The Eat with Care blog

Writing about humane farming issues by Caroline Abels, founder of Humaneitarian. Your comments and feedback welcome. (All replies are screened and posted, if thoughtful and respectful.)

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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Podcast: The Green Up Girl interviews Humaneitarian

January 17, 2015 - one response

Podcasts are quite the thing these days. So I was honored to be interviewed for a fine one, The Green Up Girl’s “Greener By Choice.”  I met the host, CS Wurzberger, at the Livestock Conservancy’s conference on heritage breeds last year. We discovered our mutual love of animals and CS graciously invited me for a chat.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here – or go to iTunes and search for “Greener By Choice.” (CS is also posting fascinating podcasts […]

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On Superbowl Sunday: A nose-to-tailgate?

January 8, 2015 - one response

Better meat in sports stadiums… wouldn’t that be fabulous? You’d rise at the 7th inning stretch to go buy a humanely raised hot dog, bypassing all the factory farmed hot dogs and burgers that tend to send humaneitarians scurrying to the French fry line.

Encouragingly, humane meat has recently been available in at least one major sports stadium: Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, which sells grass-fed beef hot dogs and burgers from Shire Gate Farm. That’s the farm owned by Will Witherspoon, […]

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Become a humaneitarian in 2015

December 29, 2014 - 2 responses

Regardless of where you fall on the humaneitarian/meat-eating spectrum, there are so many ways you can boost your humane meat consumption this year — on your own terms, in your own time, on your particular budget.

Already, a growing number of people around the country are basing their meat purchases on how the animal was raised. These humaneitarians — before they buy meat in a grocery store, before they order meat in a restaurant — try to determine if the meat […]

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This holiday: Go on a wild goose chase

December 20, 2014 - no responses

Set a roast goose on your holiday table and your family or friends will have a lot to talk about: What does goose taste like?  How are geese raised?  What do you do with goose fat?  Who the heck eats goose anymore?

What’s more, you can regale your guests with goose idioms — chestnuts in the English language both familiar and obscure, such as:

to cook someone’s goose (to spoil someone’s plans or bring about their downfall)
 what’s sauce for the goose is sauce […]

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When factory farmers rebel…

December 11, 2014 - 4 responses

Craig Watts, on his North Carolina farm

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 […]

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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

The chicken on the left is a typical factory farm bird that collapses under its own weight. The chicken on the right is a more natural breed, found on humane farms.

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 […]

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