Ethical meat?

10 Nov

362726171_2d60941394(Photo credit: Flickr member cordery licensed for use under Creative Commons)

I don’t buy meat that often, but I’ve been thinking more about it lately. I found out that I have low iron (which was surprising because I’ve had high enough iron to donate blood for the past couple years). Now I’m taking an iron supplement, but I think it might be good to incorporate more iron-rich food into my diet, especially meat. (Yes, I’m aware that you can get iron from vegetables as well, but non-heme iron – which is what’s found in vegetables – is less available for absorption than heme iron – found in animal sources.) I’m not planning on going meat crazy, but just trying to eat a little more of it.

As I’m thinking about meat again, I came across this post about where to buy ethical meat. (Adam lives in NYC, so his references don’t really apply to a lot of us, but the comments have some interesting links.)

I’m feeling conflicted about what to buy as I balance what I believe to be humane treatment of animals vs. how much I want to spend and how much effort I want to put into finding ethical meat.

Do you buy ethical meat or other products? Why or why not? If you do, where do you buy it?


2 Responses to “Ethical meat?”

  1. erniebufflo November 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    I recently committed to only buying ethical meat. Not just because of the treatment of animals, but because of the treatment of workers in meat processing plants. It’s very nearly slavery the way they bus in undocumented workers, keep them compliant by threatening to report them to INS, work them under unsafe conditions (I could tell you how many Mexican immigrants my dad has had to treat in the ERs in AR who work for Tyson and Purdue), pay them very very little, and give them no rights. It really really appalls me such that I can’t buy the meat anymore. Not to mention the environmental cost of CAFOs (feed lots) and slaughterhouses, in terms of waste and emissions.

    So far I have not had to buy any meat, as we’ve been mostly vegetarian, with only bacon (we can get “certified humane” bacon at the local grocery store) and organic free range chicken broth rounding out our meals. This Eat Well Guide is how I found a local butcher that sells sustainable/ethical meat, so you might check it out. Also, if podunk Charleston SC offers meat CSAs (weekly deliveries of meat from local farms), I’m sure hippie mecca Seattle has them. I’m betting that the amount of meat you need to eat weekly in order to get your iron requirement isn’t so much as to make it cost prohibitive if you went veggie on other days.

    Some searching on one of my favorite sites yielded info about 2 meat CSAs in the Seattle area.

    • cutecheapstuff November 11, 2009 at 2:17 am #

      Thanks for those links!
      And that’s a good point about treatment of workers.

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