I think everyone has come across the video’s online that show animals being mistreated at concentrated animal feed lot operations. It is sickening and if doesn’t cause you discomfort you are either putting your head in the sand or are a psychopath.
Nonetheless, most of us, including myself, consume some animal products. Which begs the question? How can we consume these products without participating in cruelty?
Let’s face some facts, at least as they are in my mind.
- CAFO (concentrated animal feed lot operations) which account for most of conventional store bought meat are cruel, negatively impact our environment, and yield meat that is not healthful
- Most dairy operations are the same as above, and when the animal is done producing meat, enter a similar fate as the animals above
- Most egg operations are equally cruel where they immediately kill the male chicks usually through cruel methods, not to mention crowd the chickens into unhealthful spaces. Cage free and other nomenclature often delude us into thinking that it is more healthful when often it is not.
Most successful societies start eating more animal protein as they get richer much to the detriment of their health. The consumption of animal protein comes with negative outcomes I have addressed elsewhere especially on my YouTube channel. The natural and historic consumption of animals was associated with maximizing all of the animal, including organ meats. The isolation of muscle meat is a perversion of ancestral food patterns which emphasized the whole animal including the animal, it is also disrespectful if you have just slaughtered an animal to throw away near half of the animal. There are probably health benefits to eating some of the organs.
So, you may be asking how it is that if I acknowledge the above, that I consume some animal products. Some vegan activists argue that killing an animal for food is never something that is ethical and I can respect that worldview. My worldview is different.
Some rules that I follow :
- I never buy routine store bought meat
- I never buy farm raised fish
- I investigate and question the egg farm I buy from
- I buy only 100% grass fed, grass finished regenerative beef from family farms where farm workers and the animals are treated with respect
- I only eat Kosher animals which are herbivores (I include this because, I do believe that these animals are in a different class when it comes to be slaughter) Incidentally, I almost exclusively now buy my meat from kolfoods.com
It was told to me once by a Rabbi, though I have never found a source for this statement, that the Talmud says that stupid people shouldn’t eat meat implying that one should be very cognizant, intentional and respectful about the sacrifice of the animal for your food and if you can’t be, don’t eat meat.
That being said, I eat very little animal products and go days and sometimes weeks without eating meat. The cornerstone of a healthy diet for everyone is to maximize plant intake. Your goal is to determine which plants make you thrive and which don’t. Not all plants are the same and you need to determine the ones that work for you. People often give up on vegetables and variety before determining the classes of vegetables that help them to thrive. This can take time and patience.
To buy the above animal products is notably more expensive in comparison to buying store bought meat. But the real truth here, is that animals should not be that cheap. We have made efficiencies that are by nature unethical to get to these low prices and when you buy into it, I believe you are supporting a deeply flawed system that results in significant moral consequence for yourself and for our society.
Some might not be able to afford the quality animal products I suggest. I think at the quantities that I eat or with careful selection, most people can. Nonetheless, eating an exclusively plant based diet is an option, you just need to be very careful to make it one that you maximally thrive on. I have helped many patients do this after they have made the decision to choose it as a disease reversal diet.
Don’t participate in the diet wars going on. It’s toxic. Find the diet that works for you that yields results that can be measured with blood work, body fat percentage, energy level, and maybe even select scans, something we can discuss perhaps in another post. Don’t focus on just one of the above and assume that it is working for you because just one of those is better. It must show improvements in all and this can take time and work for you to determine. It is my life’s work to help people on this path to become their own authorities in this. As always, reach out to me on my facebook page if interested.
Photo by Nate Steiner on Flickr.