Long-time readers of this blog may recall that I’m trying very hard to be mainly vegetarian – not obnoxiously so, so as to make drastically reducing my meat intake so objectionable to everyone around me that it makes it less likely friends and family will ultimately do likewise – but as consistently as I reasonably can. When things are particularly chaotic we do occasionally resort to a bit of red meat to build up whatever it is that red meat’s good for building up, but as little as possible. And I did have takeaway chicken the other day when there were no practicable options nearby at that time of night. But I’m trying. (Very, some have said, tediously.)
Anyway, two interesting posts on the subject this week. The first was in this morning’s Punch and is by a former meat-eater similarly trying hard to reduce her intake. Like me, she objects less to the idea that humans should occasionally eat animals than to the fact we treat them with such contempt, as units of produce, as widgets, as things unworthy of respect or care:
There is a lack of respect, contempt even, for the animals we kill and eat. And that’s not including the appalling treatment of foie gras geese and veal calves, the kosher and halal bleeding-to-death ritual slaughter, or the actions of some abattoir workers who jump on chickens because they “like to hear the popping sound they make”.
Which leads to this article in The Guardian, about ethical farming of animals – the author arguing that it’s better for the cause of ending cruelty to animals to buy ethical meat than to opt out altogether:
Every meal you eat that supports a sustainable farm changes the agricultural world. I cannot possibly stress this enough. Your fork is your ballot, and when you vote to eat a steak or leg of lamb purchased from a small farmer you are showing the industrial system you are actively opting out. You are showing them you are willing to sacrifice more of your paycheck to dine with dignity. As people are made more aware of this beautiful option, farmers are coming out in droves to meet the demand.
That sounds to me like a bit of self-interested rationalising from someone who really does want to keep eating meat and is just desperate for a way to do it that doesn’t hurt her conscience too much – it’s ridiculous to suggest that it’s somehow more ethical to eat a small amount of meat than none – but, still, if we are to eat meat, certainly that’s a better option.
We really should try the monthly farmer’s market in our area.
It’s a pity I know how tasty meat is. It’d be much easier to give up if I’d never had a roast dinner!