There is no doubt that our eating habits have really changed over the recent years. Just look at the ingredients in most people’s food and you will see this change. Unlike some decades ago, almost every meal today have a piece of meat. Additionally, the amount of meat consumed in a day has increased tremendously over the year. However, people are now starting to question the kind of meat they are getting from the market. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself about how these animals are raised? How are they killed and slaughtered? That is where the term ‘ethical meat eater’ stems from.
Most of the meat we have in our meals today is terrible not only for our health but also for our environment. What is more disgusting is the way this meat is handled before reaching our plates. Most of us know something about factory farming, which is terrible for animals. With animals squeezed in a small place, this model of rearing animals is, without doubt, an unethical way of supplying the market with meat.
Who is an Ethical Meat Eater?
In this context, an ethical meat eater is a conscious meat eater. He/she is a meat eater who cares about the animal converted to food. As the name suggests, it simply means eating meat that is ethically raised and slaughtered. However, the biggest challenge has been the definition of the term ‘Ethical meat.’
What is Ethical Meat?
There is no single definition for ethical meat as of now as most experts still differ in opinion. However, there are a couple of factors about this kind of that most for and against this campaign agree on. These are four factors that define ethical meat:
- Ethical meat comes from an animal that enjoyed a good life. The animal should have lived a good life. The campaign is against factory farming where we rear animals for a few months with supplements and then take them to slaughterhouse prematurely. Therefore, the animal should act out its natural tendencies, in a way that it contributed to healthy natural cycles. The animal should be cared for and not neglected. During the rearing and slaughtering, the slaughtered animal should have endured little stress.
- Ethical meat must come from an animal that has a good death. When slaughtering, the animal should have endured little stress, not the way that we see animal escaping from the slaughterhouse for their life. The animal should not suffer for long. Slaughter it in a way that makes it unconscious instantly.
- For the meat to be ethical, butcher it properly to make full use of the carcass. The practice shows respect for life. Therefore, the process of butchering the meat should have respect for the animal.
- When it comes to preparing the meat, ethical meat is cooked or preserved properly. That helps to maximize nutritional benefit and pay homage to the important rituals of deliciousness.
However, these factors defining ethical meat have been challenged for being unrealistic. The argument has been that there cannot be ethical meat in reality especially with the rising demand in meat products. Note that factory farming is a model that helps to meet the ever-rising demand for meat. Therefore, it is hard to away with.
How to Be an Ethical Meat Eater
To be an ‘ethical meat eater’ is not difficult. What you need is first to reduce the amount of meat you eat to help reduce the impact of factory farming. But that does not mean that you change into a vegetarian- No. You just need to adjust your meal ingredients to reduce portions of meat and replace with a more environmentally friendly food. You should join the fast-growing group of flexitarians, who are semi-vegetarians.
Flexitarians’ diet is plant-based with the occasional inclusion of meat. However, the portions of meat are very small, and that is how they reduce meat consumption. Add veggies such as spinach or some fresh herbs from the garden in your diet. We also recommend that you add eggs from chook pens and some hand-made ricotta. With this kind of diet, the amount of meat consumed is small hence reducing the volume of unethical meat in the market.
Additionally, there are meat selling companies that are already taking up the initiative by supplying ethical meat. Most of these companies have their products labelled ‘humane’ or ‘free-range.’ That’s is an indication that the campaign is gaining momentum. These are the kind of products that ethical meat eaters should support.
There are numerous benefits that come with being an ethical meat eater. There are many health and environmental gains that we can get from a society that is practicing flexitarianism. Start today by cutting meat consumption and increasing veggies and other organic foods in your diet. That is how we are going to reduce unethical meat in the market.