Since I’ve become a farmer, I’ve learned so much about our food system. It has drastically changed the way our family eats. It’s changed us so much that I have become passionate about spreading word about why we raise animals the way we do at Maple View Farm, and I want to evangelize with the message about responsible meat eating. There are millions of family farmers out there raising small numbers of animals who feel the same way. Lucky for us, author Catherine Friend can be our voice. I don’t know why I only discovered this book now. I’ve read everything by Joel Salatin and Michael Pollan (and loved it all), but Friend speaks for me, as a farmer, in a way I haven’t yet heard. As I read her book, The Compassionate Carnivore, it’s like she took words right out of my mouth, sentiment out of my heart and added oodles and oodles of facts and research to back them up.
My favorite part is her discussion about how much meat is wasted. It was actually a hard chapter to read for someone who takes care of animals every single day of the year. To think that anything would be wasted makes me want to cry. Her amazing statistics will open eyes and make people more aware of the affect they have on our food system and all of these beautiful animals that are a part of it. The great news, as always—you have complete control to choose what you buy and therefore choose the kind of life you want the animals you eat to live—for your health and for theirs.
I’ve written about raising animals on a pasture-based system before, but Friend’s book makes the case black and white. Although it should come with a warning or perhaps a challenge—seek out farmers near you growing animals with sunshine, fresh air, and grass, and look those animals in the eyes and smile. Then head over to their Farm Store and buy some meat for dinner. Those animals will thank you for it.