How I Converted From a Vegetarian to a Happy and Healthy Meat Eater

factory_farm_pig_454x301.jpg

This post originally appeared on an amazing blog I contribute to over at

Tyner Pond Farm.

  Tyner Pond Farm is a beautiful place just East of Indianapolis that is well-regarded for its non-GMO, pasture-raised animals whom are treated with love and compassion.  Their meat is extraordinarily delicious!  If you don't live in the greater-Indianapolis area, you should be jealous;)  But, no matter where you live, it doesn't hurt to become more educated about where your food comes from and what goes into your family's tummies...

Tyner Pond Farm

www.tynerpondfarm.com

How I Converted From a Vegetarian to a Happy and Healthy Meat Eater!

So, let me tell you a story about a little girl from Indiana.  She was a green-eyed, barefoot, forest dweller.  She talked to animals in "their language" until an age she is embarrassed to admit.  She famously pretended to be a jaguar for a week or so.  She harbored snakes, salamanders, toads, frogs, and dogs.  She performed CPR on a baby bunny found at the bottom of a swimming pool.  Instead of killing house flies, she caught them in plastic bags and released them "back to their families".  Some would say she had an animal sensitivity complex (mainly her parents). She came across a video in young adulthood that would change the way she ate for over a decade.  It was a video showing the horrific living conditions of cows in a commercial setting, ending with their undignified slaughter.  She was horrified.

Well, after I saw that video I didn't eat much of anything for quite some time.  It's painfully obvious this little girl is me, just sort of grown up now.  I still "talk" to animals, now I can just blame it on my kids if a rogue neighbor happens to appear in my yard.  Yes.  I was a vegetarian.  I couldn't bring myself to eat an animal that had lived a life in squalor and filth, perhaps never even knowing that sunshine existed.  I have always believed that some animals were created to be consumed.  I believe in the forces of nature and the cycle of life.  I know that animals must one day die, perhaps at the hands of man or another predator.  I just don't know how to justify treating living creatures as objects. I don't know how to enjoy eating something that lived a life of misery.

Commercial Pig Factory

While traveling through the French countryside with my husband years ago, I marveled at the number of sprawling farms.  The animals roamed in green pastures, enjoying the warm sunshine on their backs.  While chatting with our server at a Parisian restaurant one night, he was more than a little perturbed when I asked if their meat came from a local or commercial provider.  "Que ce que c'est?  A commercial farm?  Non!"  That night, I enjoyed a fabulous duck confit.  It was divine.  The decade of meat deprivation had ended in a most delicious way.  No guilt, but a very full tummy!  We ate like kings and never felt healthier!

Food in France

Once we were back in "The States", we tried desperately to recreate our culinary adventures from Europe.  It was next-to-impossible!  Why?  Why?  Why is it so difficult to just find real food around here?  Even our wine has unnecessary additives.  Tragic!  Why is it so hard to just drive to the closest market and support a local farmer?  Why is it so expensive to try to provide pasture-raised, non-GMO food for our families?  Why are all of our animals stuffed into giant prisons of cement and steel?  I fell back into my vegetarian ways, enjoying the occasional meat when I could come across something that didn't threaten my principles.

Then, things started to change.  People started to become interested in where their food came from.  And, why shouldn't they?!  There has been a surge of popularity toward supporting the local farmer and consuming real food.  Truthfully, isn't is just common sense?  It's just the way things used to be, before animals had to be pumped with antibiotics since they were forced to live in each others filth.  Passionate farmers are turning the tides across our country!  I am so grateful to have come across a real gem here in Indiana, Tyner Pond Farm!  Local, pasture-raised, non-GMO food!  GMOs are bad news folks!  Read more about them here.  My carnivore conversion is complete!  My principles and beliefs have not changed, now I just have access to food that doesn't challenge my beliefs. Tyner Pond Farm is a "happy place".  Pigs playing in the mud, baby calves alongside their mothers, everything just as it should be. I can purchase meat products and feel good about the farm I am supporting and pleased that the animals live in the sunshine.

It's been a long time since I first actually enjoyed eating meat in France, and I am now trying to teach my own little carnivores about the importance of where their food comes from.  I love them with all my heart, and just like every parent, I want to fill their little tummies with the most nutritious food I can.  Sure, they have the occasional Happy Meal, that's okay.  The impact I want to make on them is more of a lifestyle choice, a belief, a desire to take care of their bodies, and respect the animals they consume.  And if I see one of them trying to catch house flies with a Ziploc, I have to say, my heart will swell with pride.

Check back soon for a very honest interview with these two little fellows and hear what they think a "real" farm looks like and their views on the commercial food industry here in America...

Boys at the Farm