February 28, 2011


   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. 

 I love fruits, veggies, beans and grains.I could survive quite well without meat, but not all members of my family could, at the present time.
  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.

Have you heard of the Global Animal Partnership, concerned with farm animal welfare? 

From their site:
"The numbers are astonishing.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 60 billion land animals, are raised for meat each year around the world.

To put the farm animal population into perspective, consider this: In the time it takes to watch a 60-minute television show, 5.8 million chickens are slaughtered for meat. That’s more than 97,000 animals per minute.

Each of these animals in agriculture—chickens, pigs, cattle, turkeys, lambs, and others—has the capacity to experience pain and pleasure, fear and excitement. Each one can suffer.

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
 for  Pigs

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-rangingpastured 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

I am linking this post to Project Genesis, hosted by the inspiring Suzan at OLD*GREY*MARE

happy day!


Melissa said...

Excellent post my friend! Our family watched Food Inc. and it has changed our entire lives! It was very powerful! xo

oldgreymare said...

FABULOUS ! my friend..

I am slowly weaning off of meat but it is a slow process for sure. This is valuable information for us all.
Thank you sweetie : D


Unknown said...

Our farm family is also a mixture of those who eat meat and those that do not- a paradox to many people. Thank you for this very informative post. What a great accomplishment if it makes even one person stop and think about where their food comes from.

michelle and murph said...

We are veggies here...Murph has not eaten meat for over 20 years, me for 6 and Scout never. For us it is all because of how the animals are treated and slaughtered. And don't forget about the BLM killing/removing wild horses in the name of thinning the about stop letting private ranchers stop grazing their steer on the BLM land, the land of the wild horse!

Razmataz said...

I have spent the last few weeks educating myself and finding new sources. I am not giving up meat, but I am committed to finding sources that respect the animals. Thank you for this info, all important.