on James McWilliams and eating meat (part one)

New post up at PostBourgie on James McWilliams and eating meat.

The comment thread got a little heated, but there’s one I’d like to pull out.  From Marie:

“…Two things seem to not be addressed in this debate. First, if we think eating meat is okay and grass-fed and free-range is the answer how do we supply demand without resorting to factory farm like conditions? Additionally, what about the people doing the slaughtering? It’s easy to vilify nasty horrible factory farms that largely employ undocumented workers, but Polyface Farms is one small example of mostly white privileged folks. What about the rest of us?”

Nicolette Niman, of Niman Ranch, wrote an excellent editorial for the Los Angeles Times that I think better addresses the some of the issues surrounding larger scale sustainable farms than I did in the comments.  And it’s worth noting that until very recently, smaller farms were the rule, rather than the exception.  Food and Water Watch has a fairly comprehensive report mapping the history of meat production in the US and another on the growth of large factory farms.

Given that I am intenselte interested in a lot of the morality and sustainability issues around food, some of you (you know, all three people reading) might find it odd or even hypocritical that I eat meat.  I’ve been a vegetarian at various points in my life, although never long term, and I think (with the exception of those who know me well), some of those commenters would be surprised to learn that i don’t eat a lot of meat.

I’m working on a longer post about eating meat- why I do it, and how I’ve made peace with it.  With any luck, I’ll finish it at some point this weekend (thank goodness for long weekends).

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