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.)

When factory farmers rebel…

December 11, 2014 - 2 responses

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: Craig Watts, who works for Perdue and […]

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How to buy a humanely raised turkey

November 3, 2014 - 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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Action Opportunity: Ask USDA for a clear “humane” label

October 7, 2014 - no responses

Rarely do we get a chance to make change in the world of meat labeling. But thanks to leadership by the Animal Welfare Institute, we consumers can now write to the USDA and ask that “humanely raised” labels be made clear and straightforward.

It’s not a clear and straightforward term, remember. “Humanely raised” can mean different things to different people, and this wide range of opinions is reflected in the wide range of “humanely raised” products now in the marketplace: the phrase is slapped on […]

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ASPCA: Cue the chicken

September 18, 2014 - no responses

Who hasn’t cried a little — or turned away — when they’ve seen those heartbreaking ASPCA commercials featuring Sarah McLachlan?  Photos of sorrowful puppies and kittens linger on the screen while tearful music plays in the background. The point is to raise money for the ASPCA, a nonprofit that primarily engages in rescue and shelter work for pets.

These days, however, the ASPCA wouldn’t mind if you also shed a tear for America’s factory farm meat chickens — who are not as cuddly […]

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“Humanely raised”: the label to ignore

August 27, 2014 - 2 responses

I spend my days urging meat eaters to choose humanely raised meat.  I encourage people to ask, “Is that humanely raised?” before buying an animal product. I invite folks to figure out what “humanely raised” means to them.

I care deeply about the phrase “humanely raised.”  Which is why I’m urging you to pretty much ignore the phrase “humanely raised.”

On food labels and signs, I mean. We can keep using it in our daily speech. But when you realize that “humanely […]

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Gathering the herd: The first “Meat-Up”

August 8, 2014 - 2 responses

Next week, the first gathering of the Northern Vermont Humane Meat-Up will take place. This is a new group that’s open to anyone interested in talking about (and eating!) humanely raised meat — ordinary consumers, humane farmers, people who know a lot about humane purchasing, people who know nothing at all…

The idea is to start meeting each other. Early in the days of veganism and vegetarianism, people gathered in little groups, and eventually held conventions, and that’s how these worthy […]

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Reflections on Slow Meat 2014

July 7, 2014 - 3 responses

Yes, there were luminaries at the inaugural “Slow Meat” conference in Denver a couple weeks ago: Wendell Berry’s daughter, grasslands guru Allan Savory, superstar farmer Will Harris, newly-minted Slow Food USA president Richard McCarthy.

But a bison was the true star. A particular bison born and raised on grass in Colorado. A bison that lived the way Lewis and Clark might have seen its ancestors roaming the American plains a couple hundred years ago.

The bison was served at a celebratory dinner for conference […]

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Have you met the movement yet?

May 3, 2014 - 2 responses


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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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