Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Making choices

It started with a deer…and a chicken.

I had started down the slippery slope from decade-long vegetarian to semi-regular meat eater.

I gave up Beef-A-Roo sandwiches and all things meat sometime in high school. While it was a hassle then, especially for my family, it quickly became a way of life. In northern Minnesota I was offered a lot of salads when I told folks I didn't eat meat. But, living with two other vegetarians made life a lot easier. I fit right in when it came time for four years in an extremely veggie-friendly college community. That's where I got my first exposure to local foods- specifically local meat. Our college had a room dedicated to cleaning wild game for Pete's sake!

That college community is also where I met Farmer John. He introduced me to venison. After a trip home for hunting season (aka Thanksgiving) he came back with his bounty and cooked up some venison fajitas. The meat was organic, humanely raised, humanely killed and well…tasty. But, that was that, one meaty meal -not a change in lifestyle

Then we moved to the farm and got ourselves some chickens. We also got ourselves a Husky, who was prone to killing chickens. When your neighbors give you a sack of garden-fresh tomatoes and squash – you eat it, right? Well, when our dog gave us a fresh-killed chicken, we ate it.

Since then I’ve had to make choices about what I eat. I continue to stick to a primarily vegetarian diet, especially when not on the farm. However, when I know where and how the animal was raised, or the farmer that raised it, I’ll happily dig in.

Recently one of those big “shaggy coos” in the backyard became dinner. At first, this was just weird – knowing exactly which cow I was eating. Now I feel better about it. Our cows have a purpose, and they live a very good life in preparation of serving the purpose – feeding us and our customers. Instead of feeling weird each time I sit down for a beef-based dinner I feel satisfied. There is an huge sense of satisfaction at eating anything we've raised - whether it's broccoli or brisket. I'm proud of the hard work that went into getting dinner to the table, and I'm going to enjoy it. 


  1. In last Sunday's NYT magazine, a "contest" proposed writing a 600 word explanation of how it is ethical to eat meat. I believe you just wrote it!

  2. question of clarification if i may: when the dog presented you the catch, what was the process of certification to determine whether humane killing procedures were properly, ehem, executed?

  3. I have wondered how it happened. You were the first "All Vegan" in our family and it was interesting to listen in on planning family meals. No one wanted to offend you by our family history of good tucker meaning meat and potatoes. I applaud your spirit and your following your higher sense of right Mollie! And by writing these posts, you are allowing others to see into a thinking process/living process and style that they may not have otherwise had a chance to discover for themselves.

  4. Patrik- You are correct, perhaps it wasn't humane, but I can assure you it was quick. Also, we didn't feel too bad for the chicken. It was back when they had free range of the yard, and rather than stay away from the dog that looks like a wolf, this chicken ran right towards it. They are not the smartest of birds.

  5. then it was a suicide. free to eat.


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