CFN – I was given a book by a friend not too long ago which I am just getting around to reading, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan.  So much interesting information…”Our ingenuity in feeding ourselves is prodigious, but at various points our technologies come into conflict with nature’s ways of doing things, as when we seek to maximize efficiency by planting crops or raising animals in vast monocultures.  This is something nature never does, always and for good reasons practicing diversity instead.  A great many of the health and environmental problems created by our food system owe to our attempts to oversimplify nature’s complexities, at both the growing and the eating ends of our food chain.”  So many eye opening thoughts just in the introduction.  I think many of us are so far removed from the growing and preparation of our foods that we haven’t the slightest idea of what practices are being incorporated into the production of our food nor of all the ingredients we are actually ingesting.  As we become plumper, sicker, and ever increasingly fatigued, having a good look at the food which we ingest to fuel and nourish our bodies and the practices incorporated in getting this food to our dinner table, one may be enticed to rethink the dinner menu in favour of food options which have mindful reverence for all life.

Did the chicken in the nuggets you are about to eat have feelings?  Did it feel nervous in certain social situations?  Did it feel anxious when it was separated from its family or friends?  These might seem like obtuse questions however sometimes I think we have forgotten that animals can feel.  I’m certain they feel anxious when penned up in a small container with others of their kind with barely enough room to turn around or sit comfortably. They feel pain when a beak, wing or leg is cut or broken.

EarthMatters_09_11_13P1020074A little while ago I was visiting a senior residence and a Petting Zoo owner made a special visit with several farm animals for the morning.  There were rabbits, sheep, goats and chickens that the residents were able to watch, pet and hold if they wished.  There were two chickens there that had been raised together from hatchlings.  They were different breeds.  The male was about twice the size of the female due to the breed difference.  These two were obviously close friends as it was plainly evident that when someone would pick up one to introduce to one of the guest residents the other would immediately become anxious and try to get closer to wherever the first was located.  Yes animals feel!  That being said I know when I choose to eat meat I would like it to be an animal that has lived a life happily.  Let it be an animal that has been raised in a warm clean environment with room to roll and play with others of its species.  An animal that has been treated with love and respect by its handlers.  An animal that will leave this world by the hands of a person or business that will insure that it takes that journey as quickly and painlessly as possible.  If spending the time in the company of a grumpy spirit can adversely affect our wellbeing surely ingesting the body of a being treated with reverence and respect will nourish us more than we can comprehend.

Your commentary is always welcome and appreciated  below or to

cfn JM



  1. I can remember when I worked at Canada Packers Research Labs in Toronto. The building was right in front of the stock yards and we looked out onto St. Clair Ave in the front and the stock yards from the back. Whenever they had a herd of cows that had to cross the road to the abattoir they would always put a Judas bull on the other side of the road calmly munching on straw. The cattle, seeing the calm decoy on the other side of the road, would quietly cross over to the slaughter house.

    Animal scientists have known for quite a while that a calm animal before slaughter means good quality meat. A nervous animal will lead to tough poor quality beef. In pigs and chickens there is a condition called PSE (pale soft and exudative) meat that can be created if the animals are stressed before slaughter.

    This just shows that animals do have emotions and it is not just
    for humane reasons that they should be treated with respect but for profitable reasons as well. Meat from healthy animals sell for a higher price and have a better profit margin.

  2. Even Carnation evaporated milk comes from contented cows….

  3. If you are an animal lover and believe that all creatures deserve a life free from cruelty and barbarity, you might want to consider becoming a beautiful vegetarian or vegan. There are so many delicious grains and veggies full of iron and protein so why steal the life of a fury friend? Peace.

  4. Elzoiey every time we go to Cornwall and pass by the farms I think about those animals being made into food and believe me we turned more to vegetables these past three months than ever before. We reduced our red meat to once or twice a week at most and otherwise it is veggie dishes on the plate.

    I love animals so very much and couldn’t see them killed at all. When I go by the farms on the way to Cornwall and see the animals in the fields I feel like stopping and going to pat them whether they be sheep, cows, horses, etc. I even bring some leftover pieces of the lettuce to the squirrels and other animals in the park. Nothing goes to waste in my household.

    Mr. Coffey sure gave us quite an education about meat and if most people saw how animals are treated they would not eat meat at all. We need a certain amount of meat in our diet but not a lot of it.

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