At Salon, we've been thinking a lot about the ethics and politics of meat consumption. Earlier this week, we published a piece about one man's experience eating horse in Mongolia -- and the shocked reactions of his American friends and family to his decision. Today, the incomparable Francis Lam wrote an article about slaughtering a chicken because he felt an obligation to, at some point in his life, kill his own dinner.
Both of these stories reflect ways in which we grapple with the idea of eating meat. Every culture has distinct notions about what types of animals are acceptable to eat. While most Americans would balk at the prospect of eating dog, it's a popular dish in parts of China. Ham is a staple for Christmas dinner, but pork is anathema for observant Jews and Muslims.
Today, more and more questions arise about what circumstances make eating meat acceptable. Does the animal have to be raised under "humane conditions" or is it all right to eat meat from a factory farm? Does killing an animal with your own hands allow you to consume one with a clear conscience or should you avoid eating flesh altogether? Must you consider the environmental impact of your food choices or are there other ways you can help out the planet?
We want your to hear about the conflicts you have had about eating meat. Please note: We're not particularly interested in sanctimonious diatribes from either end of the spectrum. We're looking for personal essays that reflect how you've grappled with any qualms you have about your own meat consumption.
Be sure to tag your posts "conflicted carnivores."
Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. If you would like to participate in this Open Call but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself.