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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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on the eating of meat, via moby

This recent post on moby's blog inspired a huge debate on the LJ feed for it that made me think about my choices around eating meat.

(Incidentally, I've been really digging his blog and it's totally worth subscribing to. It's not super deep or anything, but occasionally it contains neat posts about the underground NY music scene and often it contains funny and relatively insightful rants about the U.S. government. Plus the guy's a great music producer. Remember Play?)

Here in Halifax, we're lucky to have a great farmer's market each week where we buy local produce of all types. There are also organic meat producers whom we try to patronize as much as possible, notwithstanding the fact that their prices are like twice or three times more than what we'd pay in the supermarket. But I like to think that we're paying the real cost of meat when we buy from those guys instead of the artificially lowered price of meat at the grocery stores. Plus we pay far less in fuel costs for each pound of locally-grown meat we eat as compared to the grocery store version, which is trucked in from God knows what agri-farm in Ontario or the US or something.

And that's kind of my point. When I buy local meat, I feel great about it because it tastes better (honest, it does -- noticeably) and I'm supporting a responsible local farmer. But I'd actually rather not buy meat at all, which would be even cheaper and better for you healthwise over the long term. No doubt that you can eat a healthy diet that includes meat, but a meatless diet is even healthier. Or can be, if you're mindful about it.

Something to consider, anyway. Along with these tidbits from the creator of the excellent Bizarro cartoon, Dan Piraro:

-- Animal Stuff (Vegan Index Page)
-- Why I'm Vegan
-- Are Humans Carnivores?

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baal_kriah July 18th, 2006
The problem with the "Are Humans Carnivores?" argument is that Piraro is comparing humans to carnivores when he should be comparing us to other omnivores, like bears and pigs. Certainly the archaeological record supports the idea that humans have eaten meat for hundreds of thousands of years at least. I wonder how the hell we survived if it's such anathema to us?

iamom July 18th, 2006
I don't disagree with you at all there, actually -- clearly we're set up to eat meat effectively as humans, and we would arguably not have survived this long had we not eaten it. I'm a firm believer that whatever has happened, has happened because it was supposed to happen, so there's no point lamenting the past, in that regard.

I do, however, also think that the huge agri-business conglomerates and mass food production methods aren't good for the animals, the environment, or our health. And I wish that there was more support for healthier meat production methods such that it wouldn't cost me $15 a pound for a grass-fed, free-range steak from a farm that's located an hour's drive from my house. I don't mind paying that once a week or so, but I can't justify paying those prices for all the meat that we purchase. I don't think so, anyway.

Ask me about what I'll pay for safe chicken after the bird flu hits North America though, and I might change my tune. There are two organic chicken producers at that same farmer's market who offer some very nice meat, albeit at twice or thrice the grocery prices, too.

baal_kriah July 18th, 2006
Factory farming is indeed a horror for the earth and for the animal victims; it also gives us humans cheaper products at the expense of our health. As much as possible we only eat free-range and cage-free meat, dairy and eggs, without hormones and antibiotics. The more of us who do that the more prices will come down.


baal_kriah July 18th, 2006
I wrote Piraro about his article; we'll see if and with what he replies.

Re: P.S.

iamom July 18th, 2006
Oh, cool! I look forward to hearing about the results of that...

willowing July 19th, 2006
thanks for the referral, can his journal be syndicated?

i haven't eaten meat since 95 due to a documentary i saw about how animals are being treated in the bio-industry, it horrified me so much that i never touched meat again.. :)

iamom July 19th, 2006
Whose journal, Dan Piraro's? Moby's journal already is; you can subscribe to the LJ feed or a news reader.

I'm pretty sure that any blog or website with an RSS feed can be syndicated on LJ. I've never set one up before, but it's largely the same process as setting up a new community, I think.

willowing July 19th, 2006
found it syndicated! :)

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