Advertisement

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

cows, vegetarianism & tangled ethics ~

America has a love affair w/ meat. We eat — literally — tons of it a day. About 1/2 pound per capita. Considering how many of my friends are vegetarians and vegans, that means someone is eating a LOT more.

I have a conflicted relationship w/ meat. I like a good prime rib as much as most Okies — more than many :). But I also don’t like cruelty. And I’ve heard, too, the argument that meat takes more resources. Which is true, but only if you raise meat the factory farming way.

Advertisement

I try to buy local meat — from Okie farmers, who raise their animals on real farms. Not ‘grow’ their meat on factory farms <shudder>. And while driving back from vacation the other day, winding through miles and miles of what Okies tend to call cattle ‘ranches,’ not farms, I had this epiphany: beef is about the only thing you can raise on a lot of Okie land. Unless you irrigate, which has its own environmental impact. Cattle are the logical way to turn dry pasture into food. IF you don’t use corn to feed them up, and don’t run so many you have to buy winter silage. Run what you can feed on your own land, and they’re a relatively reasonable energy conversion mechanism :).

Advertisement

And cattle are a renewable resource, if you think about it. But yes, they’re sentient. However, new research says the same thing (on a lesser scale, of course) about plants. Sagebrush, to be exact. They warn their relatives about danger. Seems to me that means a couple of important things: they know danger. They don’t like it. They feel a kind of ‘fear’ and communicate that.

So to me, who will no longer eat poor piggies (see the earlier guilt-ridden post), there’s a bit of solace in the idea that cattle may, in reasonable quantities, be okay to eat. I was feeling a bit guilty about the GREAT prime rib I had on vacation :). But thinking about the dry Oklahoma pasture, and the 10-day forecast of 100˚+ weather (and no rain), I’m remembering the miles of pasture and thinking about the uses of cattle.

Advertisement

This is prairie country, where bovines (buffalo) roamed the tall grass prairie for millenia. Cattle aren’t a lot different, if you think about it. So I probably won’t stop eating beef — at least not completely :). And I’m letting go of the guilt for the prime rib on vacation. But I think I’ll be eating less meat in general. And trying to give thanks for the deaths that sustain my life. Even the corn & tomatoes I hope to buy at tomorrow’s market :).

 

Previous Posts

grumpy days
In case you're wondering? I have no magic cure for grouchy days. Those days when every chore you have to do looms like Everest, and even the things ...

posted 2:51:19pm Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

secrets, closets, and religious judgment
I have a dear friend who is, almost certainly, gay. We never discuss this -- sexual behaviour isn't a normal topic of conversation in most friendships! I worry that my friend has no partner, that my friend's church and community are adamantly ...

posted 2:02:52pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

a surefire cure for the blues
Carrots?? Carrots cure the blues?? Welllll, not exactly... But a trip to the Farmer's Market, a cast iron skillet, and an hour+ of prep time will. For sure. ...

posted 5:29:43pm Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

home again, home again...or, the quilt vs bad fondue
So after two afternoons of rental cars, two days of airplanes, and a packed day of looking at a house, we're home. And boy -- home seldom looked so ...

posted 9:58:02pm Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

transplanting
Today, as I listened to the housing inspector recite the (very small) flaws our new house has, I thought about change. About moving, about uprooting, about ...

posted 4:43:04pm Jun. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.