I enjoy a good piece of meat. There, I said it.
It feels like an admission of some kind. Perhaps because there's two opposing images that pop into my head when I think about today's "typical" consumer. On one side there's the blood thirsty carnivores, absentmindedly consuming mass amounts of meat with little regard for animal welfare, the environment or how such consumption can impact their overall health (I mean, we've all seen the horrifying food documentaries). And in stark contrast stands the ever-opinionated, hyper conscious vegan who has a golden hue shining around them at all times.
I do not fall into either category and I imagine that many of you don't either. We are the ever growing center of these two opposing groups. We are the Conscious Carnivores. We are the people who are very aware of what's on our plate and who care about a couple of key things when it comes to food and meat, in particular.
The conscious carnivore cares about animal welfare:
The Conscious Carnivore sources meat from farms that have a high regard for animal welfare; from birth to market the animal's life is respected. This includes things like having freedom of natural expression, pasture access opposed to four walls of a barn, and limited transportation time from the farm to the abattoir.
The conscious carnivore looks to support local farms and ranches, but only if these sources maintain ethical farming practices. For instance, if your meat comes from a local farm that has bad living conditions for their animals, would you still buy from them? Probably not. The conscious carnivore cares about animal welfare, first and foremost.
The conscious carnivore cares about sustainability:
Conscious carnivores understand that the conventional way in which we produce and consume meat is not sustainable. Farming the land can be environmentally intensive and it isn't sustainable to feed the planet with animal protein this way. The conscious carnivore looks for meat from sustainable sources, like small-scale farms that use environmentally friendly farming practices. This includes farms that use pasture management and rotational grazing, so that the animals can sequester carbon in the soil, farms that limit the use of machinery, and/or farms that source their animal feed from regenerative sources, such as grass.
The conscious carnivore knows what they're paying for:
A conscious carnivore understands that producing meat in an ethical and sustainable way comes at a greater cost to the farmer, and those costs are pushed forward to you and me as the consumer. If this lines up with your values and budget, the conscious carnivore will choose the ethical and sustainable option.
This is by no means an exclusive or exhaustive definition of what it means to be a conscious carnivore. If there's more conscious carnivores out there, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!
Team Meatme & Conscious Carnivore