In my twenties I was a vegetarian until I moved back in with my Mom and started dating my now husband. My Mom was a meat and potatoes kind of cook, John (my now husband) was and is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I slowly made the transformation and forgot all about why I stopped eating meat.
Fast forward about 14 years and when my husband and I decided to volunteer at a farm sanctuary, we both left there saying we would no longer eat meat and we didn’t. He went from loving a black and blue filet mignon to eating vegetables and lots of carbs (if you don’t know what black and blue means…basically raw). I stopped eating meat and most dairy products as well.
So here goes…I love to cook. I consider myself a foodie. My husband and I love to entertain and often have dinner parties. I love animals. After volunteering for over 2 years I ended adopting a total of 10 animals from the sanctuary: 3 rabbits, 4 goats, 2 mini-horses and a mini-donkey! We also have 2 rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats.
Now here’s the hard part….even as someone who loves animals I do believe that God intended them to be used as food and for their hides. I mean let’s face it, butter-real butter tastes so good. Cheese, ham, steak; all taste so good. But I have a problem with the way these animals are treated and most people don’t even think about where their food comes from or how the animals they are eating are treated.
I do my best. I will not eat factory farmed meat. I do eat chicken and some turkey. We are lucky enough to have a humane* poultry farm not too far from us. I will eat beef once a month or so. I love a good burger. I used to eat seafood, but that industry is just as bad, farm raised fish is so bad for you. I seldom eat seafood anymore. I don’t eat diary on a daily basis, I use almond or soy based products but when I have a dinner party or am preparing a holiday meal I just have to go with the real deal.
There are some foods I refuse to eat-veal and lamb. How can anyone eat a baby animal? But these babies are the by-product of the dairy industry. Yup, that’s right….most people don’t know that. I didn’t. My goats are all are males that were headed for slaughter after being born on a goat dairy farm. I have not eaten and will not eat goat cheese. (Male goats/cows are no use to a dairy farm, they don’t produce milk.)
Am I a bad person for eating some meat and dairy? Does it mean I’m a hypocrtical animal “lover”? I struggle with this question everyday. I do believe that God put these beautiful creatures on earth for us to love and to cherish but to also use for food and warmth. Sheep give us meat and wool, cows give us meat, dairy and leather…why does it have to be so cruel?
I could go on and on. I could get into the whole fact of how factory farming is bad for the environment, etc but I will not. That is a different post.
*Humane poultry farm-I’m not sure that killing any animal, in any way is humane, but at this farm they are raised that way. And if I told you how much I paid for my Thanksgiving “wild” turkey you would fall off your chair. My husband did!