I read the book with this title by Michael Pollan back in maybe 2008. It certainly contributed to my desire to get closer to my food. I highly recommend the book if you really want to dive into what goes into producing what you eat.
We had our steer 'Junior' butchered a few weeks ago. People often ask me - how can you eat an animal you know? My question is - how can you eat an animal you DON'T know?
A decade ago, I began to learn about the plight of animals on factory farms. I was disgusted, sad, confused....I became vegetarian. But after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma - I realized that although I wasn't contributing to animal cruelty, I was participating in massive carbon emissions, pesticide application and erosion. What to do?
I am also chronically anemic and my doctor advised me to EAT SOME MEAT.
So, I made a decision. I only want to eat meat that I am sure didn't suffer. I know my meat personally. I care for those animals, make sure they are fed and loved and never feel fear or pain - at least to the extent that I can control it. I respect these beings and I appreciate their ability to sustain my body. It is an awesome responsibility and honor to know these creatures.
It is my goal to give my animals the best possible life. Free from fear, pain, hunger, or illness. In return, they give me sustenance. It's a wonderful relationship.
I know that I am fortunate to have the ability to raise my own meat. Not everyone has that. But everyone can contribute to morally responsible farming by buying only humanely raised meat. It's expensive, yes, but what is the life of an animal worth?