The Eat with Care blog

Writing on humane farming issues by Caroline Abels, founder of Humaneitarian.
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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 - one response

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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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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