Can eating meat be ethical and good for the environment? With Meredith Leigh, author of "The Ethical Meat Handbook:" 116

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We’ve reached the last episode in this month’s focus on fixing the food system. In the last three weeks we’ve talked about how co-op grocery stores offer real hope for transforming the supply and distribution of food by offering an alternative to the monopoly of the grocery giants. We’ve covered the power and importance of indigenous food and land management, and we’ve also explored the joys and realities of growing your own food on a residential scale.

To round this all off, I had the pleasure of speaking to Meredith Leigh, the author of “The Ethical Meat Handbook.” Meredith has worked as a farmer, butcher, chef, teacher, non-profit executive director, consultant, and writer for the past 17 years, all in the pursuit of sustainable food

The industrial meat industry, in my opinion, is the epitome of what is broken in our food system and is a glaring example of the disconnect between humans and healthy natural systems, but Meredith shows us how we can reconnect with animals by treating every step in the process from raising, to slaughter, butchery and cooking with respect and care. In this interview we start by acknowledging the broken and unhealthy state of meat consumption. We also go in depth about the environmental impacts, issues surrounding animal welfare, and the health problems of an imbalanced diet. Meredith then explains how a healthy and reverent relationship to animals and all their products could look like through real examples of ecological management of livestock systems, mindful slaughter, home butchery methods, and preservation through curing, fermentation and cooking. This is one of the most holistic and nuanced perspectives on every aspect of meat that I’ve come across that even treats vegan and vegetarian perspectives on the topic with compassion and understanding. Meredith herself was vegan before getting involved with butchery and animal care so I encourage you to listen through the full episode before jumping to conclusions on the angle that this interview takes.

I also recognize that everything about meat from animal care, to diet, slaughter and cooking are very contentious topics at the moment and I would love to hear from you about how you feel and relate to the opinions expressed in this session, so please leave respectful comments and feedback under the show notes for this episode, or any other episode for that matter, at abundantedge.com or email me directly at info@abundantedge.com.

Resources:

Buy the book “The Ethical Meat Handbook”

Buy the book “Pure Charcuterie”

Meredith’s website

Meredith Leigh on instagram