Happy Mindful Meat Mondays everyone. This Monday is a special one because it has brought our community together in a way that shows how united we can be against all odds. The farm we spotlight came under a relentless attack by the vegan community and we came to lend our support and in turn were attacked for days. So I ask that if you are reading this you share it far and wide.
Mindful Meat Mondays was inspired by the folks at Meatless Monday because we EOMers believe there needs to be options AND education out there for people that are either former vegans/vegetarians or that will never consider being either of those but are conscientious about every thing they put in their mouth and therefore what we like to call.. ETHICAL OMNIVORES!
I have been criticized for choosing the same day of the week as “Meatless Mondays”… told it was “RUDE” in fact. I have been told the posters are too macabre (live animal next to its cooked counterpart.. are we really that delicate?) I have been told that meat isn’t really good for us. I have been told that people don’t have time to make it here every Monday or that they simply forget. The one that really gets me is.. I can’t share Mindful Meat Mondays blogs because I have too many vegan/vegetarian friends it will piss off! I have been told it all! Possibly if I tell you about its inception you will help me make this campaign into the vision I had for it the day the idea struck me.
It all started over a heart shaped meme that was titled “Meatless Mondays” and within the heart was all the evils of meat eating.. causes heart disease, diabetes (really diabetes??) cancer, live longer without, be a better person (I made that up but it was implied) global environmental collapse and I can’t quite remember but pretty sure it will bring on the zombie Apocalypse. I will keep names out of this next bit to protect the “innocent??” Seeing this poster was the last straw for me and when it was posted by a page that does something somewhat similar to us I lost my cool and went to them and said “As you know I have many meatless days (a throw back from my yoga career) and as you also know I honor those that choose not to eat meat completely or in part but you cannot possibly believe that natural, pasture raised meat raised by the ranchers that you claim to endorse is the villain that this poster you posted depicts? The answer to my utter shock and amazement was an unequivocal “YES” That they believed in the reverse “They honored those who chose to eat ethical meat.. BUT.. even that meat was a harmful to human health and the environment” I will admit the interaction did not go well from there and I do have some regrets to this day about that. However.. the page in question is run by a vegan/omnivore team and in this instance the vegan bias shone brightly and I could not hold my temper any longer. Our page and theirs consequently at the time had been hit heavily with vegan hate so I was hyper sensitive to any more of it..or the ignorance and flawed information that accompanied it.. especially from a page I viewed as an ally. My final statement to them was this. “How can you possibly say that you do farm advocacy when with your actions are saying that you would never spend a dollar of your food money on their product and not only that but claim that that product causes HARM?” And that very day Mindful Meat Mondays was born.
Don’t believe me? Here it is straight from the mouths of Meatless Monday (through Sunday) folks. Manifesto. Now tell me where the big picture education and choices are there?
Several other things happened around the same time. Meatless Mondays gets political in my area. My home at the time of Vancouver announced it was embracing Meatless Mondays and even gave it a day, June 10th! Now don’t get me wrong.. I am all for vegetarian days, I have many of them myself but that is my CHOICE, it is not something forced upon me. I especially have issue with this enforced with demographics like children and seniors with little voice and who in fact need proper nutrition, especially protein sources.
There was a beacon of light at the end of this tunnel as Omnivore Foodies and Farmers join forces at a local, ethical butcher shop to protest the Meatless Mondays decree as the end result was meat sales soaring. 🙂
All these things combined led me to formulating and creating Mindful Meat Mondays where I believe a more real world option is available. Where science and ethics can meet and small farms and ranches can and need to be supported before we no longer have this option available to us. Where human omnivoric health can be proudly supported and where a community called Ethical Omnivore Movement can have a launch pad to make a difference in human health, animal welfare and environmental sustainability.
Here is my personal statement on Mindful Meat Mondays and Mindful Meat period and some responses you can give when defending EOM – Ethical Omnivore Movement and Mindful Meat Mondays: Who cares what your vegetarian friends say. If they are ACTUAL friends worth a damn they would support your ethical choices and see our movement’s huge value. You are promoting ETHICAL meat and the ethical farmers producing it along with the huge voice that is Ethical Chef’s preparing it and sharing amongst the masses. THAT is what MINDFUL meat Monday is about. We are not about MEATY mindless Monday. Bit of a difference. Do I think we can and should eat less meat? NO not of the right kind.. many do not in fact get enough protein. Should we eat less factory farmed meat? YES we should, We should strive to eat NO factory farmed meat..ever. When eating meat that we revere we never over indulge. We can’t afford it and we are mindful when we eat it so this rarely happens. There are not “all you can eat” free range chicken wings in bars are there? Or grass fed beef in smorgasbords are there? NO! The notion is ludicrous… so there is no need to cut back on mindful meat. Plus the struggling ethical ranchers need our loyalty and consistent support.
I think it is UNETHICAL to tell folks that meat is bad for you…that ethical farmers are harming their animals and the environment and that the alternative food options like health and land annihilating crops of soy, grain and corn are GOOD for you. I chose Monday deliberately to counteract the propaganda being spread by the Meatless Monday people. It is also becoming political where demographics like children and elderly people are having the choice made FOR them to take meat out of their facilities on Monday. It also is no secret that they are pushing for no meat EVERYDAY! So I think that duplicitous agenda is unethical if you ask me. I personally have many days where I do not eat flesh but I will NOT have it dictated to me by a vegan propaganda machine that is out to vilify all meat and meat eaters and that can’t distinguish… WON’T distinguish between the wonderful farmers and rancher struggling to swim upstream against the factory farm machine and cruel, toxic meat that comes from them.
What else Mindful Meat Mondays is is education. Far more than I can say about Meatless Mondays that stop their education at poor science, propaganda and just DON’T EAT MEAT! Whew! activism DONE.
This is not an easy task we have here in the middle of the factory farm paradigm and the unrealistic vegan utopia pushers. We need all PROUD and SUPPORTIVE Ethical Omnivoric hands on deck. So I hope this very long explanation helped somewhat. I also hope that this brings you in search of our weekly Mindful Meat Mondays installments and that you might thank and like the hardworking ranch/farm/homestead that is spotlighted and the Ethical Chef who donates their time and recipe for the occasion.
I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly by George Monbiot And here is a link to buy the fantastic book Meat: A Benign Extravagance
More for your reading pleasure by one of my favorite bloggers. Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables!:
You really can’t have a talk about veganism without the China Study thrown at you. This bit of fools gold has been debunked so well and so often it almost doesn’t bear mentioning.. but we will 🙂 May “The China Study” rest in pieces: Our very own compilation of destruction
A few words from a few in our community:
There are a number of FB pages I admire, but from time to time they stray into the contentious issue of dietary preference and promote one dietary doctrine over another. In my view, this is a massive distraction and diversionary tactic to drive a wedge among all of us working to create a better world. We can do better!! What follows is my response to a page I admire, but has started promoting their specific dietary desire for the world. [note: I have done significant further editing to it]
Veganism was not possible until the late 20th early 21st century. Please try to sell this dietary choice to the Inuit, Saami or other indigenous peoples who have practised hunting and gathering for thousands of years where agriculture, as it is commonly practised, is not a viable option. Veganism is actually indicative of the massive disconnect between us and the processes under which the Earth operates: the cycles of LIFE – birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration. Case in point, it has primarily been embraced by an affluent urban populace. Industrial agriculture and its commodity foods – all vegan foods: corn, wheat, rice, and canola, and especially corn, ALL contribute to massive CO2 emissions and and to the nutrient overload in waterways and rivers which leads to dead zones in oceans and eutrophication in lakes. There is ENOUGH for all. There is not enough for GREED and egregious consumption.
Each person must make their own thoughtful, well-considered and, hopefully, ethical choice **for themself**. For some, this means eating far less meat than those in developed western societies. That is a start. Congratulations! For others, it means eating less meat and also switching from factory farmed, confined animal feeding operation (which force feed GMO grain to the animals) products, to meat from farms which ethically and humanely raise their livestock and practice rotational grazing, powered by the sun, which nourishes and builds soil and pulls carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in the soil. For others it means eating no meat, or eating no animal/insect products whatsoever.
Each person honours the earth in her own way. We need more of this thoughtful, carefully considered approach to diet and how our diets connect to larger issues of the multitudinous negative changes occurring now to our ecosystems, our environment, and to our one precious planet and only home: Gaia.
Most importantly, We AGREE on FAR MORE than on what we disagree. Fighting over food choices DISTRACTS US from focusing on the real villains: Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and other corporations working to take over our food choices and to monopolize the global food supply. They are the ones ALL OF US should be working together to put out of business.
Love 98% of what you post, but please, let’s not **drive wedges** between ALL OF US WORKING TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD.
TOGETHER WE CAN!!
For anyone sincere about understanding sustainable agriculture it becomes obvious that biomimicry is the most effective approach. Ecological processes that facilitate and perpetuate solar energy flow involve and depend on the interplay between plant and animal life. Without the plants animals can’t be and vice versa, without animals plants can’t be, they are part and parcel of mother natures system. Farmers have been producing their crops off the nutrients built up in the sod by herbivores for a mere drop in the proverbial bucket of time. Very lately they have been producing off borrowed petrochemical time. 20 years ago I had the opportunity to visit with an organic farmer in southeast Saskatchewan. He was one of the very first certified organic farmers in Canada. He was certified in the mid 70,s. He invited me into his office in his little mill where he produced his organic flours. The office walls held many bookshelves, the bookshelves held years and years of soil sample results. He was very passionate to tell the story told in the soil samples…… his life’s work. As with any conscientious farmer maintaining soil health was his primary concern. The conclusion he had gleaned from his vast collection of soil samples was that maintaining his soil fertility was futile regardless of cropping rotations and organic approved amendments, to him it was clear that his land had to be planted back to sod forming grasses and have ruminants reintroduced. Mother nature arrived at grasslands and herbivores for sustained solar energy flow all on her own, to ignore her example is ecological folly.
It is easy to formulate a perception of the way things ought to be, especially when that perception eases our personal anxiety concerning death. The majority now live a concrete and asphalt sheltered existence where the stark reality of life eating life is easily denied. I understand the appeal of an imagined reality in which people take over from mother nature and edit out the gory bits, a more humane, sanitized, soothing reality, yet in the end denial will not negate and or extract us from the biological reality of our existence.
A meatless dietary preference as a personal choice is perfectly fine, but to extrapolate that personal preference in advocacy against animal grassland agriculture is activism that undermines mother nature and her ability to sustain us.
Agriculture in general has become virtually an unseen essential service by way of diminishing awareness for the last 60 years or so. It use to be that not that long ago in western Canadian cities, that most people still had some family relation, an aunt or uncle or grandparents who still were on the land involved in agriculture. But that connection is now virtually lost. Even though the vast countryside that fills the space between urban centers has not gone anywhere physically is has basically disappeared from the consciousness of the majority, 97%, of people who populate our country. It is no longer present as a topic in the modern fabric of society, even though we all still eat that which it produces daily. Such a paradox that something as important as essential and intimate as food has attained an insignificance in terms of its production that is parallel to the insignificance of the horse to modern transportation. Maybe we shouldn’t care, but just maybe we should, because the environmental, nutritional and ethical impact of agriculture is incredibly substantial. Take time to get to know a rancher or farmer and learn how your food is produced and do your best to support those in agriculture who are behaving in a conscientiousness manner towards the land, the animals and the nutritional value of the food they produce. It will make a real difference to the animals the environment and your health!
Here is what Tyler Boggs has to say for his family and farm:
At Heart 2 Heart Farms, we support & encourage a natural, heritage, sustainable way of life. We believe in providing for everyone, without judgment or bias, access to natural, pure, nutritious foods, and encouraging the entire community to join us in our crusade. Giving everyone a voice in determining what fruits, vegetables, and livestock are available locally, and more importantly, HOW they’re grown and raised, we have been able to create a thriving local network of experts who share knowledge, experience, and “trade secrets” openly to create a better world for all of us. So we will continue our mission, for as long as we are able…providing access for everyone in the community, regardless of income level, to a better way to live and eat. Heart 2 Heart Farms Empower the People, Heal the World By supporting us, you aren’t just supporting a small farm and joining the “buy local” movement-you’re supporting an idea that all food can be produced sustainably, without waste or damage to the environment, in a closed-loop system, where all energy is produced on-site using environmentally friendly, sustainable, and recycled products. You are supporting an example where all “waste” becomes the input in a new system, where all animals are treated with love and respect, and where the prevailing focus, design, and decision-making strategy is not “good for self” but rather good for planet, community, spirit, and soul. You are supporting a group where all activities and products increase energy, vitality, and well being-and anything not in alignment is discontinued. Your planet thanks you for your support. Your community thanks you for your support. We thank you for your support. Heart 2 Heart Farms
I also extremely happy to RE-introduce one of our fabulous EOM Chefs with a brand new and delicious recipe she has donated to our wonderful cause. Please welcome back Jennifer Eidahl of Paleo Dieting you can find her on her popular facebook page as well.