BluecollarZA loves meat.
JiltedCitizen and many others share the belief that perhaps you can be a meat lover and simply do all things in moderation and buy organic.
I have a bit of a dilemma - I really love red meat, and I live in South Africa where the "braai" (aka barbeque) is our national pastime, pretty much.
Although I have ethical and environmental issues with eating meat (red meat in particular), I just can't make myself quit. Bacon's the biggest problem... I'll not eat meat for a while and then just smell some bacon cooking, with inevitable results.
Can anybody recommend strategies to reduce (and eventually eliminate) meat in my diet? How about some tasty vegetarian recipes/meat substitutes etc.?
I'm a vegan because I won't eat meat unless I meet it, i.e. see that the animals live as animals should, eat what animals should, are treated and killed humanely, have no anti-biotics or hormones in them, etc. Also, it's important to me that the farm be self-sustaining. Since I haven't found too many local farms here like that, I pass on meat and dairy.
I visit friends once a year who own a farm that's completely self sustainable. And I eat the meat there, drink the dairy, etc.
So, I'm not against eating meat. Just against the whole business of unsustainable and unhealthy factory "farming."
And as someone who comes from a farming family, I even jump in with my own $.02...
Coming from a family that farmed for generations...
...From my own memory I can speak to growing large amounts of food from spring to fall, we got our milk fresh each day, we butchered one cow and one or two pigs each year, canned our veggies and some meat. We had chickens which provided us with eggs and meat. We also hunted deer and wild turkey.
There was a balance there and our family was responsible and ethical with our animals. The animals provided for us and we provided for them.
So let's flash forward to today now that I've been away from the farm for about 20 years. I've been shocked at what's going on with not just produce production but these meat factory farms. When I left we were just starting to see the family farms being bought up by corporations and turned into company farms. Those people had no connection to the land or the animals...they were just a means to an end. My great grandparents and grandparents would be ashamed of us to see what we've done to the land and to animals...
...I feel sorry for a lot of people in the city who haven't experienced farm life. We have gone from an agrarian lifestyle to one of cities where entire generations grown up thinking that their milk, meat, and produce comes from a grocery store and no comprehension beyond that.
And I'm just getting warmed up...
Good points on all sides of the argument, so get in there and tell us what you think.