I really wish I had time for this to be a testimonial on why I eat meat after years of vegetarianism, but I don’t. Instead, I wanted to share this article at Slashfood about how Bill Niman, founder of Niman Ranch (a pioneer in sustainable, humanely-raised meat) sold his share in the company and will no longer eat their meat. Sounds like people think he’s being a bit of a cranky old man, but I really think it’s just more evidence of the equivocality of Big Organic. All of these fancy labels adorned with idyllic farm scenes want you to make the connection between that illustration and how the animals were actually raised, but the more Michael Pollan (or Barbara Kingsolver, Eric Schlosser, etc) you read, the more you see through all of it.
To help wade through the world of responsible meat-eating, Sustainable Table offers this guide that explains the terminology on the labels at the grocery store. Even better, look for a local (preferably, family-run) farm that aims for transparency and will show you around. We currently have a source for raw milk and pastured chicken and eggs, but nothing else, so hopefully this doesn’t come across as preachy! Especially because we love red meat most of all. J