The meat and animal dilemma

I am itching for some chickens. I am reading about backyard homesteads and it seems that we could get chickens now. Granted, I want to do some more reading about how to care for them, but we could be well on our way to a homestead before we ever move. A large garden to supply our produce (or at least some of it), and some chickens to provide eggs, possibly meat, and entertainment.

My biggest problem with raising animals for meat is knowing that I’d get attached to them. I don’t know that I could raise Beulah (my imaginary meat animal) for months and then be able to eat her without scarring my psyche. I’m sure I could eventually adjust, but do I really want to?

I’m still having trouble eating meat most of the time. I bought some Polyface Farm burgers to try them out, we’ll see how that goes. Knowing that they are humanely raised and about as healthy as you can get might help. Every once in a while I’m able to eat one meal with meat in it, but if I’m going to become mostly a vegetarian, I need to start eating vegetables.

As far as dairy cows go, I can’t have one in my backyard, but I’m not sure we’ll get one in any case. The Centers for Disease Control have come out against raw milk because of the dangers of infection from bacteria from even healthy cows. I just don’t know that I can, in good conscience, knowingly give my kids something that carries a risk of serious illness. I know that all foods do to a certain extent, but I am trying to minimize that by growing my own. I have no problem laying out the money for organic, humanely kept dairy products if the pasturization will keep my family safe.

It sounds hypocritical, not doing raw milk because it might be dangerous but letting my family eat commercial meat. I guess my only defense is that I’m doing what I can. Farm raised, organic meat is incredibly expensive, if you can find it at all, and we can’t afford much of it. I can’t force my husband to eschew meat, and my kids eat very little anyway. For now, I can cook more vegetarian meals and buy healthier meats when and where I can. It’s the best I can do.

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7 Responses to The meat and animal dilemma

  1. bmary says:

    I would advise against raw milk. Someone I know got a nasty case of dysentery from it. It stinks, but there is a reason for pasteurization. I believe you can pasteurize milk at home, http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/pasteurize-raw-milk-at-home.aspx#axzz31WEzrXEI has instructions. Good luck on the veggie route! I am sneaking all vegan recipes in for dinner this week, don’t tell anyone!

    • Yeah, the raw milk thing doesn’t seem worth it. Thanks for the link though, I knew there had to be a way to do it! I swem to be eating more carbs than anything else right now, but I’m determined to get better.

      • bmary says:

        Hmmm…Try eating more nuts? Are those carbs? Ha, I’m so out of the diet game, someone told me fruits were carbs and my jaw hit the floor. I always thought carbs were bread, pasta and potatoes. Maybe try some raw vegan stuff. Like for breakfast and lunch. Then you can have carbs for dinner! Eat a salad with an entire avocado and you’ll forget all about carbs! Unless an avocado is a carb, like I say, I’m behind in the game…

      • Too funny! I’m more of the bread and pasta kind of vegetarian right now. I have braces so a lot of things are off limits to me right now – things like raw carrots and such. I finally figured out that I can eat apples if I cut them up. Apples and peanut butter here I come! Add some oatmeal and it’s a complete meal. I miss peanuts though. Avocados are not my thing, sorry. I wamt to like them because they’re a really good fat, but I just don’t. I’ve got tomatoes on the way though, so that’ll be good.

      • bmary says:

        Oh man, I had braces forever. Like 8 years. I followed the diet thing for…I think a month…? Top and bottom? As long as you are careful, you can get away with a lot. I think I knocked one side out like two or three times. Just make sure you have that wax stuff on hand…because it’s a mouth saver!

  2. Your Sister says:

    Pateurization rocks. Yay, science!
    As for reasonably priced less-evil meats, I refer you to Costco.

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