A quick note, this post contains images and video from inside the slaughterhouse. It’s also long. I’ve tried to find a balance between the emotional challenges I encountered and readers interest. Let me know how I did.
When I meet people now around meals and they ask me if I’m a vegetarian I inform them I only eat meat that matters. To claim I’m a vegetarian doesn’t really respect my views and lets the questioner off to easily. They can inquire further if they want, or let it stand. If they ask, I’m happy to explain that I only eat meat that is high quality, raised by someone that I preferably know, or who grew the animals close to where I live. They should be free range, organic, and happy. My only exception is the cultural exception. Invited into a Spaniards home while hiking the Camino de Santiago and served meat? Awesome! Dig in and experience the culture, learn, share, enjoy.
But in my everyday meals, and my american privilege, the type of meat I would want to eat is expensive. Good. I can only eat it rarely and I think thats better not only for my health, but the environment, and the farmers this way.
The impetus for this lifestyle? The Italian Slaughter house and watching pigs I raised die.