Everyone should watch the movie Eating Animals produced by Natalie Portman and directed by Christopher Quinn. Full stop.
The film brings up a series of important questions about our food system and diets.
As an invited panelist at the New York City movie premiere at IFC exactly one year ago, I remember the film driving home an important point. 99% of the meat products produced in America are from industrialized factory farms. You already know these big companies.
So why was Abe's Eats - which is best known for producing its Halal and Kosher Interfaith Meats - be on a panel with a bunch of vegans? Because Abe's is the (other) 1% that is rejecting industrialized factory farming and producing meat the right way. Instead of feed lots, we are promoting regenerative agriculture practices that need livestock to do what they naturally do: poke and poop on pasture, eat grass and worms (and other good stuff), let their manure add micronutrients to build carbon soil (and put carbon back under our feet to tackle climate change), and let nature run its course. Instead of relying on the use of synthetic herbicides and pesticides and grow GMO seeds into vegetables, we believe natural ecosystems have a longstanding relationship between plants and animals. The cow, chicken, goat, among many others, all have a role on the farm. And it is necessary for all of them to work together to sequester carbon/protect the environment as they provide healthy food.
Then when it's time to produce meat, we make sure to combine the Halal and Kosher process to offer "Interfaith Meat" so that any meat lover can join our dinner table knowing that our products not only meet their religious requirements, but are also 100% grass-fed, grass-finished and pasture-raised. Fun fact: 85% of Kosher and Halal meat consumers are not Jewish or Muslim, but enjoy faith-based foods for their quality. Vegetarians and vegans are also welcome at our table. In fact, we want more of them to join because we want everyone to eat less, better meat. And we think vegans and vegetarians can help others turn into flexitarians. Treat yourself to high-quality meat on the weekends and cut it out the rest of the week. Can't be a responsible eater? Then go vegetarian or vegan!
It's been a year since this event, but I just realized I still haven't been to Chef B's Seasoned Vegan in Harlem. If any of my vegan friends want to go let me know. I'm dying to try the fried vegan catfish.
From the Kitchen,
Abe's Eats Founder