I’m an animal lover and have flirted with vegetarianism a number of times. I rarely crave meat, when I do it’s almost always bacon. I still eat it because I have a lot of trouble keeping my b12 levels up and don’t get enough iron without it either. I also believe that meat can be part of a very healthy diet. However, I would still say I’m a flexitarian.
“Semi-vegetarianism is a term used to describe diets that are vegetarian-based with the inclusion of occasional meat products. The term has no precise or widely accepted definition, but it usually denotes the following of a mainly vegetarian diet whilst eating meat occasionally. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with flexitarianism.”- Wikipedia
Being an animal lover and knowing how most meat is raised, I very rarely eat conventionally raised meat. Oklahoma isn’t a mecca of green living but we do have a lot of meat producers and many still use more traditional methods. Heritage is important to most Oklahomans and farming and ranching techniques are often passed down from generation to generation. This is one time where the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude is very helpful. This means I have a pretty good selection of naturally and humanely raised meats. There is a great store I go to that has very high standards for all meat they sell and they focus on locally raised options and know the people who raised the meat.
To give you an example of the meat we eat each month, I will share what I bought this month, I did still have a pound of bison, a pound of chicken tenders, some cod, and a package of bacon in the freezer. I bought three pounds of local bison, one pound of local elk (something new to try), one grass-fed, local and certified organic beef sirloin, one pound of local chicken, 1/4 of a pound of sliced Applegate Farm’s chicken breast, and half a pound of sliced Applegate Farm’s salami. Some will likely be left at the end of the month but I shop over an hour away so I make sure we won’t run out if we have guests or something. We also bought more bison than normal because we have been grilling and while most meals I make with bison only use a 1/4 of a pound, I end up using almost the whole pound when we grill. Also, all of this is for three people.
Now this meat is more expensive, the chicken is around $7 a pound, the bison is almost $10 a pound and the elk was almost $12, but we feel it’s worth it. I want to know what’s going into my body and that the animals were raised as humanely as possible. Another advantage to eating locally raised meat is that you support your local economy and it gives you better food security. The closer your food sources are to you, the less you will be effected by major disasters, which due to climate change are becoming more common. With our food system relying so heavily on a lot of transportation, it’s easy for it to break down.
Getting to know your farmers and ranchers can help you be sure that you are getting high quality food. I happen to even be Facebook friends with the family that raises the beef we buy, my husband LOVES the beef jerky they make and I bought the sirloin from them this month, it looks wonderful. Knowing the producers can also help save you money, certified organic products are often more expensive due to the expense to become certified and many producers use standards that are even higher than organic standards but haven’t gone through the pain or expense of certification. Talk to them and ask questions about how their food is produce, many will even offer tours of their farms.
I would love to hear if you eat meat and if so what are your “rules”?