I cried. It’s true. It’s difficult not to when something warm, fuzzy, and cute you have raised and cared for is about to meet its end in order to become dinner for your table. But then the reality sets in of this is the moment you have prepared yourself for, and this is what really happens when you eat meat. Animals die. Most of us never have to deal with or even think about the dirty side of eating flesh. I myself was a vegetarian for 8 years. My selective diet was not based on a bias against eating meat. My meal plans were based more on a desire to not be a part of the mass factory producing (not to mention hormone, antibiotic method) meat system. I do believe there is a massive difference between the way most Americans (and other countries) produce and consume meat and the way in which a small farm or self-sustaining family does. Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are. When we consume meat mindlessly, without thought to the creature to which we are ingesting, it trickles into our very being. We become mindless, tortured beings as those factory farmed typically are. When you have a relationship with the meat you eat, the consumption takes on a very different meaning, and I would argue a reverence. I am raising rabbits for my own meat. They are easy to produce, grow quickly
to harvest, and are a delicious, nutritious source of meat. But eating them comes with a price. It means killing and letting go of something I have loved. But loved and cared for them I have, so when I read a declaration like that of Brillat-Savarin, I know that what I eat is love. And by that token, that’s what I am too.