After Friday’s cry about Otto the cat, I started doing a lot of thinking about being a meat eater. Dennis made this awesome ribeye steak marinated in a sweet and spicy type sauce, and as I was eating it, I felt kind of guilty. He asked if I liked it and I said, “yeah, but it’s not as good as it was to me the last time I ate it.”
Wondering what was different, I said, “I think I need to give up meat again.”
I said “again” because when I was 15 I gave up meat. At the time it as mostly because I had very high cholesterol and I thought it would help. The thought of not eating animals did make me feel like I was doing something “good,” but it wasn’t a good enough excuse to get my mother to stop cooking with it. In fact, she was not very supportive about it (not in a mean way - it was more of a ‘You will eat what I make’ type attitude since we didn’t really have a lot of money and she couldn’t afford to cook separate meals.) So after a while, I decided to eat chicken but not beef, pork, or venison. This lasted about 3 years, and then I got lazy. I was in college, and at the time drinking soy milk was still considered weird (I always got picked on for choosing Soy Dream over milk in the cafeteria.) So being vegetarian was much more difficult than I had the desire to deal with.
Truth be told, I really don’t use a lot of meat when I cook anyway, and when Dennis travels for work, I go the entire week without one piece of meat without thinking twice. I don’t miss it. I don’t need it to feel like my meal is complete.
When he asked me why, I said, “Honestly, I get so upset when animals are hurt and abused. I got so upset over Otto last week, but here I am eating a slab of beef. It’s just .. not right.”
So instead of telling me I’m stupid or shrugging off my feelings he suggested making sure our meat is free range and grass fed, and said we’ll have to start paying more attention to the meats we buy. If we get them from local farmers, we’d be helping them stay in business while not supporting corporate slaughterhouses.
“But, you’re still killing the animal.”
I felt like I was a kid trying to understand how the world goes round. You know how kids can be so curious, innocently (and naively) questioning everything? Yeah, that was me yesterday. I almost felt like a hypocrite, and suddenly, it didn’t taste as good to me anymore.
So now what? Do I fall prey to the labeling thing and start going veg again? Or do I keep it open and only eat meat that I believe lived a happy life and was killed in a humane way?
Is there a humane way to kill an animal for our consumption?
I’ve battled with this on and off for years…this is definitely not the first time I’ve felt this way. I don’t, however, want to be labeled as something and the come Thanksgiving, fight with everyone about how I refuse to eat the turkey that was obviously killed anyway. Having it there defeats the purpose, no? What if it was a locally raised turkey and I could be helping a farmer put his kid through college?
Oh, the moral issues of eating meat. How do you feel about it?