Thursday, February 01, 2007

More on the Omnivore's Dilemma

I'm following up on my previous post on Michael Pollan's wonderful book. I've read through a few more chapters of the book, including the chapter on how cattle are fed corn to fatten them up. (As I closed the book for the day yesterday afternoon, I played a recording of The Dead's Unbroken Chain from a show I went to a few years ago. I am also looking at the second page of Alex Grey's 2007 calendar, which features the work Gaia. One theme of this painting is the interconnectedness of all life.)

A large amount of domestic beef is now fed corn, which is difficult for the animals to properly digest, as they have not evolved to eat it. Rather, they naturally have a diet of grasses.

So, as I prepare to make some steak for dinner tonight, I am thinking about my role in this web of life. I talked with Melissa about my thoughts on how I want to go shopping at the local co-op for beef because then we will be paying the true cost for grass-fed, free-range, and hopefully organic beef. I think we will end up eating it less, but at least when we do, we will have considered the economic, and more importantly, the environment costs of this food that we enjoy. (I do not think I would go back to being a vegetarian, which I had been in my early 20's. However, I want to make better choices for our family that reflect our values.)

In a related story, my university's newspaper has an article from a writer who is a vegan.

Tags: Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma, corn, diet

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