Grass-fed meat and dairy products are all the rage these days. When I worked in a health-food store, people would constantly ask if our beef, milk, and even sometimes our chicken came from grass-fed animals. But is giving animals grain really all that bad, and what does grass-fed really mean? While people are very interested in this issue, most have little understanding of the many nuances within it. To truly understand, we must look beyond the marketing slogans and explore animal digestion, human history, and more.
It often amazes me how little most of us know about what is entailed in killing animals, and even more so, how little even well-versed Jews know about kosher slaughter (aka shechita). This lack of understanding often leads to either idealized or vilified views of kosher and other forms of slaughter. In order to eat animals ethically, it is essential that we understand the end of our animals’ lives. Therefore, I will attempt to explain and demystify this topic in many of my coming posts.
The best way to start eating animal products more ethically is by self-education. There are lots of great resources out there that people don’t know about; I will showcase some of them from time to time. One of the best resources, and probably my favorite animal welfare book, is “Righteous Pork Chop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms”, by Nicolette Hahn Niman". This well-researched book is not only a great exposé on factory farms, it is also one woman’s tale of fighting Big Ag and finding love and a new life in the process.
About the blog:
Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. There you'll find: blog posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter presentations, kosher slaughter training, and a selection of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment.