On Being a Humaneitarian

For those of you who started reading my blog last year, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘humaneitarian’ I throw around once in awhile. On March 18th 2012, I opted for a ‘humaneitarian’ lifestyle, in which I would focus more on produce, whole grains, etc. and eat only local, pasture-raised poultry, beef, and pork.

It hasn’t gone perfectly.

I filled our freezer this summer with local, pasture-raised meats from the farmer’s market, and, fortunately, quite a few grocery stores now carry these as well, though with a higher price tag. I love the idea of being a humaneitarian, and I am committed to buying and eating mostly humane certified meats, so I don’t mind the extra cost given the small amount of meat I consume.

I seriously love vegetables and have no problem eating meat-free entrees that are prepared well. Luckily, I’m pretty good at it, as are most of my family members and the restaurants I frequent. However, my husband is awesome at preparing meat-full entrees: his braised ribs are out of this world, he can stuff a pork chop like nobody’s business, and his dabbles with duck have all been excellent.

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Clearly, I had to compromise.

I now generally allow myself one cheat day a week (usually a Saturday or Sunday) where I partake in meat that is not humane-certified. I call these my ‘flexitarian’ days. One of my food critic idols Anthony Bourdain said “Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to everything I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.” While I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, I do agree that denying myself food I enjoy feels constricting sometimes.

That being said, I still do truly believe that being a humaneitarian is worth it; it is much healthier, and meat tastes so much better when you eat it only once or twice a week. While Anthony Bourdain doesn’t agree with vegetarians, he seems to be on par with humaneitarians: “I don’t want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that probably makes them less delicious.”

Well said, Mr. Bourdain. So, no, I’m not really a humaneitarian anymore. I eat vegetarian about five days of the week, humanitarian one day of the week, and full-on carnivore one day of the week. Guess I’m a full-fledged flexitarian now.

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2 thoughts on “On Being a Humaneitarian

  1. Have you read “A cooks tour”? He describes the discomfort he felt when visiting the foie gras farm in France. Things like that certainly leave an impression. Knowing where your food comes from and respecting the journey it took to get to your plate is so important.

    • I haven’t yet read ‘A Cook’s Tour,’ but I’ll add it to my list. I completely agree with you; I love how you say “respecting the journey it took to get to your plate”–so true!

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