Eating Meat that Matters – The Italian Slaughterhouse

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.


Pigs Are Out!

And so, as we sat down with the owners of Spannocchia in the Villa for dinner the phone rang. It was the garden coordinator who lived on the property, next to our house. Word came from the kitchen ‘the pigs are out’.

cinta sinese out

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1 Week, 7 buses, 2 boats, 1228km, 6 people – The Tourest Route of Guatemala

And so, after living and studying in Xela for 3 weeks we departed one Saturday morning, destined to meet 2 friends flying in to join us for a week of travel along the tourist route. We’d encounter honeymooning Israelis, inappropriately dressed Australians and paranoid as shit Americans. What follows is my attempt at a guide, how we did it, and approximately how much I spent. So if you are considering a whirlwind trip through Guatemala, here is one option.

1 week in guatemala tourist planning

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Welcome Back!

Collage of Italy, Spain

Sometimes you need to step back and let the experience happen. You can’t pause to reflect midway through, you can’t stop and try and write about how meaningful an experience is if it’s still going on. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for the past 4 1/2 months – hence the neglect of this little corner of the internet.

But fear not! The Grumpy Hiker is back! And I promise to do my best to get back on track with my ‘new posts every monday’ plan. In fact, I’ve already got quite a few planned out. In the coming weeks I’m planning on rambling on about:

  • The Conclusion of my trip to Guatemala in January, including our last week which we spent as tourists, a budget! and some awesome pictures.
  • 3 Posts from Italy
    • What the hell I did as an Animale Intern at Spannocchia.
    • Why I no longer eat meat.
    • How 7 new family members changed my relationship with food forever.
  • A post or two from the Camino del Norte

You’ll also see some changes around here, probably a lot more talk about food and such as my current location, Cleveland, OH leaves something to be desired in thew way of outdoor adventure. Thanks for sticking with me over the absence, and stay tuned!



A little music for ya as I depart for Italy.