I love meat. I firmly believe that meat is good. As a species we have eaten meat since our hunter gatherer days, and in spite of what people are saying about the carbon footprint of livestock and the virtues of vegetarianism, I do not believe that eating meat is bad.
I am thrilled to find that there are those who agree with me. Farmer, writer, and carnivore Eliot Coleman is one of them. According to Coleman, it isn’t eating meat that is the problem, it is “the excesses of corporate/industrial agriculture” that pollutes the planet and contribute to global warming. In other words, its the factory farms. Coleman makes a good point. According to him:
“If those people concerned about rising levels of greenhouse gasses, instead of condemning meat eating, were condemning the enormous output of greenhouse gasses due to fossil fuel and fertilizer use by a greedy and biologically irresponsible agriculture, I would cheer that as a truthful statement even if they weren’t perceptive enough to continue on and mention that the only “new” carbon, the carbon that is responsible for rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, is not biogenic from livestock but rather anthropogenic from our releasing the carbon in long term storage (coal, oil, natural gas.)”
I tend to agree and would add that on a spiritual level, the cruel treatment cattle receive in feedlots is inhumane and just plain wrong. Stressed animals, filled with hormones and antibiotics cannot possibly be good food for us on any level. They are not good for the earth either.
Living things are not just a commodity. Factory farms sever the connection between cattle and keeper. They have become animal concentration camps. We cannot mass produce meat the way we mass produce cars. It just doesn’t work and it is morally wrong– a crime against nature. But instead of blaming the meat. Let us place the blame where it belongs– on the farms.
Living Things Are Not A Commodity
Personally, I don’t eat a lot of red meat, but I do like it and consider it an important part of my diet. When I do buy it, I purchase beef from grass fed, locally raised steers. The meat may be more expensive, but it is anti-biotic and hormone free not to mention flavorful and tasty. It costs more, but the trade off is that I and mine eat meat less often and in smaller portions– not a bad thing. I also buy organic, free range chickens. I haven’t bought meat in a supermarket in years.
I’m with Coleman. Let’s get rid of the factory farms, not our natural, human appetite for meat.