Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving: Day 22, free range turkey

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.

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