I am an omnivore. That means that I eat both plants and animals. Recently, I have become aware of the disgusting nature in which animals are being treated in the farming industry. The animals are not being cared for the way that our ancestors used to treat them. They are seen as products and not living creatures. They have thoughts and emotions just like we do and deserve the respect of all other creatures.
I have tried my hand at being a vegetarian before and I was able to make it last a year. It was hard but I was able to do it. Then the following summer, I had this massive craving for salmon. From there, it was downhill back to being an omnivore. Knowing that I am unable to force myself to being something that I am not, I am looking for ways in which I can be apart of better farming solutions.
I recently came across the site of an organisation that I think maybe a philosophical solution to my problem. They are called the Ethical Omnivore Movement. They fall in the middle zone between vegans and mass production farming. They seek to partner with local farmers to end the mass production of animals and bring it down to a more sustainable farming practice.
How can I, as a single omnivore, help to contribute to the solution? I can help by following these steps:
- Buy locally raised chickens, eggs, beef, and pork.
- Use locally sourced dairy products, such as cheese and milk
- Avoid any products from outside Canada, since we do not know what hormones or additives are being used. Canada has hormone free cattle since the 90’s.
- Visit the farms that you wish to purchase your animal products from. Seeing how the animals are kept will give you a greater appreciation as to how they are raised and slaughtered. If seeing animals slaughtered gives you trouble, it maybe time to consider being vegetarian or vegan.
- Research your local farmers markets to see when vendors are coming through. Plan your weekly shopping around the markets. Talk with the farmers and get to know them. Having a relationship with the people who raise your food gives you a personal connection with the animals.
- Purchase your meat frozen and have it stored in a freezer until it’s time to use it. This will cut down on any waste and end up being cheaper in the long run.
- Avoid any processed meats such as sausage or smoked meats. You can make your own very easily and you can smoke your own with an inexpensive smoker.
I have one more step for you to take and that’s making sure to thank your animal product before you use it in a meal. Make it a ritual to care for how you use it in a meal. Be mindful of what you cook it with and that you are not wasting any of it. My grandparents always said grace before eating. They were thanking their god for all that they have, we can do the same before we eat. Take a moment and think about all the people and animals that were a part of your meal and what it took for you to be able to enjoy your meal and be well fed.
I can tell you right now, your pocket book is not going to like how much you are spending on your food. It’s going to look at how cheap something is in the super store and tell you that it’s not worth it. I am going to tell you right now, it is worth it. It’s worth it to be a part of the change that we need in the western world right now. You can vote with your dollar as to how you want to see the farming industry changed.
I would love to hear what you think about the food industry and our relationship with the animals that we use as a our food sources. Please message me on Facebook @ZenMermaidYoga or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org