We are not considered vegetarians, but as time goes on, certain members of our family choose not to partake of meat when the plate is passed. I also notice we buy less meat. I tend to plan meals and not base it around a meat dish as I used to. It has been a gradual shift.
And when my daughter starts thinking aloud about how we kill animals, end their lives so that we can eat, her eyes tear up and there's a lump in my throat.
This is not to condemn people and farms who do. I have a great respect for families who are self-sufficient and can provide for their meals all their own. Just call me a whimp, I guess.
Is it because we are so connected to animals and nature on our farm that we are feel this way, or is it because we are becoming more aware and want to be increasingly aware of where our food comes from, and know exactly what we are eating?
There's been a upsurge of information in the media and that's a good thing, for knowledge IS power. There has also been in increase in concern of how animals are treated on the farms that provide the meat.
Since I still need to purchase meat for my family, not only do
I want meat that is all natural preferably organic! ), without antibiotics and hormones, and fed a non-GMO diet, but I also care about the life that animal lived and how it was treated.
From their site:
"The numbers are astonishing.
The Global Animal Partnership has constructed rating standards having to do with the welfare of the animal. They have done a two year pilot program with Whole Food Stores . You can go there and buy meat labeled with their 5 Step-standards, so you know exactly how that animal lived their lives.
If a meat is labeled #5 then it has met all the previous steps first. The step rated products are not necessarily organic, as the steps are concerned more with animal welfare, but many are also certified organic.
See the 5-Step Animal Welfare Ratings Standards:
for beef cattle
for Broiler chickens
We raise chickens for their eggs. and so far, not for meat. They say if you are going to eat your chickens, don't name them. Well, we haven't named all of ours and I don't think we can eat them anyway.
Beware of labels though, almost anything could be called natural. And free-ranging only has to mean they can walk to their food and their water. It doesn't mention they could be walking in filth and disease harboring droppings in a small emclosed area, or cooped up in a building all day and night.
It's free-ranging, pastured chickens (animals) that are allowed in the open air in a healthy environment to roam at will.
The Global Animal Partnership is in the process of forming ratings for laying hens.
"Each one of us, in our daily lives and in our own homes, can improve the lives of animals simply by choosing to support those farmers and ranchers who have a commitment to providing higher welfare to the animals they raise."
~Global Animal Partnership