Thursday, July 03, 2008

Compassionate Carnivore has taken me some time to put together my thoughts and actually start typing, but here I am and very present in this moment! My original thought for my new focus of the blog was to write about Jeni's -- fabulous handmade ice cream. And while, this would fulfill my summertime craving for homemade ice cream my focus shifted when I picked up and started reading The Compassionate Carnivore: OR, HOW TO KEEP ANIMALS HAPPY, SAVE OLD MACDONALD'S FARM, REDUCE YOUR HOOFPRINT, AND STILL EAT MEAT by Catherine Friend.

I love animals and I also love to eat animals. I counsel my clients to eat animals and drink animal products on a daily basis. My world has duality, for I know that I am fueling my body well and it responds well to the nutrients, but I also feel guilty knowing that much of the meat that I have eaten in my life probably came from a large factory farm where animals were not treated humanely. As a generation X'er and born in the 1970's, the farming community has changed significantly in my lifetime. It was most likely that my parents were raised eating meat from small family farms and they probably ate much less. I have been reading some of the horror stories about large farming practices and it really does make me sick to my stomach. So, what is one to do? How can we make a difference?

For the last five years, while living in Minneapolis, my family and I have become more conscious and we have purchased a lot of our meat from a local meat market who only works with sustainable small farms (Clancy's) or directly from the small, sustainable farmer. With that said, I still didn't look at eating meat -- fish, poultry, beef, lamb the same way I do now after reading Catherine's book. Catherine Friend's book has inspired me to take a more deeper and honest look at my relationship with the meat that I am eating. I now think about...did the animal live a happy life? Did the animal smell the fresh air daily and allowed to roam the open prairie? Am I am able to deeply honor and respect the animal for the nourishment it provides me and my family? I am now! I don't think I will ever eat a McDonald's hamburger again.

Catherine Friend is a farmer and shares her love, passion for the animals that she raises and her farm -- The Rising Moon Farm in Minnesota. Her book is a must read and I quote her four ideas on being a more compassionate carnivore:
  • Pay attention
  • Waste less meat
  • Replace factory meat with meat from animals raised humanely
  • Choose meatless meals over meat from animals raised in factories
I have struggled for many years with the moral and ethical concerns about eating meat, however being a vegetarian was never an option for me! This book is truly a must read. Thank you Catherine for your heartfelt, honest and eloquent perspective on sustainable farming!

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