Ethical Omnivores

So apparently us compassionate foodie types have been assigned a label. We are known as “ethical omnivores”. I haven’t decided yet whether I like this or not. One one hand, it seems like just another attempt to homogenise a group of people with diverse opinions so that they can be categorised, and hence marketed to. On the other hand, if I believe in the principles of ethical omnivorism, perhaps having it well defined will make it easier for others to get involved.

There are various definitions around, but I’d like to present my own, beginning with what we’re not: ethical omnivores are not failed vegetarians trying to appease their guilty consciences. Most of us believe the best way to make a difference to the welfare of animals is to support those farms who are treating animals with compassion and respect. If you’re of the more fundamentalist view that it is inherently evil to kill animals, you’re never going to accept this philosophy; but those who are vegetarian simply because they feel they can’t source meat which is produced ethically, could perhaps try a little harder.

I quite like the fact that the term ethical omnivore doesn’t just relate to meat. Quoting from an article on the subject, “An ethical omnivore may be just as concerned about the production of the bread he or she eats as the meat inside the bread.” http://animalrights.suite101.com/article.cfm/what-is-an-ethical-omnivore Having seen cereal production close up, I’m just as concerned with finding cruelty free and environmentally responsible grain farmers as I am in finding ethical meat.

From what I can gather, the label is here to stay, it seems to have been around for a while, so I’d best get used to it.

3 comments to Ethical Omnivores

  • LA

    It really is amazing how our perception of how things are supposed to look and taste has been warped over time by the rise of our culture of convenience. I’m not specifically talking about meat production, although we have been trained by supermarkets to think that deep red coloured beef isn’t really optimal.

    I’m not an expert on this and I’m curious what it is that makes the beef darker or lighter?

    Hope you don’t mind…I’ve added this article to the Gorgeous Things blog – I think there’s a lot of women who read our blog that will enjoy your thoughts.

  • Hi LA,

    Grass fed beef is typically a little darker in colour than grain fed, although the big difference is in the colour of the fat, which is yellower for grass fed beef and very white in grain fed animals. The darkness of the meat shouldn’t be confused with what’s known as “dark cutting beef”, which comes from a stressed animal. This meat is very dark and almost jelly-like in appearance.

    There’s a lot of information on the subject of grass fed meat at:
    including a lot of info on health aspects of feedlot beef vs grass fed.

  • Completely agree. Although I don’t think that is the end of the tale. Visit beef online. Can’t wait to see more. Kudos. Loved the post. I wish there was more to read.

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