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Eat Ethical: Raising Pigs On Pasture

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Kendra Kimbirauskas has an interesting relationship with food. Growing up on a dairy farm, she says that "agriculture has been in my blood all my life." But even though (or perhaps because) she had an inside look at how the sausage gets made, Kendra decided to go vegetarian. And then vegan. And now she raises pigs.

Kendra no longer eschews meat. In a video about her business, Goat Mountain Pastured Meat, Kendra describes herself as a "humane-atarian," meaning that she only eats animals that were raised in ethical circumstances—like the heritage pigs on her farm.

Instead of keeping her pigs indoors, Kendra raises her piggies in a pasture. "By picking the heritage breeds we're picking pigs that know how to be hearty and go outside, and come in when it's inclement outside," she explains. "They know how to raise their young. They're good parents."

Watching the video, it's clear that this lady really loves her pigs. While unfortunately they don't bring home the bacon quite yet—both Kendra and her husband have day jobs to support the farm—Goat Mountain is a good example of how consumers can avoid big agriculture and make like Michael Pollan. Eating meat can be humane, but as Kimbirauskas points out, you have to do a little research to make sure your cut comes from the right place.

"The only way you know [your food is ethical] is if you see it for yourself," she advises at the end of the video. "You can't always trust third party certifications. The lawmakers want you to think that if you are not a farmer, you don't have a say. But the truth is, consumers have a stake in agricultural policy." That we do.


Bringing Home The Bacon: Visiting A Pasture Raised Pig Farm from Grist