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.)

Calling all Southerners!

April 1, 2014 - no responses

If you live in the South — or have friends in the South — check out what’s happening on Saturday, April 26.  (And share this post with any friends you may have in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, the Carolinas, or Florida.)  On the 26th, a new and unique gathering — the Southeastern Sustainable Livestock Conference — will take place in Atlanta, and it promises to be a fun and enlightening day.

Organized by Kate March and Gillian March of Vital Awareness (they’re [...]

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Recipe for a mobile slaughterhouse

March 2, 2014 - one response

Ali Berlow’s recipe for roast chicken is different than your grandmother’s. To make Ali’s roast chicken, you need a bird that was humanely processed in a small-scale, mobile slaughterhouse — like the one Ali helped build on Martha’s Vineyard a few years ago.

And to build such a slaughterhouse (according to Ali’s recipe) you need to gather certain ingredients, like a landscaper’s trailer, a chicken plucker, really sharp knives, and a crew of skilled workers. You need to research state health laws, train your crew, [...]

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Chipotle’s “Farmed and Dangerous”

February 18, 2014 - 3 responses

It’s sassy, bold, funny, and fresh. Apparently the first “original series” produced by a responsible food company, it sets a high bar. And it’s tough as nails on industrial agriculture:

As you can see, “Farmed and Dangerous” — produced by Chipotle Mexican Grill — looks and feels like a TV show. Of course, the series isn’t airing on TV; the four episodes are being released over the next four weeks on Hulu and the Chipotle website. But the professional look of the [...]

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Does “organic” mean “outside” for animals?

February 8, 2014 - 5 responses

The short answer: Yes.

The important caveat:  Not necessarily outside all the time, and not necessarily the kind of “outside” you might expect.

To know exactly what kind of animal farming you’re supporting when you choose certified organic meat — or to simply impress people at cocktail parties (or barn dances) — read on… because all of us probably have a more pastoral image of organic agriculture than what might actually be the case.

The bottom line: all certified organic animals must have access to the [...]

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Stocking stuffers for meat lovers

December 18, 2013 - 2 responses

There’s a scene in the 1951 film of “A Christmas Carol” in which Tiny Tim daydreams about the Christmas goose that will soon be roasted by his bustling mother in the cramped kitchen of their gritty 1840s London home. (The Cratchits got the biggest goose of all, thanks to Scrooge’s eventual generosity.) This was back when meat was a treat and holidays were a reason to prepare the plumpest, most perfect pigs or poultry. Talk about revering the animal! It [...]

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Holiday etiquette when you eat humanely

November 26, 2013 - 5 responses

My local NPR station had a call-in show recently on “holiday etiquette,” complete with etiquette experts, so I posted a question for their guests to answer: “I try very hard to eat only humanely raised meat. Is it rude to ask a host where the meat came from or how it was raised?”

Before I tell you the responses of the two etiquette experts from the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vermont, I’m curious to know if you’ve ever been [...]

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Buy a humanely raised turkey for Thanksgiving

November 2, 2013 - 3 responses

Order early. Order early. Order early!

I write this three times because if you want to order a pastured turkey, 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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Humane highway: I-95 rest stop not a mirage

October 24, 2013 - 9 responses

As the tired masses yearning to breathe free — or just yearning to breathe some fresh air and get off the highway — staggered into the Milford, Connecticut rest stop along I-95 northbound recently, most of them headed towards the McDonald’s or the Sbarro, hungry lemmings about to jump off a cliff of grease, fat, and factory farmed meat.

But my friend Gerry and I, we knew better. We turned left and kept walking, towards a corner of the rest stop dining [...]

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Pounding the Pastures at HSUS

October 17, 2013 - 5 responses

It’s easy to get the impression that the Humane Society of the United States doesn’t really have a taste for meat.

On its website, you don’t see recipes for barbecued pasture-raised pork, grass-fed beef stew, or free-range roast chicken — which would indicate that the country’s most effective group working to end factory farm abuse supports humane animal farming.  Instead, their page on humane eating introduces you to Meatless Mondays and a Guide to Meat-Free Meals. Other links take you to [...]

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Pasture-raised vs. grass-fed: What’s the difference?

September 28, 2013 - 6 responses

Pasture-raised… Grass-fed.

The two most delightful phrases in animal agriculture. They conjur images of cows cavorting through fields, pigs let loose in the woods, lambs bouncing across hillsides… bliss.

Cut to the supermarket. A busy Tuesday evening — not so blissful. You’re in an enlightened store (Whole Foods?  Your local food co-op?) that sells both pasture-raised and grass-fed steak. You know that these two options are a huge improvement over factory farmed steak, but which should you buy?

Cut to your local farmers’ [...]

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