To preface, I am not a vegetarian. In fact I have no intention of ever becoming a vegetarian. I simply love meat too much. I love the flavor, the texture, and the satisfying feeling of satiation that only a meat-filled meal can give. Meat has always been the central component in our family meals. Life would not be worth living without the Fourth of July Hamburger, Thanksgiving Turkey, or Christmas Ham. Or bacon for that matter.
Yet, despite all the reasons to love meat, I question why it is such a necessity in my life. Why does an animal need to loose its life, in order for my family to have a successful Thanksgiving? Maybe I have been reading too many books such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, but damn the life (and death) of a farmed animal sounds brutal. I can’t help but wonder what those animals must be feeling in those moments before death, whether they be killed in a humane or inhumane way. I do feel a certain connection to animals, and I’ve always had trouble separating that connection from the food on my plate. Then, I remind myself that eating meat is just part of the circle of life, and plus it’s delicious!
So I am left with, as Michael Pollan says, an “ominvore’s dilemma.” I can continue eating meat and wildly ignore the horrible way it got to my table. I can cut meat out of my diet and be slightly miserable forgoing things like sweet, smoky, crunchy, delicious bacon. Or, I can do what I am trying to do, only eat meat that I know has come from a humane, sustainable source. Though I feel that this is going to be very, very hard. I expect failure. But, I'm still going to try.
This choice brings some problems. I am a poor twenty-something recent college graduate, and I don’t quite have the money to eat grass-fed organic straight-from-the-farm kind of beef that I desire. Also, there is no way to guarantee that the meat I eat at restaurants follows my dietary choices. So, I have no choice but to eat more vegetables. But, a steak is not an even trade for a salad. How am I supposed to feel full on a meal of carrots and spring mix?
That’s why I’m here. To create recipes for other like-minded meat-lovers who might want to try an alternate diet. Recipes that are flavorful, satiating, and overall so good that you won’t miss the meat on your plate. But don’t expect meat to be missing from this blog, entirely. When I find some affordable sustainable humane meat (and the source can be guaranteed), I’ll put it on my plate and share how I did it.