Saturday, July 5, 2008

Waiting...and Happy Meat.

Patience is not among my virtues.

I've been working on a new portfolio web site for my jewelry, and I'm thrilled with the way it's turning out, but now I've reached the stage where I have to wait for propagation (basically, I have to wait for servers all over the place to pick up and recognize my DNS changes, and this takes at least a day or two).

Unable to blather on about my work for now, I'll tell you about my latest foodie excitement. I posted a little while ago about the gorgeous produce we're getting from The Food Project CSA, and now on top of that we've joined a terrific meat CSA through Chestnut Farms. I'd been growing increasingly ambivalent about eating meat - while I do eat meat, I don't much like the livestock farming practices I read about. I don't think it's reasonable for humans to treat other living things as a commodity, exclusive of any other value. Yes, animals in the wild eat other animals, and being a carnivore is not inherently evil. But forcing a cow to stand in feces, or a breeding sow to live in a 2 foot wide gestation crate where she can't turn around or stand up straight, is just cruel. I've seen photos of these farms, even ones that are otherwise clean and well run, and it makes me sick. Knowing that the animals at Chestnut Farms have room to move around, interact with each other, and get attention from humans is a big deal to me. I will admit that the thought of adorable piglets turning into dinner is something that I still can't quite think about.

I spend a lot of time, and undoubtedly a bit more money, trying to buy food for my family that comes from sources we can feel good about. It was getting harder and harder for me to believe that the meat we bought was safe for us (no hormones, no additives) and came from animals that were humanely raised. So when I read about the family who owns Chestnut Farms, and how committed they are to their animals, to the quality of the food they produce, and to sustaining the land on which they farm, I was thrilled. These are people who get it - and who work really, really hard to make a difference - and I feel privileged to help support that work.

Of course, it's still pretty easy to be on the consumer end of all this. All I have to do is buy the food - the farmers here do all the really demanding work. But it's a start, and for now my kids are young enough that I can't really get them involved in the hands-on volunteer work at places like the Food Project. So for now, I take them to the farm to collect our produce (and pick some of it ourselves), and to the pickups for the meat, and I talk about why we're doing this, and hope that they're learning something important.


GrayEyedScorpio said...

Hear hear! I joined a CSA this year, too. We don't eat much meat, but the locally/humanely raised animals are better for sure.

Amber Rose said...

Well put. I've been tossing back and fourth the idea of becoming vegetarian for some time now, and this is one of the reasons :)

Nice blog,


littlebird said...

Hmmm food for thought, (no pun intended ; )

Callooh Callay said...

They are cute pigs. It's a tough decision--we've cut back on meat, but one of my sons is an avowed carnivore. I'll have to look into this.