Steve Carpenter of Carpenter Cattle Company
Eating meat, in and of itself, comes with a degree of responsibility. Now in my observation, the slope of that degree greatly depends on the individual. Everyone has a different take on meat eating, and very few people are indifferent on the subject.
In my opinion, if we are to discuss the notion of eating meat versus not eating meat, we must consider every aspect of that notion. Ethical treatment of animals is certainly something a lot of people consider, but it can’t be the only consideration we take in deciding whether or not to consume meat. There is ample evidence suggesting that finishing cows on grass (that is to say allowing cows to graze on open pasture for the entirety of their life) is a big net gain for the environment as well as animal welfare. So, you can both address your concerns for animal welfare, and any concerns you have about the environmental impact of industrial farming, by supporting the right farms.
Obviously we’d be remiss not to mention the role that meats (that is to say fats and proteins) play in our overall nutrition. You certainly don’t have to cut out meat to be healthy human being, and I think that notion is pretty well accepted. But we wouldn’t dare ask you to take our word for it. I’m certainly not the healthiest man in the world, but believe me, meat is not derailing my overall fitness (can you say craft beer?).
So, it is the opinion of this butcher, that opting out of eating meat for any one of these items is not addressing the entirety of the conversation. If we are to make catastrophic changes to the manner in which livestock are treated in this country, and around the world, both we and our animal friends are better served by us seeking out, and supporting the right farms, as opposed to just opting out completely.
Meat consumption, and therefore production aren’t going anywhere. Let’s work together to find farms that are both stewards of their land, and their livestock. I firmly believe that we will all be the beneficiaries as a result.