Almost exactly four years ago to this day, I stopped eating meat.
I did this primarily for reasons including ethics and ‘sustainability’, as large scale meat production chews through enormous amounts of water, land and other resources.
This blog post is my explanation (not a justification) of why I am now eating meat again (albeit, in small portions).
My main motivation in becoming vegetarian was in not knowing where my food comes from and how it was farmed. This coincided with my journey into permaculture and desire to grow and source most of my food locally.
Although we have chooks and a small but productive vegie garden, I found that I was still buying a fair amount of food in order to gain a well balanced diet.
I now (through research and consultation with others) realise that it is more ethical, healthy and ‘sustainable’ to eat food (including meat) that is hunted, foraged or farmed locally than to supplement my diet with manufactured soy products or faux meat which is almost always grown in monocrops halfway across the world.
In addition to this, it takes a considerably larger amount of time and space to grow crops of legumes and other sources of iron and protein, than it does to hunt a wild deer or kangaroo which will feed an entire family for weeks or months.
So over the last few weeks I have decided to slowly start to reintroduce small amounts of meat back into my diet. This isn’t to say that I intend to eat meat every day, or even once a week; only that I am open to eating meat if I know that it has either been hunted, fished or foraged by my fiancé (who has a beautiful connection to the land and the animals he hunts) or is farmed / raised locally and ethically by people who we have a personal affiliation with.
I am confident that this choice will allow me to buy less food from unknown sources, maintain a healthy diet and be less reliant on large scale agricultural systems.
In saying this, I fully respect those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan as well as those who chose to eat meat and dairy. All I ask is that you take the time to consider where your food comes from as well as its impact on the earths carrying capacity, your personal health and the wellbeing of the animals involved.
“This magical, marvellous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal.” – Joel Salatin