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(US-ny) The Butcher's Conscience

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  • AnimalConcerns.org
    From behind a glass case displaying freshly cut meats, Joshua Applestone is explaining how he gave up his vegan diet and became a butcher. Contrary to my own
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2005
      From behind a glass case displaying freshly cut meats, Joshua
      Applestone is explaining how he gave up his vegan diet and became a
      butcher. Contrary to my own recent experiment with the 100 percent
      animal-product-free lifestyle—which I gave up after five minutes due
      to an uncontrollable urge for cheese—Joshua was vegan for 17 years.
      "As I got older my body started to change. I found I couldn't eat
      enough avocados and beans to meet my protein requirements," he said.

      Not that becoming a butcher was the thought that immediately followed
      his decision to add meat back into his diet. About a year and a half
      ago, Joshua and his wife, Jessica, were brainstorming on what to do
      with their lives. At the time they both worked at New World Home
      Cooking in Saugerties (Joshua as a chef, Jessica as a server). And
      while they loved food, they didn't love the demanding hours of
      restaurant work. At the same time, Jessica had been looking for the
      healthiest, most humane and sustainable meat sources for her personal

      They wanted nothing to do with purchasing meat from other butchers and
      supporting the current system of factory farming, which involves
      feedlots, overcrowding, antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids,
      pesticides, stun guns, and fields of manure. Fish didn't appeal
      either, due to the problems associated with fish farms. With her
      disgust towards commercial farms paired with suspicions of the
      misleading nature of food labels, Jessica realized the safest route
      would be to buy directly from local farmers she and Joshua met and
      As for Joshua, he remained vegetarian for his first seven months as a
      butcher before being around all that meat finally got to him. "After
      my first 40 pounds of bacon I was hooked," he says.

      The bacon that seduced the vegan is, of course, not an average slab of
      meat. It came from Berkshire pigs that lived the kind of life pigs are
      meant to live—rooting around in the soil and giving themselves cooling
      mud baths in the summer. The organic meat is preserved nitrate-free
      with sea salt and honey. If you've never cooked his bacon, Joshua will
      give you instructions as he wraps a pound in crisp brown paper: "Don't
      overdo it. Cook it clear, not crunchy." (Although if your husband
      insists on ignoring that fine advice and cooking it as stiff as he has
      always cooked it, the bacon is still exquisite.)
      To me there are two dilemmas to eating meat. Killing an animal to eat
      it is an unpleasant reality. But it's far worse to imagine the
      animal's life was one of torture and suffering. Personally, I found
      the Applestone's shop soon after a vegan friend leant me a video that
      reminded me why I used to be a vegetarian.
      For me, eating meat is a new experience. I dream of what I want to eat
      in the days ahead and I drive weekly to Fleisher's on Friday or
      Saturday. I think of my friend in Italy who shops for fresh food every
      day. I feel Italian. I feel French. I feel smart and healthy and
      politically active.
      Fleisher's Grass-Fed and Organic Meats' new location is 307 Wall
      Street in Kingston. The retail shop is open Thursday to Saturday;
      Thursdays and Fridays: 11am-7pm; Saturdays 10am-5pm. (845) 338-MOOO;

      full story:

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