Monday, September 24, 2007
So I ate meat today. I've been kind of torn about whether or not I'm going to eat meat while I'm here. I was invited to eat dinner with the family that I am living with. Florence knows that I am vegetarian, but she explained some things about Swiss agriculture to me. I had explained to her son before that the most significant reason that I don't eat meat is my distaste for the United States industrialized agricultural system. The system is different here in Switzerland though. It's not the monoculture that it is in the United States, and the role of animals in agriculture is very different. There are no feedlots, and eggs are very expensive, which leads me to believe that poultry production is very different as well. For the most part, if not entirely, animals are free-range. Also, the packaging of meat products is more strict. Each package has to be labeled with the place the animal was raised, what it was fed, and how old it was when it was slaughtered. This makes it much easier to know where the food you are eating is coming from. I think I am more OK with meat if I know, and approve of where it comes from. I'm still trying to figure things out though. If I continue to eat meat here though, I think I will limit my intake for the sake of reducing my environmental footprint, because even free range chickens use more resources than plants.