The Eat with Care blog

Writing on humane farming issues by Caroline Abels, founder of Humaneitarian.
Join the evolving discussion! (All replies are screened and posted, if thoughtful and respectful.)

How to buy a humanely raised turkey

November 3, 2015 - no responses


Order early. Order early. Order early!

I write this three times because if you want a pastured turkey for Thanksgiving, small farms tend to sell out early, so mind the calendar — and pick up that phone!

Actually, wait. Before you pick up the phone, decide if you want a pasture-raised turkey or not. As you might know, turkeys evolved in the wild, where they could run around, flap their wings, eat insects, breathe fresh air, and nest in trees. On pasture-based […]

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How vegetables can make you a better humaneitarian

September 15, 2015 - one response

A vegetable pan

People’s number one complaint about humanely raised meat is its cost (followed closely, I’ve observed, by confusion about what is humane). And people’s most frequent health complaints (at least in the developed world) are about their weight, daily sluggishness, and a lack of adequate vitamins and minerals.

So it’s time to talk about vegetables — the simple, lowly vegetable — because, in a roundabout way, vegetables can make the humaneitarian way of meat eating more financially feasible, and can […]

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Heritage Breeds Supper! June 28 in Vermont

June 23, 2015 - one response

Ossawbaw pigs, a heritage breed

When you begin exploring the topic of humane animal farming, eventually you bump up against the issue of breeds. Industrial agriculture — in its quest for quick profits — has turned a small handful of animal breeds into fast-growing meat machines that produce huge quantities of flesh on their frames.

These animals are often genetically predisposed to have oversized breasts, weak legs, respiratory issues, and reproductive challenges, all of which cause them to inherently suffer, no […]

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Grazing for answers about “grass-fed”

April 23, 2015 - 3 responses

100% grass-fed cattle at the Lasater Ranch, Colorado

We’re all familiar with the phrase “greenwashing” — when companies make their products sound more ecologically friendly than they actually are.

Now there’s “grasswashing” — when food companies or farmers give the impression that their beef is 100% grass fed when it may not be.

Grass-fed beef is becoming popular. Which is why we have to know exactly what we’re buying, not only for our health but for animal welfare concerns, too. We need to know if […]

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How we think (and talk) about slaughter

March 23, 2015 - 9 responses

A couple of interesting perspectives on meat processing (a.k.a. animal harvesting… a.k.a. butchering…. a.k.a. slaughtering) crossed my path lately and I thought of sharing them by asking a couple of questions…

Open-air chicken slaughtering on Martha’s Vineyard (Photo courtesy of Ali Berlow)

The topics have to do with the words & phrases we use when talking about this emotionally challenging aspect of meat production; and whether personally viewing the activity in a slaughterhouse is something we’d ever want to do.

If you’d like to share your […]

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Podcast: The Green Up Girl interviews Humaneitarian

January 17, 2015 - one response

Podcasts are quite the thing these days. So I was honored to be interviewed for a fine one, The Green Up Girl’s “Greener By Choice.”  I met the host, CS Wurzberger, at the Livestock Conservancy’s conference on heritage breeds last year. We discovered our mutual love of animals and CS graciously invited me for a chat.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here – or go to iTunes and search for “Greener By Choice.” (CS is also posting fascinating podcasts […]

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On Superbowl Sunday: A nose-to-tailgate?

January 8, 2015 - one response

Better meat in sports stadiums… wouldn’t that be fabulous? You’d rise at the 7th inning stretch to go buy a humanely raised hot dog, bypassing all the factory farmed hot dogs and burgers that tend to send humaneitarians scurrying to the French fry line.

Encouragingly, humane meat has recently been available in at least one major sports stadium: Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, which sells grass-fed beef hot dogs and burgers from Shire Gate Farm. That’s the farm owned by Will Witherspoon, […]

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Become a humaneitarian in 2015

December 29, 2014 - 2 responses

Regardless of where you fall on the humaneitarian/meat-eating spectrum, there are so many ways you can boost your humane meat consumption this year — on your own terms, in your own time, on your particular budget.

Already, a growing number of people around the country are basing their meat purchases on how the animal was raised. These humaneitarians — before they buy meat in a grocery store, before they order meat in a restaurant — try to determine if the meat […]

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This holiday: Go on a wild goose chase

December 20, 2014 - no responses

Set a roast goose on your holiday table and your family or friends will have a lot to talk about: What does goose taste like?  How are geese raised?  What do you do with goose fat?  Who the heck eats goose anymore?

What’s more, you can regale your guests with goose idioms — chestnuts in the English language both familiar and obscure, such as:

to cook someone’s goose (to spoil someone’s plans or bring about their downfall)
 what’s sauce for the goose is sauce […]

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When factory farmers rebel…

December 11, 2014 - 4 responses

Craig Watts, on his North Carolina farm

Ah, we humans… we’re fiercely loyal to our tribe — the people we work with, our local sports team, our family, our country… until we realize our tribe is engaging in offensive acts, and we fiercely disapprove, and we turn on our tribe and tell other tribes what’s going on.

Regardless of what you think of Edward Snowden, he is the most high-profile example of a whistleblower lately. And now we have a farmer example: […]

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