“I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.” –Wendell Berry
Although Wendell Berry himself wasn’t able to attend the conference, his daughter, Mary, was there to remind us that, though industrial meat production has turned into a global issue, by focusing on your county, town, and farm, we can do something to change the world. If we do what we can, where we are, that’s what ultimately matters.
I would like to thank Slow Food USA and Slow Food WISE for choosing me as the delegate to represent the state of Wisconsin at this important conference. I try to be a conscientious meat eater and was thrilled at the opportunity to delve deeper into the subject of how we can bring better meat to the masses.
In Denver, there representation from all over the United States, from every point of view–the producer side, as well as chef and consumer community–and we talked ourselves into a tizzy about issues surrounding meat consumption in this country. Slow Food’s tagline, Good, Clean, Fair Food was applied throughout.
The conference started with a keynote by Allen Savory, the founder of the Savory Institute. It was high level, but the fundamental thing I took away from it was that the only way to reverse climate change and fight desertification (which is happening in huge expanses across the globe) is through conservation–namely, by repopulating the areas with livestock. The livestock graze rotationally and nourish depleted soils. Here’s a link to his TEDTalk, which will explain it much better than I.
Slow Food has our work cut out for us, especially in the meat realm–but I think there’s good news. Most people are already understand the worst things, and the fact that they need to be addressed. What we need is a change in our collective behavior. In the coming months, as Slow Meat Coordinator, I’ll be receiving notes from Slow Food USA and putting them to work in our city. Please stay tuned for more meat-related education, policy, and events!
Lastly, feel free to check @ediblemke’s Twitter feed for juicy soundbites, if you’re interested in the nitty gritty–lots of gems there from seriously intelligent folks.