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.)

Go “factory-farm free” in 2013!

December 14, 2012

I hate New Year’s resolutions, but I hate factory farms even more. Perhaps you do, too — both are impossible to justify, but hard to avoid. Come the turning of the calendar year, one can easily slip into self-judgment and try to become “more this” or “less that” through the making of a resolution that one will inevitably forget by March. Come a visit to the supermarket, one can easily slip into buying whatever meat is for sale there — which tends to be factory farmed meat that’s conveniently packaged, inexpensive to buy, easy to cook, and (alas) raised without care.

So, a proposal: why not broaden the New Year resolution beyond just an attempt at self-amelioration and instead use it to help farm animals?  I therefore invite you to join me in going “Factory-Farm Free in Two-Zero-One-Three.”  In 2013, consider pledging to eat only humanely raised meat, or narrow it down and pledge to eat only humanely raised pork, or only humanely raised chicken. Or just try to eat humanely in January, or until the end of winter. For every humane meat purchase you make, you’ll be keeping money out of the pockets of factory farms and supporting farmers who do right by animals.

I wish I could say it’ll be easy, but eating humanely can (initially) be a challenge.  You might wonder: “How will I find humanely raised ham in my neighborhood?”  “How will I find time to drive to a farm if I have three young kids at home?”  “What if there’s no winter farmers’ market near me?”  This is where the pledge can help. All of us who commit to some form of humane meat eating in 2013 can (if we want to) support each other, ask questions, and share advice through a voluntary forum I’ll establish on Humaneitarian. It will be a support group, of sorts, and in the process I know you will discover a ton about farm animals, your community, and how food is raised in America.

Would you like to pledge?  If so, post a “Yes!” below and explain what you are planning to do. I know this is a big step and that not everyone will be able to participate. But consider it a step forward for farm animals, and a chance to give the New Year’s resolution a bit more meaning!