I am thankful for the free range turkey that we ate for Thanksgiving dinner. But to say that I am thankful for just the turkey is misleading. I am thankful for the people that have given me the option of having a free range turkey.
I am thankful for the farmers the hard work of humanely raising animals for us to eat. I am thankful for the farmer's markets where I buy my local, humane meat and the free range eggs I use. I am thankful for the people that have fought to make conditions better for all animals raised for consumption. I am thankful that people are starting to listen, and hear, and vote with their money.
I used to be a vegetarian. It was mostly for animal-rights reasons, but also partly for environmental reasons. I was a vegetarian for about ten years. Once I started eating meat again, I became really sensitive to where the meat came from. Everywhere we have lived, I have searched out local options for meat. This is becoming easier, and for that I am thankful. I think that if we are going to consume animals, we owe them the respect of raising them humanely.
I still don't eat as much meat as many people. I often go days without eating meat, and I don't even realize it. I also cook in such a way that the meat will be more of an ingredient than the main course. I roast a whole chicken about once a week or two, but other than that I never just grill some chicken breasts to eat just like that. You will never come to my house and have a piece of meat on a plate with a vegetable and a potato. Even with a Sunday Roast Chicken, I usually have at least two vegetables and a starch. I expect the chicken to last for three meals, and we eat it that way. More veggies, always.
But I am very thankful that our ideas of food are changing. I know that trying to find organic, free range meat is a good problem to have. I'm thankful that enough of us are choosing to use our money and time on this particular problem. It's a good fight to have, and important to our world.