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.)

Interview: Wayne Pacelle and the “Humane Economy”

June 9, 2016 - no responses

What do chickens in cramped cages and pigs in tight crates have to do with elephants in circuses, orcas at SeaWorld, or trophy-hunted tigers?

According to Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), all of these animals – and more – are being liberated, so to speak, by a new “humane economy,” in which consumers (including humane meat eaters) are driving corporations to improve their animal welfare standards.

In Pacelle’s new book, The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened […]

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Action Opportunity: Improve living standards for organic poultry

June 2, 2016 - one response

Free-range turkeys at an Applegate company farm

You might be surprised to hear that certified organic chickens aren’t required to have access to pasture and may not have enough space in which to express natural behaviors, such as perching, scratching, and foraging.

It’s true. Organically raised egg-laying hens don’t necessary get the kind of life pictured in the photo above. Thankfully, they’re not trapped in cages, and they get more than “cage-free” birds do because they’re allowed outside, but as Dena […]

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Candidates! Address our local food concerns

February 26, 2016 - no responses

Sheep grazing outside the White House during the Woodrow Wilson presidency

A popular post on Humaneitarian’s Facebook page is proving that people have serious questions for the presidential candidates about how they would support our local farms — including the farms that provide our nation’s most humanely raised meat.

I asked Facebook followers what question they would pose to a presidential candidate (of either party) if allowed one food-related query. The answers were varied, and kicked off with Humaneitarian’s question:

“Why are small farms […]

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Weaning: What is it, and why care?

January 28, 2016 - one response

I can still remember my first day at nursery school. It involved a lot of screaming. It involved feeling sick to my stomach from all my crying. It involved someone eventually taking my hand and dragging me out of the hallway, where I had refused to leave my mother, into the bright, white classroom that I would eventually — eventually — come to love.

I was helpless and confused in the new environment — new peers, new surroundings, […]

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Holiday gifts for humane meat eaters

December 13, 2015 - no responses

Think of the people on your holiday gift list:  Are any of them humaneitarians?  Friends or family who like cooking delicious meats from ethical farms that raise animals with dignity?  If so, consider giving one of these gifts to the humaneitarian in your life.  These are nice things to get, too, if you’re a humaneitarian yourself…  (I can vouch for that…)


The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, by Shannon Hayes (Eating Fresh Publications, 2004)– A meat cookbook that focuses on pasture-raised animals, because pastured […]

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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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Eating tip #3: 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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