Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The butcher and the vegetarian

As soon as this book came out, I knew I had to read it. I hang on Tara's every word on her blog, Tea and Cookies, so I knew I was in for a treat, word wise, but also it is a topic that is very dear to my heart. The butcher and the vegetarian is a book I recommend everyone reads.

When I refer to my diet, I just say I dont eat meat. I became a vegetarian at the age of 14, after a particularly harrowing project where I wrote an english essay about animal cruelty. I guess the people with the posters got to me. My mum's delicious sunday roast finally sent me over the edge, I just couldnt eat another mouthful. Somehow the huge hunk of meat, which seems so much closer to the animal than a burger or some innocent nuggets made me realize that I just couldnt take any more.

I have slowly re-introduced fish over the last few years and I've always eaten eggs and dairy, but it leaves me with all sorts of moral confusion. I think on principle I would eat the odd piece of grass fed, free range meat, but when it actually comes down to it, I just cant stand the thought of chewing on a hunk of muscle.

Reading this book was incredible, as Tara explained many of the same feelings about meat as I have. Forced by medical worries, she found herself trying to reintroduce meat into her diet, but ended up with a freezer full of meat that was just so much more hassle than a bowl of beans and rice, or noodles and tofu. I know this would be exactly what would happen to me!
This is a really good read, and it explores nicely the dilemmas that I feel everyone should consider when they think about whether they want meat in their diet, and how much they should be eating. I feel strongly that the animals should have the utmost respect and should be treated the best way possible before they become our food.

These idyllic farm pictures from Wales are nothing like the reality of most farm animals lives, I dont think most people like to admit that, but it seems that, especially in the US, price comes before everything, and people are content to eat animals raised on feedlots, eating food that was never meant to be eaten by those animals, the byproducts of these productions becoming toxic waste.
I understand that there are problems, people below the poverty line dont get to stand around in wholefoods debating another dollar per pound of whatever fancy cut they are considering for dinner, but poisoning our land and possibly ourselves cant be the answer can it?

*Pictures from my october trip to the UK including the totally awesome Gene Simmonds sheep!

1 comment:

Jessica Rodgers said...

It is very hard to find time to incorporate meat into the diet--especially quality meat. I went to the Little Italy Mercato last week, and a new vendor was selling open range whole chicken. They had pics of the chickens living happy lives and showed what their eggs look like in comparison to Trader Joe's eggs. I wanted to buy it right there on the spot! Then, I thought, when the heck will I have time to roast this chicken? So, I have to make a plan...until then, it's been frozen veggie corn dogs, frozen mini pizzas and cereal...haha, sometimes I stirfry tofu with pre-chopped veggies. I wish I had the time...it's so hard!Also, I really enjoy meat and still cannot find the motivation, which sets us apart in just the slightest of ways :)