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Cyd Reiman: Against the industrial meat producing complex

To the editor:

In the July 8 edition of the Gazette, a reader posted a letter who expressed “disgust” over the violent mistreatment of animals who are killed to supply meat to Walmart. Unfortunately, most meat we humans consume whether it is from a grocery store or restaurant is supplied by factory farms and slaughter houses that mistreat both the animals and the people that work there.

I myself have adopted a policy of not eating meat unless I know it has been supplied by local farmers, or from a meat supplier that has been approved and certified as a humane enterprise. I am also a hunter, and periodically raise and kill other animals for my own consumption. I know what it means to kill my meat.

If you want to educate yourself, the Jones Library has documentary films such as “Food Inc.” There are also books such as “Omnivores Dilemma.” Go to the website Certifiedhumane.org to find a list of meat suppliers who have been certified humane and look for their products in stores. Whole Foods has certified humane options,and don’t forget your local farmers. You can find a list of local farms at buylocalfood.org.

If you eat inhumanely produced meat, you uphold the industrial meat producing complex. Put your conscience where your mouth is.

Cyd Reiman

Pelham

I'm with you to an extent. Both of my parents come from farm families, and I was raised to respect the animals that feed us. I buy humane meat, because the kind of food I cook lends itself to using small amounts of meat that is relatively expensive and of higher quality. But the fact is that not everyone can afford to eat humanely raised meat, particularly if they are cooking for a big family or live in certain parts of the country. Even here, where we have better-than-usual access to relatively affordable small-farm raised products, it's not for every budget. So, while I recognize that conditions on factory farms can be appalling, I'm not willing to say that eating meat should only be the moral imperative of those who can afford to do it humanely.

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