Author Topic: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat  (Read 1465 times)

BuildingmyFIRE

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Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« on: May 03, 2018, 06:26:13 AM »
Someone on this forum posted Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Meat as a book that changed their life.  Having now read it myself, I can say the same.  Thank you to whomever that was that posted it.

I wish I could make every single person I know read it.  I wish I could make people care.  Whenever I try to discuss what I've read, and just how terrible factory farming is to anyone around me, I get responses of "don't tell me!  I don't want to know!" or "Those are not the norm -- those are just outlier examples."  I need to know that there are other people out there that care.

I ask you to join me in refusing to be complicit in:

1. The destruction of the environment;
2. The destruction of the efficacy of vital antibiotics necessary for human medical treatment; and
3. The routine, daily, hourly torture and suffering of animals on a grand scale.

Please commit not to eat factory farmed meat.  If you eat meat, commit to buying it from local farms (real farms) that practice humane animal husbandry.  If you are at all on the fence, I strongly recommend you read Eating Animals. 

Thank you for considering this challenge.

lisa_mustache

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 09:24:16 AM »
Eating Animals was the tipping point for us in 2012!  For that Summer, we bought our meat at the local farmers market only, and got some backyard chickens for eggs.  By the 6-month point, it was just easier and more satisfying to go vegetarian.  This year, we made the next step to vegan, which helps even more.  It's not an easy change, even with the best intentions, so congratulations!

Hirondelle

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 10:15:00 AM »
I've read this book a loooong time ago and though I've never been fully vegetarian/vegan, it was a turning point for me where I decided to not cook meet for myself anymore! I've been working on minimalizing my meat and dairy consumption further the last few months (with variable success) so I think re-reading it would be an important push back into the right direction. Thanks for reminding me that I have this book!

My current "omnivore status" is that I never buy meat, but will eat it when others have cooked if they don't agree on a vegetarian option (e.g. parents, friends) or in some cases when eating out and there's a lack of vegetarian options. Usually this comes down to 2-3 meat dinners/month.

Just wondering though, wouldn't it be an even more effective thread if the aim was to just reduce overall meat consumption? This will in any case be a win for all 3 of your points. Eating the same amount of meat from fancier farms won't really solve the problem of our meat consumption IMO - factory farms exist not only for the cost, but also because of the demand quantity. This would also be a bigger mustachian win as for many people meat is a big cost item in their grocery budget (e.g. reduce meat consumption by 50% but buy higher quality meat instead).

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 11:26:32 AM »
I've read this book a loooong time ago and though I've never been fully vegetarian/vegan, it was a turning point for me where I decided to not cook meet for myself anymore! I've been working on minimalizing my meat and dairy consumption further the last few months (with variable success) so I think re-reading it would be an important push back into the right direction. Thanks for reminding me that I have this book!

My current "omnivore status" is that I never buy meat, but will eat it when others have cooked if they don't agree on a vegetarian option (e.g. parents, friends) or in some cases when eating out and there's a lack of vegetarian options. Usually this comes down to 2-3 meat dinners/month.

Just wondering though, wouldn't it be an even more effective thread if the aim was to just reduce overall meat consumption? This will in any case be a win for all 3 of your points. Eating the same amount of meat from fancier farms won't really solve the problem of our meat consumption IMO - factory farms exist not only for the cost, but also because of the demand quantity. This would also be a bigger mustachian win as for many people meat is a big cost item in their grocery budget (e.g. reduce meat consumption by 50% but buy higher quality meat instead).

Yes! Reduction of meat consumption overall should be a goal!  And yes, I agree with your point about the problems of continued (and growing) demand.  It's simply not sustainable (not to mention unhealthy).  But - unless we are talking about committing to going full-vegetarian-- when we talk about reduction of consumption that's not value that competes with making intentional decisions about where to source your meat.

I also think The Power of Habit informs the issue here.  Duhigg points out that our habits are basically automatic routines and subroutines, and the most effective way to break an undesirable habit is to replace it with another one.  It is really hard for people to go "cold turkey" on meat [pun intended] because that requires them to learn a whole new way to shop, cook and eat.  But to find a new source of meat - that's a MUCH easier subroutine to replace the original subroutine of going to the supermarket and buying cheap contaminated meat. 

In other words, if you took a pole as asked omnivores if they would agree to (1) go vegetarian right now or (2) buy meat only from to a local farmer whose pig lived a reasonably comfortable life and whose manure was used to fertilize the farm, rather than continuing to shovel money over to a giant corporation who pays its workers minimum wage, looks the other way while those workers shove electric prods up the vaginas and anuses of pigs confined to crates, and spray toxic waste onto surrounding fields because they make more $#it than they can dispose of (hello e-coli cross contamination),  -- I think more people are going to be able to commit to only buying from the local farmer rather than going straight vegetarian, though they may ultimately move in that direction.  Any and all steps toward a world where factory farms do not exist are improvements over the current system.

I hope others join in this discussion.  I think its an important one.



 

rachellynn99

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 12:03:10 PM »
I guess technically I could join this challenge. We haven't eaten factory farmed meat in probably 15 years. We only eat meat that we have harvested ourselves. We have an abundance of deer meat and wild boar for sausage, pork chops etc. We also have a ton of fish that we catch ourselves. That's really about it as far as meat goes. We have chickens which is where we get our eggs.

Milk is a bit of a challenge for us- I buy from a local farmer as often as possible and buy homemade cheese from a diary not too far from here about once per month.

Hirondelle

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 12:32:42 PM »

Yes! Reduction of meat consumption overall should be a goal!  And yes, I agree with your point about the problems of continued (and growing) demand.  It's simply not sustainable (not to mention unhealthy).  But - unless we are talking about committing to going full-vegetarian-- when we talk about reduction of consumption that's not value that competes with making intentional decisions about where to source your meat.

I also think The Power of Habit informs the issue here.  Duhigg points out that our habits are basically automatic routines and subroutines, and the most effective way to break an undesirable habit is to replace it with another one.  It is really hard for people to go "cold turkey" on meat [pun intended] because that requires them to learn a whole new way to shop, cook and eat.  But to find a new source of meat - that's a MUCH easier subroutine to replace the original subroutine of going to the supermarket and buying cheap contaminated meat. 

In other words, if you took a pole as asked omnivores if they would agree to (1) go vegetarian right now or (2) buy meat only from to a local farmer whose pig lived a reasonably comfortable life and whose manure was used to fertilize the farm, rather than continuing to shovel money over to a giant corporation who pays its workers minimum wage, looks the other way while those workers shove electric prods up the vaginas and anuses of pigs confined to crates, and spray toxic waste onto surrounding fields because they make more $#it than they can dispose of (hello e-coli cross contamination),  -- I think more people are going to be able to commit to only buying from the local farmer rather than going straight vegetarian, though they may ultimately move in that direction.  Any and all steps toward a world where factory farms do not exist are improvements over the current system.

I hope others join in this discussion.  I think its an important one.
 

I agree with most of your comments but I think your comparison between a. cold turkey vegetarian and b. only local farm meet isn't what I meant! The power of habit could just as easily be "find a substitute to put on your sandwich (e.g. avocado instead of ham)" or "cook a vegetarian dinner twice a week". I think the overall impact of less meat would outperform equal amounts of better meat (preferably people do both!) as in the first scenario less animals will suffer while in the second scenario animals will suffer less.

However, I think it's an excellent thread still. Hope many will join and improve animal lifes :)

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 12:56:09 PM »

Yes! Reduction of meat consumption overall should be a goal!  And yes, I agree with your point about the problems of continued (and growing) demand.  It's simply not sustainable (not to mention unhealthy).  But - unless we are talking about committing to going full-vegetarian-- when we talk about reduction of consumption that's not value that competes with making intentional decisions about where to source your meat.

I also think The Power of Habit informs the issue here.  Duhigg points out that our habits are basically automatic routines and subroutines, and the most effective way to break an undesirable habit is to replace it with another one.  It is really hard for people to go "cold turkey" on meat [pun intended] because that requires them to learn a whole new way to shop, cook and eat.  But to find a new source of meat - that's a MUCH easier subroutine to replace the original subroutine of going to the supermarket and buying cheap contaminated meat. 

In other words, if you took a pole as asked omnivores if they would agree to (1) go vegetarian right now or (2) buy meat only from to a local farmer whose pig lived a reasonably comfortable life and whose manure was used to fertilize the farm, rather than continuing to shovel money over to a giant corporation who pays its workers minimum wage, looks the other way while those workers shove electric prods up the vaginas and anuses of pigs confined to crates, and spray toxic waste onto surrounding fields because they make more $#it than they can dispose of (hello e-coli cross contamination),  -- I think more people are going to be able to commit to only buying from the local farmer rather than going straight vegetarian, though they may ultimately move in that direction.  Any and all steps toward a world where factory farms do not exist are improvements over the current system.

I hope others join in this discussion.  I think its an important one.
 

I agree with most of your comments but I think your comparison between a. cold turkey vegetarian and b. only local farm meet isn't what I meant! The power of habit could just as easily be "find a substitute to put on your sandwich (e.g. avocado instead of ham)" or "cook a vegetarian dinner twice a week". I think the overall impact of less meat would outperform equal amounts of better meat (preferably people do both!) as in the first scenario less animals will suffer while in the second scenario animals will suffer less.

However, I think it's an excellent thread still. Hope many will join and improve animal lifes :)

I think we're on the same page or at least the same team.

Ok -- modification of the challenge: to avoid factory farmed meat OR to commit to decreased meat consumption.

Also thanks for not pointing out that I misspelled "pole."  :)

Trifele

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 05:16:19 PM »
Thanks for starting this thread BuildingMyFire -- I'm already on the team.  No factory farmed meat in many years.  Good on you for spreading the word. 

Gone Fishing

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 06:37:12 PM »
We probably grow/hunt 70 percent of our meat.  I do love $.59 lb chicken leg quarters, though!  A few $.79 lb hams make it in our kitchen as well.

 I've actually been inside an active poultry house.  The chickens looked much better than those shown by PETA.  The manure (mixed with sawdust) is kept dry then spread on and disked in nearby fields for fertilizer before crops are sown.  One of the largest local producers, Tyson, claims not to use antibiotics. Is it perfect? No, but I feel like the local factory farmers do a fairly decent job producing poultry meat, partially thanks to those who have expended the time and effort to expose questionable practices.  I have never visited a factory hog farm, but take serious exception to manure handling practices, protected by law, that result in the poisoning of our rivers.

I also have issues with the processing facilities that continue to pack what started out as halfway decent meat with phosphates, saline, and CO.  Last summer, in Ireland, we ate an amazing grocery store chicken that was obviously much different than your average US produced chicken.

So where am I going with this?   I probably won't join the challenge, but will continue to support improved animal welfare, feed, manure handling, and processing practices. Best to all.

akzidenz

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 02:46:31 PM »
Great challenge. I'm mostly vegan—because of my concerns about factory farming, the meat/dairy industry at scale, and what feels like enormous animal rights/environmental abuses. I don't have personal objections to hunted meat, or eggs from a friend's backyard chickens…but those situations are so rare for me that functionally speaking I just don't eat animal products*.

* Except when traveling to foreign countries…and the very occasional dessert someone offers me…

It was easiest for me to reduce factory-farmed meat consumption by committing to being vegan 95% of the time, but I'm very supportive and would love to cheer on Mustachians who are committing to "just" no factory-farmed meat. This is a personal ethical choice that does have a significant ethical/environmental difference, imo, and it can be a wonderful first step to being more mindful/thoughtful in other areas.

doneby35

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 03:17:55 PM »
Why not take the challenge a little further and really make it a challenge by not eating animals at all? Then we're talking.
Factory farming or not, at the end of the day, they all get sent to slaughterhouses and get killed unnecessarily.

MarciaB

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2018, 05:47:07 PM »
I read that book too, and now use the term "misery meat" when referring to conventionally "farmed" meat. Which I don't buy (but am probably eating in restaurants from time to time).

I agree with the folks who've said that if all of us ate a lot less meat we would collectively be better off. I've been vegetarian but it really didn't work for me. My compromise is having a plant-based diet with the occasional serving of meat thrown in from time to time for good measure.

Also - let's eat more insects!

LonerMatt

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 06:20:39 PM »
How do you know what meat is farm raised?

In Australia we don't have a huge number of factory farms (and the labeling seems pretty up front especially when it comes to chickens), but still how do you know what you're buying is what you're committing to?

I'd like to be sure of what my purchases mean so I'm asking to learn for myself.

mountain mustache

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 10:50:43 PM »
I have been committing to this the past few years, as much as I can financially handle. I think it's easier for me than it may be for others however, because I live in a really ag heavy part of CO, and there are literally cows grazing in my neighborhood. There are tons of small (and large) cattle farms within 100 miles or less, and it's not super difficult to get a share from a farmer you've met and trust. Many of my friends are part of ranch families, etc...just how things are here. Currently I'm eating only pastured/grass fed pork/beef from local farmers. Chicken is the hardest thing, and the best I'm doing right now is buying organic. Not much chicken farming going on in this area. I get backyard eggs from a neighbor once a week, and I eat no dairy products because I'm super intolerant, and I think dairy pretty bad for humans in general.

Not intentionally, I have reduced the amount of meat I'm eating by purchasing better meat, because it's quite a bit more expensive, so I eat smaller portions.  But, I am gluten free, dairy free, bean free, etc...and I can't imagine cutting animal protein out of my diet, too. I'm an endurance athlete, and feel my best and strongest when I eat good quality animal protein, and tons of vegetables/fruits, with minimal grains/beans/nuts...which are huge parts of a vegan diet. I was vegan growing up, and vegan for much of college/after and I've never been in worse health or performed worse as an athlete. So, to each their own, but I do think it is super important to reduce/eliminate factory farmed animal products from your diet, for health reasons and for environmental and ethical reasons.

meghan88

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 10:17:22 AM »
We've been doing this for a few years now.  We don't eat much meat at all, but we've been buying locally from Blackview Farms in Listowel Ont., and I highly recommend them for those in SW Ontario / Toronto.  They have a monthly buying club and they deliver.  They raise heritage breeds as nature intended.  They have regular open house days at their farm to help educate people about their philosophy and how they do things.

Around the same time we found them, we'd just finished reading "The Dorito Effect - The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor" by Mark Schatzker.  It's a real eye-opener about monoculture vs. diversity, how "natural" flavours are actually created in the lab, how processed foods are contributing to a whole host of ills, etc. etc.

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2018, 10:39:58 AM »
I read that book too, and now use the term "misery meat" when referring to conventionally "farmed" meat. Which I don't buy (but am probably eating in restaurants from time to time).

I agree with the folks who've said that if all of us ate a lot less meat we would collectively be better off. I've been vegetarian but it really didn't work for me. My compromise is having a plant-based diet with the occasional serving of meat thrown in from time to time for good measure.

Also - let's eat more insects!

Funny you say this -- I was searching on Amazon for books on gluten free cooking and what came up in my results list?  Cricket powder!  The "customer photos" I'm sorry to say, did not inspire my appetite.

But I've so far been successful in my own challenge which I am really proud of.  And because it is more expensive (meaning, I absorb most of the actual cost, instead of externalizing it, which is how meat prices are kept artificially low), we are eating less meat as a family. 

Someone here asked how you know if your meat is factory farmed.  As a general rule, if you are buying it in a supermarket or a fast food place (i.e., you have no knowledge about the supply chain), its almost certainly factory farmed.  If you know the farm from which it came, then you should have a better sense for how the animals were raised. 

omachi

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2018, 10:52:10 AM »
Already on the bandwagon, but chiming in to say that having moved to quality pasture raised meat, our meat consumption has gone way down. It tastes better, is more satisfying, and I just don't feel the need to eat meat as much or as often as when it was grocery store meats. Net effect on the grocery budget is actually a small decrease in spending, despite the meat costing more per pound.

meghan88

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2018, 11:56:35 AM »
Already on the bandwagon, but chiming in to say that having moved to quality pasture raised meat, our meat consumption has gone way down. It tastes better, is more satisfying, and I just don't feel the need to eat meat as much or as often as when it was grocery store meats. Net effect on the grocery budget is actually a small decrease in spending, despite the meat costing more per pound.

That's what we've been finding as well.  Especially for chicken.  Supermarket chicken is almost always some type of Cornish X breed, bred to mature really quickly, with an emphasis on white meat.  Then in processing it's injected with saltwater to plump it up even more.  The heritage breed chickens we've had take twice as long to reach maturity.  They are pasture-raised and eat a more natural foraged diet with very little in the way of grain as a supplement.  They do take a bit longer to cook since they need to be roasted low and slow to be tender, but the flavour is incredible.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2018, 07:26:50 AM »
Please commit not to eat factory farmed meat.  If you eat meat, commit to buying it from local farms (real farms) that practice humane animal husbandry.

What makes local farms "humane?"

jeninco

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2018, 11:54:11 AM »
Please commit not to eat factory farmed meat.  If you eat meat, commit to buying it from local farms (real farms) that practice humane animal husbandry.

What makes local farms "humane?"

They're not automagically "humane", but if the farms are local you can talk with the farmer, and possibly visit the farms. You can also ask regional questions, like how the animals are rotated around the ranchland and how they protect streams and wetlands: if you ask with genuine curiosity you often get interesting and thoughtful answers.  I've also walked through the "processor" facility our ranchers use, to see for myself that they're causing the animals the least amount of pain and suffering (given that's where the animals are killed) and also that the working conditions for the 5 or so people in the room seem reasonable.

D&S, I've watched you derail other conversations (over in the OT section) apparently for the sake of starting an argument. Please don't do that here: I can't quite decide if your question is a beginning to a thread-ending line of hostile "questioning", and if it's not I apologize.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2018, 12:29:43 PM »
Here in support.

I find this one of the hardest aspects of low income MMMism: I see it as hyperimportant for so many reasons; MMMism pressed me to find ways to reduce spending (groceries were my highest cost when I joined).

jeninco

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2018, 12:51:54 PM »
Also here to support the gauntlet: we purchase 1/2 steer from a local ranch each year, and can get non-industrial pork from our local small market. I'm looking for a line on 1/2 hog per year as well.

The biggest place we struggle with this is getting chicken, so we don't buy much. (We can get organic, but it's hard to get many details about chicken living conditions.) We also have limited responsible fish options...

Our grocery bills aren't super-low, but they're not super-high, either. Adjusted for the ages of our teenagers, we're somewhere around the USDA "low-cost" plan (or "moderate-cost, depends on how you adjust), including the beef and (local) milk delivery. And we eat very, very well.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2018, 01:02:08 PM »
Please commit not to eat factory farmed meat.  If you eat meat, commit to buying it from local farms (real farms) that practice humane animal husbandry.

What makes local farms "humane?"

They're not automagically "humane", but if the farms are local you can talk with the farmer, and possibly visit the farms. You can also ask regional questions, like how the animals are rotated around the ranchland and how they protect streams and wetlands: if you ask with genuine curiosity you often get interesting and thoughtful answers.  I've also walked through the "processor" facility our ranchers use, to see for myself that they're causing the animals the least amount of pain and suffering (given that's where the animals are killed) and also that the working conditions for the 5 or so people in the room seem reasonable.

D&S, I've watched you derail other conversations (over in the OT section) apparently for the sake of starting an argument. Please don't do that here: I can't quite decide if your question is a beginning to a thread-ending line of hostile "questioning", and if it's not I apologize.

Lol what?  All discussions seem to be doing just fine over there.

It was a genuine question.  How do you draw the distinction of the practices used by "factory farming" vs. local farmers?

Do the 3 components from OP for refusing factory farmed meat still apply to local farmers?

Quote
1. The destruction of the environment;
2. The destruction of the efficacy of vital antibiotics necessary for human medical treatment; and
3. The routine, daily, hourly torture and suffering of animals on a grand scale.

1. Does the care taking of the animals still contribute more CO2 emissions than if the land was used to farm vegetables/grains/fruit?  Yes.  Does the end product still end up using more water? Yes.  The only savings here that I see are on food transportation costs (not shipping the meat around the country/globe) and perhaps depending on the farm, soil enrichment/preservation (if they do a crop rotation instead of solely growing "feed" for the animals which often destroys the nutrients in the soil).

2. I know a lot less about this, but is the "destruction of the efficacy of vital antibiotics" solely limited to factory farmed meats?  I honestly don't know about.

3. Are we ok if "routine, daily, hourly torture and suffering of animals on a grand scale" is instead limited to only part of the animal's life?  Or what if it's on a "small" scale instead of a grand one?  This also goes back to my original question - how are these local farms "humane?"  As of 2011, "The majority of meat production is now completely dominated by factory farms: 95% of pigs, 78% of cattle and 99.9% of chickens to be precise."  It has likely only increased in the last 7 years - https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/factory-farms-continue-dominate-us-livestock-industry

With those numbers, it's probably very difficult to even find a local farm utilizing these more "humane" practices, no?

omachi

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2018, 02:35:33 PM »
Do the 3 components from OP for refusing factory farmed meat still apply to local farmers?
Absolutely. If it's factory farmed meat it doesn't matter if the factory is local or small.

With those numbers, it's probably very difficult to even find a local farm utilizing these more "humane" practices, no?
Possibly, but doesn't mean it can't be done. And more demand means more farming this way, no? Or is demand for humane farming going to drive more factory farms to open?

I've visited the farms I get my meat from and it's all grassland and animals, rotated with crops. It's expensive to raise meat this way, but grassland restores topsoil and helps local water resources. And no, simply farming vegetables, grains, and fruit exclusively isn't the answer. Current fertilizers are largely derived from natural gas. Or if you prefer organic, there's still a lot derived from animal product, so is it better to truck that in or to produce it locally while you're raising meat? If you don't have animals on hand, you're burning fossil fuels either way to amend soil for crops.

The animals I'm getting from the farms in my area aren't suffering. They're extremely well taken care of. Antibiotics are only used when actually necessary, and not being pent into the minimum possible space means they're rarely necessary.

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Commit to Refusing to Eat Factory Farmed Meat
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2018, 09:45:16 AM »
Please commit not to eat factory farmed meat.  If you eat meat, commit to buying it from local farms (real farms) that practice humane animal husbandry.

What makes local farms "humane?"

They're not automagically "humane", but if the farms are local you can talk with the farmer, and possibly visit the farms. You can also ask regional questions, like how the animals are rotated around the ranchland and how they protect streams and wetlands: if you ask with genuine curiosity you often get interesting and thoughtful answers.  I've also walked through the "processor" facility our ranchers use, to see for myself that they're causing the animals the least amount of pain and suffering (given that's where the animals are killed) and also that the working conditions for the 5 or so people in the room seem reasonable.

D&S, I've watched you derail other conversations (over in the OT section) apparently for the sake of starting an argument. Please don't do that here: I can't quite decide if your question is a beginning to a thread-ending line of hostile "questioning", and if it's not I apologize.

Lol what?  All discussions seem to be doing just fine over there.

It was a genuine question.  How do you draw the distinction of the practices used by "factory farming" vs. local farmers?

Do the 3 components from OP for refusing factory farmed meat still apply to local farmers?

Quote
1. The destruction of the environment;
2. The destruction of the efficacy of vital antibiotics necessary for human medical treatment; and
3. The routine, daily, hourly torture and suffering of animals on a grand scale.

1. Does the care taking of the animals still contribute more CO2 emissions than if the land was used to farm vegetables/grains/fruit?  Yes.  Does the end product still end up using more water? Yes.  The only savings here that I see are on food transportation costs (not shipping the meat around the country/globe) and perhaps depending on the farm, soil enrichment/preservation (if they do a crop rotation instead of solely growing "feed" for the animals which often destroys the nutrients in the soil).

2. I know a lot less about this, but is the "destruction of the efficacy of vital antibiotics" solely limited to factory farmed meats?  I honestly don't know about.

3. Are we ok if "routine, daily, hourly torture and suffering of animals on a grand scale" is instead limited to only part of the animal's life?  Or what if it's on a "small" scale instead of a grand one?  This also goes back to my original question - how are these local farms "humane?"  As of 2011, "The majority of meat production is now completely dominated by factory farms: 95% of pigs, 78% of cattle and 99.9% of chickens to be precise."  It has likely only increased in the last 7 years - https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/factory-farms-continue-dominate-us-livestock-industry

With those numbers, it's probably very difficult to even find a local farm utilizing these more "humane" practices, no?

If you want to learn more, I would suggest starting by reading Eating Meat, the book I referenced in the initial post.  I'm also not clear on whether you are genuinely interested in the answers to the questions you pose, so rather than launch into it, I would just suggest that there are plenty of resources online and at your local library. 

I think everyone on this thread is trying in their own way to make the world a better place.  That should be commended. 

If you are just looking to justify continuing to eat factory farmed meat, you don't need to respond to this thread to do that -- you can just go about your life. If you are truly interested in understanding the grounds for the challenge, I encourage you to take the time to educate yourself.  There is, unfortunately, no paucity of information available on the adverse impacts of factory farming and the genetically modified animals that are grown in them.

For everyone else, thank you for joining or supporting the challenge.