I have some cousins who are vegetarian so I thought I might try a 7 day vegetarian challenge. After thinking about it, I thought a vegetarian challenge might be too easy and started thinking about doing a 7 day vegan challenge.
Besides meat, dairy is also something that is extremely important to me. I may not eat meat every day, but I cannot go a day without some type of dairy. For example, I put cheese on everything.
I love to eat meat and dairy. I also love animals. Animal welfare is one of my biggest passions. I even volunteer at a cat hospice that has two pot belly pigs and a few goats. That doesn’t mean I can’t take care of them and then go home and have a bacon omelet with goat cheese.
I quickly realized that I did not have any reason to do a vegetarian or vegan diet challenge.
Everyone, regardless of whether or not they eat meat or dairy, should eat a balanced and healthy diet. You can find plenty of articles on how unhealthy eating meat is, but you can also find a lot of articles on how it is important and how humans function best eating both plants and meat. I’m not here to discuss the merits of one diet over another.
There are plenty of vegans and vegetarians who don’t eat meat because of what I mentioned above: animal welfare. That’s what I want to talk about. Besides being tasty, animal welfare is a reason I eat meat and dairy and I don’t feel bad about it.
I love the fact that I have local resources to learn about the meat and dairy products I eat. The creamery I buy my milk and some of my meat from is Animal Welfare Approved. The creamery allows the public to tour its facilities and ask questions.
Every part of raising animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens involves aspects that can be humane. The Animal Welfare Institute created the AWA program and its mission is to alleviate the suffering of all animals caused by humans. You can eat humanely and still eat meat and dairy and I encourage you to read more about it on the AWI website.
In closing, my challenge to you is to learn where your meat and dairy products come from. Understand that farmers do care about the animals. If there are farms in your area, talk to the farmers and get to know them. Educate yourself and I hope you will feel better about whatever foods you choose to eat or not eat. See the links below for a few of my favorite resources.
Do you have local options for meat and dairy in your area? Tell me about them!