First of all, I AM NOT A VEGETARIAN. I want to clarify this right off the bat - this post is not about me converting you to something or selling you on a diet. I just want to share with you some information I’m discovered while investigating this topic for myself.
As I’m sure you know a vegetarian comes in many different forms – you have vegetarians who eliminate all animal products from their diet (including dairy and eggs), some who continue to consume fish and there’s a whole other group who just eliminate red meat from their diet…not sure how they still classify as vegetarians but oh well. For me, I'm eliminating meat when I can’t confirm the animal was treated humanly. So, where did this come from? Well, while enjoying a Netflicks purge I stumbled upon a documentary called ‘Vegucated’ which opened my eyes to animal welfare. I’ll spare you the details but if you are interested check it out.
To accomplish my new value of continuing to eat meat but from farms who put their animals first here’s what I’ve found:
- Whole Foods grades their meat on a scale from 1-5. At Step 5 the well-being of the animals is the primary focus; efficiency and economy are secondary.
- My local butcher recommended Hills Foods. According to their website Hills Foods animals are not raised for the marketplace under factory farm conditions.
- Lastly, Spud, the amazing sustainable on-line grocery store, gives consumers the link and the description of the farm their meat is coming from.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the ‘organic’ theme throughout the above resources. It appears that most organic farms do go the extra mile to treat their animals humanly. However, just because the farm is organic does not mean animal welfare is guaranteed. Don’t make any assumptions and feel free to call the farmers themselves – most are pretty friendly and open!
Lastly, here are some interesting facts about vegetarianism and health: vegetarians tend to have
- lower rates of obesity
- 20-30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease
- 15-30% lower blood cholesterol
- lower blood pressure and
- lower rate of cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
I hope this post gets you thinking twice about where your meat comes from because in order to make a difference and rid the world of factory farms we need to start with us.
Image courtesy of Renato Pequito