RE: Something almost Primal: Selling Meat to Veg
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2:46 PM
Oh, er, yeah, "happy meat."
I bought into that myself for a while. I was a vegetarian from ages 18 to 24 or 25, then gradually started eating meat again (though never a lot) because I mistakenly thought I could do it "responsibly" or "conscientiously."
It's a very seductive idea. But having been in this position myself I can say most "conscientious omnivores" have no idea that even "happy meat" raised on a local farm cannot be slaughtered on that farm for resale, at least not legally. 90% of the meat sold in the US is processed at the same 13 USDA approved slaughterhouses and processed in the same regional packing plants. (That's a number I read some time ago and may have changed, though I don't think so. I try to keep current.)
The only way I was able to consume meat was to not allow myself to think too much about it. This is completely normal in our culture., and we're all very good at it.
I came back to vegetarianism after my husband and I both noticed a decline in our health and vitality, and his blood pressure rose too high. He also had borderline high cholesterol. He'd gained about 70 lbs and I'd gained 45 or so. (We've lost nearly all of that in the last 2-3 years, and his tests are now normal, yay!)
Then, once I came back to vegetarianism for health reasons and started reading everything I could about nutrition and food politics and animal rights, I knew I couldn't do anything other than be vegan, because "conscientious consumption" not only isn't sustainable it's not even real. By being so careful with "knowing exactly which farm," your guy at the health food store acknowledges he still frets about it and feels a twinge.
Now I know I'll be vegan forever. There's no way I'll ever go back. I feel so much better, both physically and emotionally. Freeing myself from that cycle of guilt has been the best thing I've ever done!