beings. No matter how humanely, animals are raised, they are still dead meat at the end of it all. And they are killed, millions of them because somewhere somebody wants to eat a burger. It is hard for me to find the justification for this when we do not need to eat meat. We live in a world where our food choices are endless. We live in a world where animals have no choice in becoming a food source. We live in a world where we are NOT the only inhabitants. Yet we have chosen the life path of so many other beings. I struggle to understand how or why we feel justified in having that type of power over other living beings.

Anonymous said...

Hey -
Great column and GREAT comments. Whenever anyone asks me about my lunches/dinners/what I'm eating, I go with "I'm not a vegetarian - I just don't eat meat". I don't cook meat or eat meat at my house. I drink milk and eat eggs, and would eat fish if the fish at my grocery store wasn't so sketchy, but no meat. But if I'm out for dinner, or at my parents, or someone else has prepared the meal, I'll eat the meat. Point being... well, nothing really. There's a whole range of grey when it comes to vegetarian-ism and for those of us on the cusp, the best article I've found for the reasons to keep chugging away from massive meat consumption is:
http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/6_reasons_to_eat_less_meat

Cheers all!