I’m a happy vegetarian but I don’t begrudge other people the right to eat meat. After all, I do believe that different bodies thrive on different diets, and I have many friends who hate the thought of slaughter, but literally become ill if they don’t eat occasional meat.
I propose, then, compassionate meat. Whole Foods has already set high industry standards for ensuring that the animals are not only raised chemical-free, but with a reasonably high quality of life. These animals are given more care, space and hygiene than in your typical factory farm.
Why should this matter? Because all stress, pain and fear become part of the animal’s flesh (just as our own stress creates tense muscles or sets the stage for illness in our bodies). And whatever our personal belief systems, we can all appreciate that inflicting willful pain is just wrong. There are ways to painlessly slaughter animals while showing them respect and gratitude for the nourishment they will give, and there’s absolutely no excuse to put animals in a state of utter fear and trauma in their final moments of life. It is just not necessary.
If you’re a meat eater, then I humbly ask that you become more aware of inhumane factory farm practices and choose to support the compassionate alternative. And please spread the word, because creating more stress and pain on the planet – especially that of the helpless animals in our care – is neither sustainable nor healthy for anyone.