Voting With My Dollars: My Decision to Start Eating Meat Again

As I’ve expressed on here before, I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 2 years. I made my decision to stop eating meat in the midst of a Food Writing class I was taking. The class was designed to make the students examine and write about their relationships with food, and during that process we learned a lot about sustainable farming and the meat/dairy industry.

The horrors of factory farmed meat are endless. In addition to being unspeakably inhumane, it’s shocking to me that such low quality meat is even allowed in grocery stores.

I’m a big fan of voting with my dollars. In a country that’s essentially run by industry, I think the best way to demand change and to assert what the citizenship will allow is to spend our money discerningly.  When I find out a company or industry doesn’t gel with my values, I either stop buying from that industry altogether or I find a company within that industry that I’m comfortable supporting. I know that one little person’s money won’t necessarily take down a whole industry, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with myself if I let that be an excuse.

I think that meat, particularly white meat, is great as a supplement to plant-based diets. In the past I’ve always said that if I had the means to purchase meat from small, sustainable, humane farms, I would be happy to eat it. Until recently, I was never able to do that. But now that I have an regular income, I’ve decided to support those types of farms by adding back a little bit of white meat in my diet.

I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes, and I’m honestly really excited to have the flavor of chicken and turkey back in my life. Some vegetarians never crave meat after they swear it off, and some say that they only crave really decadent meat like filet mignon or thick cut bacon. I’ve never missed that fancy, indulgent stuff, but I have REALLY missed tender juicy chicken breasts and cracked pepper turkey sandwiches. Om. Nom. Nom.

On a similar note, I want to make a little statement about my opinion on the whole Chik-fil-A debacle that’s all over the press these days. I have always loved Chik-fil-A chicken, and now that I’m eating chicken again you would think that I would immediately hop back in line at the drive through.

First of all, I’m relatively anti drive throughs. Fast food is totally counter intuitive to my whole food philosophy, and I try to avoid it as much as possible. But more importantly, while I support the president of Chik-fil-A’s right to exercise free speech, I don’t align with the values of the company or the outspoken way they’ve been asserted. So if in the future I’m in a situation where I have to get fast food, I’m going to choose to spend my money at an establishment I feel morally comfortable supporting.

For those of you who are with me on that, but painfully sad to relinquish the perfect combo of sweet and savory that is Chik-fil-A chicken…

 

I think everyone votes with their dollars in some way. For instance, my dad thinks Susan Sarandon is a nutcase, so he refuses to see her movies. Alex’s mom found out some sketchy stuff about Hershey’s cocoa harvesting process, so she’s thinking about not eating her favorite candy anymore. And I remember not being allowed to wear clothing from Abercrombie & Fitch when I was little because my mom thought the advertisements were indecent.

How do you vote with your dollars?

 

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