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So glad you went not to Morrissey for the easy layup, but to Freddie "The Fog" Shero -- who also taught us difficult lessons like “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.”


you are a genius, keep it up.


For once I'm not sure I get the nuance of your argument. I don't think the copy you quote significantly oversells its product. It is, after all, trying to create awareness of a distinction that most eaters want eagerly to overlook. I believe Fleisher's was started as a response to local farmers having insufficient outlets for their meat, not to hungry yuppies demanding cruelty-free ribeyes.

"Stress-free" seems like a reasonably unambitious way to describe what a decent life for a cow might be. They're not saying "happy" or "serene," which you do hear from less idealistic producers, and which sound more like pathetic fallacy to me. (It's a little-known fact that the massages received by Kobe cattle are not for the cattle's own relaxation at the end of a long week's grazing, but just to integrate their fat more evenly into their muscles. Which is why I get massaged too.)


BK- Shero is like catnip for you.
Augie- Thanks
Eater- I like what Fleisher's and its ilk do on the production side of the ledger -- it is on the marketing and consumption side that I get a little squirrely. What I was trying to get at here, and in earlier posts on similar topics, esp foie gras bans, is that there is something a little bit not okay about even the most righteous meat consumption, and I feel that pitches like Fleisher's operate on the notion that there is okay meat and not okay meat. Rather than a distinction eaters want to avoid, I'd argue there is a contiuum, and one has to make economic and ethical choices about where to be on that curve. It is a subtle gripe, granted.


I guess my gut feeling too is that there is okay meat and not okay meat, largely coincident with a concrete difference between extensive and intensive farming. The two do lie on a continuum insofar as all bacon is murder, but as a murderer who has been to Perdue facilities as well as petted my fuzzy soon-to-be dinner, I see a discontinuity.

It's a fine point, an ethical distinction that I'm educated to make and that matters to me, but that's meaningless to, say, a vegetarian.


I occupy your peninsula, even if I might map it a little differently.

And, eater, extensive is in theory at least unsustainable: the more land we need to feed each person, the less there is for, say, songbirds, or beetles, or what have you. This is the malthusian dilemma of organicness that no one (except crazed reactionaries) wants to talk about.



Fair enough. The problem I was trying to get at is that many folks do not do the legwork to make that distinction for themselves, but allow marketing to stand in for their own moral judgements-- there are words like "humane," "grass-fed," and "sustainable" that seem interchangably useful in signifying the okayness of the product, even though they mean different and specific things.


Peter Singer in The Way We Eat gives a chart of the actual certifications linked to five coffee-bean epithets: "free trade," "shade grown," a few more, all of which are desirable but which may or may not overlap in any given bean, and quickly make even the most conscientious consumer's head spin.

Using key words like "pastured" as icons to mean "okay" is destructive of the language we love, but there's obviously a need for a shorthand to help consumers with the burden of every meal being an ethical choice. Of course, producers quickly and eagerly pervert the key words -- young corn shoots are now considered grass for the purpose of calling beasts "grass-fed," and on and on, and Fleisher's' marketing is hardly putting an end to that cycle.

Max: we only need to farm extensively until New Harvest perfects their vat-grown, bungless meat.

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