The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

News and views from the staff of FamilyEducation.



britjurg's picture britjurg

I stumbled across your blog because I love the agriculture industry. I respect you for sticking with your beliefs and not eating meat. But before you start throwing around terms such as "factory farms" and believing everything you read, especially in Foer's book, I recommend you get the full story.
I'm an agriculturist, and yes that means I produce animals for consumption. Large scale agriculture is not a horrible thing. Did you know that by the year 2015 our world population will grow to 9 billion people? That we will have to increase food production by 100% in order to feed everyone?Agriculture, including the livestock sector will contribute to that goal.
If you want to be outspoken about vegetarianism, that's your opinion, but make sure you get the facts first. As for a meatless world. Isn't this America, don't we have freedom? People should be able to choose what they eat, and if that's meat then they shouldn't be ridiculed.

mouse's picture mouse

When we lived in Toronto, we were able to go to a butcher shop that worked with local producers of meat. Many items were organic, but all of it was handled, I felt, in the manner you're talking about. There was a respect for the animals and a very real concern about the process.

I was a vegetarian for more than 10 years before I got pregnant with Scooter, and then my body craved meat in a way that simply couldn't be sated with substitutes. I also find that other changes in my diet (no wheat, currently off of soy) make it extremely hard to satisfy my needs through a vegetarian diet--though either Morningstar or Boca makes a wheat-free veggie burger and maybe other things will follow suit. Nonetheless, I will be trying to cut back on my meat consumption once I wean Thumper for many of the reasons you list here. I know that I personally could not kill an animal for food, so I don't like to consume meat without reflecting on that.

mouse's picture mouse

Oh, and to the previous commenter...

The most efficient form of food to produce for an increased population would be plant-based. An acre of grain/legumes/veggies that goes directly to people provides much more sustenance and nutrition than the animals (and usually less than one animal) that could be grazed/fed on the same acre.

The lower we eat on the food chain, the fewer resources required to provide our diet.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

What I respect about Foer is that he not only is a vegetarian, but he considers himself a supporter of agriculture and the local farmer, as well. In fact, the best parts of his book are the personal accounts from farmers and ranchers and slaughterhouse workers who speak out against the inhumane treatment of animals. Is it wrong to eat meat? No, of course it isn't. But it is wrong to treat animals so inhumanely and to breed animals for the sole purpose of suffering.

Gluten-free must make it so hard to juggle, mouse--I can sympathize!