What is a “responsible omnivore”?

You’ve found me!  And now you may be wondering, “what is a responsible omnivore?”  As with most new terms, everyone is going to have a general idea, but there may be some flex on the details.  To help with how I approach the term, I’d like to break it down.  First, omnivore.  In the realm of human genetics and evolution, we are omnivores.  We possess the dentition, enzymes, and gut flora to digest and obtain energy from both plant and animal matter.  One of the challenges nearly every vegetarian I know deals with is how to ingest enough daily protein from non-animal sources.  Not that it can’t be done.  But it’s just not how we are originally designed.

Alright, that part was easy… so what is responsible?  Being responsible is making a conscious choice to do X, or not do X.  Responsibility is accountability.  Taking the idea further, “responsible” means “upholding the well-being of someone/thing over which you have control or an influence.”  Granted, I will concede that well-being doesn’t equate to sacrifice so that we can have a cheeseburger.  BUT – well-being can equate to beef that was raised as humanely as possible prior to becoming a cheeseburger.  Putting the two terms together, a responsible omnivore is someone who makes a conscious decision to choose to eat foods raised with the well-being of the food source in mind.  Free-range chickens, for example, or grass-fed cows, raised without being subjected to antibiotics and those wacky growth hormones.

There you have it.  That is what surficially is my definition of a responsible omnivore.  It goes deeper than that for me, but that’s a topic of discussion for later posts!


2 thoughts on “What is a “responsible omnivore”?

    • There is a litany of terms to describe chickens healthy environment that allowed them to do what they do best. Free-range was the the first that popped into my mind. But I know that there are several descriptors that don’t mean the happiness and freedom for our animal proteins we want them to. Free-range might mean going from the little coop to a little yard to peck and scratch for a bit, then it’s back in the coop. Grass-fed cows might not have access to unlimited grass, but rather might get a few hours in a field or, even worse, have grass just thrown in with their regular feed. Hey, they ate grass, so they must be grass-fed, right?! Not really, buddy. People should be taking the next step and verifying that their supplier really does do what they say they are doing for the well-being of the food. That’s the next step in responsibility. And I know that, at least for now, food processed in a non-Big Ag way = more $$$$$$. One of the goals I have for this blog is to hopefully share information and link up with conscientious, sustainable food producers so that we all have a chance to take that next step.

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