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IPFS News Link • How To

How to Use the Whole Animal (Whether You Raise Your Own or Buy from the Store)

•, by Kara Stiff

We've made mistakes and we've had great successes. Though we're still learning, I currently have a pretty good system for making the best use of just about the whole animal.

Diet is a very personal thing
What to eat is a conscious choice, but it's deeply influenced by many unconscious factors. There is the comfort of familiarity and the approval of our community. There is the availability and cost of products in our area and the well-funded coercion of advertising. The desires and health issues of the people in our household matter greatly.

It's not easy to change diet permanently because it takes time and energy to learn new recipes, and money to be able to try out new things. I have to be in a place where I'm experiencing little enough stress that I can watch how my body responds to the changes I make, or I'll start feeling crummy and reach for the familiar.

That said, there is a very good reason to give up meat as it is usually produced in America. Factory farms are terrible from an animal welfare perspective, and they generate ecological and health effects such as antibiotic resistance, effluent runoff, and atmospheric pollution. It's a human rights issue, too, with the terrible working conditions in many slaughterhouses. And there is the absurdity of destroying our nation's soil to produce feed for animals.