Let me start this off with me saying I was a meat eater.
I remember going to a wholesale club in Massachusetts, where there were ham steaks (big ones, too) on a sort of tape. They were vacuum sealed and perforated between each one. They came off a huge spool in a cardboard box. Once you had the quantity you wanted, you simply tore off the last one, and tossed them in your cart.
It was only later that I realized those pig slices were probably like some sort of cross-section of the same animal. At least for 4 or 5 of the steaks. It was actually really gross.
I bring this up, as it was probably my first epiphany about what I am actually eating. Growing up, we are told that meat is an important part of your diet, and that beef is “what’s for dinner.” Of course I didn’t stop eating meat because of that realization, but it was the first of many small moments that finally ended with me being vegan.
The meat and dairy industries spend immense budgets on establishing the “black box” approach to meat. Their labels have pastoral farm imagery, and catchy phrases like “Smithfield Farms” and even extensive rebranding efforts on the names of cuts. This is, of course a huge lie being fed to Americans. There is no “farm” in the animal industrial complex. The days of the local farmer, humanely raising and caring for livestock are sadly close to an end.