We’re guessing that you were as disturbed as we were with the meat recalls all over the news last month. While there was no known related illness in the meat, the endless videos and photos of the animal abuse that spawned the recall were scary, outrageous, and oh-so-revealing. We had all heard about the horrors of slaughterhouses, but to see it streaming through cnn.com is an entirely different story.

Our favorite coverage of this story BY FAR is the satirist cartoon The Meatrix. Brought to you by our friends at Sustainable Table, The Meatrix features 3 funny vignettes whose underlying message is a point-blank and gritty portrayal of factory farming.

So what’s a person to do other than chuckle at a 3 minute cartoon? While we advocate vegetarian lifestyles, we know it’s not for everyone and that some of us just can’t give up summer BBQ’s!

Here are some quick tips on how you can support a better life for these animals:

  • Buy Local: supporting your local, family farms and participating in CSA (“community supported agriculture”) is not only better for the environment, but it prevents slaughterhouse conditions and strengthens your local economy.
  • Buy Organic: animals are raised without any antibiotics on a natural, grass-fed diet and are not pumped with artificial hormones. Unlike their factory farm relatives that are genetically modified or fed GM food.
  • Read the Labels: meat that is classified as “free range” and poultry that is “cage free” usually means that the animals are raised in healthier, more natural environments were they are allowed to be outside, exercise and graze in a pasture.
  • Connect with Others: become a part of the sustainable food movement and help educate other consumers on food related issues.
  • Buy Vegan: even if you love meat, you can make other vegan purchases. Our Ethletic footwear collection is 100% vegan, which means there are no animal by-products in the materials, including wool, leather, suede, and the not-so-obvious glue. Many glues used in shoe production are actually made with a material from horse hooves. One can only imagine what they do to the horses in order to get it!