Friday, January 30, 2009

Is there such a thing as 'ethical meat'? Why bother looking?



I have a love-hate relationship with meat: I love the taste, but hate where it comes from. As I've mentioned before in this blog, at ten years old I made the decision to go vegetarian. That was relatively problem free until I hit my late teens/early twenties, when I started craving and even dreaming about meat. Since then I've been on a rollercoaster of meat-eating/vegetarianism/pescatarianism. Inevitably, when I give in to the cravings and eat meat or fish, I feel guilt and even, occasionally, self-loathing - which is harder to bear than the dreams and cravings.

Right now I'm in a pescatarian "stage" (I often feel that anything but pure vegetarianism is wrong and therefore when I 'regress' to meat-eating, it feels like a 'stage' I'm temporarily going through). I'm trying to make the most ethical fish-eating choices I possible can, so I'm following the Guide to Fish by Hilary McNevin. However, I want to resolve the 'ethical meat' issue in my own mind, once and for all, so that if I ever do eat meat again, I can do it in a more informed and open-eyed way, as a person who knows where to find organic, free-range meat from as local a source as possible.

Besides, if I can do this research properly, I can buy 'ethical' meat for the much loved meateater in my life, and any little carnivores we may produce along the way...

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