Sunday, July 11, 2010

To Meat or Not to Meat

When I was in high school, I learned about the impact factory farming has on the environment and how poorly the animals are treated. I stopped eating meat for a couple of years but knew nothing about nutrition and became anemic. I started eating meat again in college and then stopped again 12 years ago. Not only did I stop for the previous reasons, but I also stopped because whenever I ate meat, I didn't feel well afterwards. It was hard for my body to digest, I would become lethargic and would also often experience indigestion. Food is nourishment and is meant to make you feel better and give you energy, not the opposite.

Since moving back to Seattle, there has been a big local movement to provide humanely raised and slaughtered cows, chickens, pigs and lamb. There are several local small farms who provide such meat at the farmer's market. It makes me ponder eating meat again. But then I remember how I felt eating meat that many years ago. If I was experiencing health problems due to my lack of meat consumption, I would consider it. I do appreciate the gorgeous, tasty eggs from the free-range, properly fed laying hens.

However, I'm the only pescatarian in my household. Whenever there is meat at a meal, we always offer Malcolm some but he often doesn't eat it. I did start eating fish again after he started eating solids and he does eat some fish. He's a big fan of chicken nuggets and hot dogs, but those over processed meat products make me shudder. So what's my option if I want my kid (and husband) to eat humanely raised, quality meat? It means I'm going to have to be the one who cooks it. I haven't been able to bring myself to do it until tonight. I grilled out tonight and made my boys hamburgers. Malcolm ate his all up and asked for more. I was worried that it wouldn't be tasty, but Tony said the burger was really good. Was I tempted to try it? No, not really. It didn't look appetizing to me at all. But, I'm pretty proud of myself for getting over the ick factor of handling dead, ground-up cow so I could make sure my boys were eating meat that didn't make me feel guilty.

I was inspired to finally get over the ick factor after reading, The Butcher and the Vegetarian and this blog post. My next venture: making chicken nuggets.

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