After my post about butchering our pig, I realized I still was struggling with the issue surrounding the fine line between a pig and pork. When I find myself in a quandary, I head to the library, knowing that there will be a book that will help.
This time was no different - I found a perfect book, The Compassionate Carnivore or, How to Keep Animals Happy, Save Old Macdonald's Farm, Reduce Your Hoofprint, And Still Eat Meat by Catherine Friend.
This book really helped me to answer the dilemma I was struggling with. So much so that I sent her a thanks via a blog comment. Yes, she blogs!
To start off, she is a carnivore. She gives background info on how she came to want to make better decisions about buying meat.
It's that mindfulness that I went through that caused me to switch from factory meat to local, farm produced meat. No Farm, No Food. However, I will choose local farm over factory any day.
The book provides good definitions between factory farms, conventional farms, organic farms and sustainable farms. She then goes on to point out why we need to know the difference. I felt she did a great job of going in depth on each one without boring the reader or providing so many stats that you never finish the book. She is witty, engaging and real.
I give it a 10 and it's on the buy-it list for my personal library.
I had read her earlier book, Hit by a Farm, and loved it, too. It's a novel that follows her family's entry into farming. Hilarious and touching but it also shows the hard reality of leaving a 9 to 5 job and becoming a 24/7 farmer. She shares so many funny animal stories in a way that you get a sense of exactly what it was look, good, bad and ugly. I read it non-stop and laughed, teared up and got mad right along with her. I wondered how they had come to terms with the farm and each other. The Compassionate Carnivore does wrap up some loose ends I felt were there. I was very happy to know they are still farming and still together.
I'm grateful for TCC and it's message. It's given me a lot to think about and I think I'm much better able to handle the future butcherings. Her writing style is what I liked the most. I tend to read mostly non-fiction because fiction can be so... elementary/juvenile sounding, in my opinion. I love it when a book increasing my vocabulary - she did with the word ganglia.
No matter if you're wanting to read more about being a mindful carnivore or if you'd like a humorous look at farming, both books are awesome!