Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I just finished Dakota, by Martha Grimes. I can't decide if I'm perfectly happy with it as a novel, or if it's too focused on its animal cruelty message to qualify as a full novel. Either way, it's making me think about becoming a vegetarian.
Am I serious about that? Apparently not entirely serious, because I fried chicken wings today. On the other hand, the book didn't address chickens; the food-animal scenes were about pigs. Pigs are supposed to be smart. Social. Intelligent, possibly more intelligent than dogs.
I would probably be happy enough to give up bacon in exchange for chicken skin, but that still returns me to the ethical issues--is it just plain wrong to eat meat? Is it OK to eat meat but wrong to eat the factory-farmed meat that's almost all you can get at the grocery? Sure, the labels claim that the chickens, for example, are "free-range", but as I understand it, all that means is that they were allowed to wander around in a crowded building rather than being kept in a tiny cage; the space-per-chicken isn't exactly generous, and they're not contentedly gazing up at a sunny sky.
I once went on a long Google search to find some sort of cruelty-free certification for meat, and a way to buy meat that qualified. At the time, I found a certification but failed to find a source for the meat, but that could have changed...
Hey. Wow. Yes, something has changed. Organic Smart Chicken is certified humanely raised? When did that happen? I am well and thoroughly surprised. I assumed that if I did find a source of humanely raised chicken, I'd have to pay a small fortune for it and quite likely mail-order it frozen. But, no, it's right down the street at the Co-Op and it's... well, it's not cheap, but it's not bad.
Wow. This is cool.
OK, ramble over. I'm going to go read up on precisely what "humanely raised" means.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.