A former staunch vegetarian completely changed her lifestyle when she was pregnant with her third child and ate a burger for the first time in decades. Now she’s a professional butcher and owns her own pasteurized pig farm.
According to a recent study published in Psychology Today, 86 percent of people who become vegetarians return to meat at some point in their lives.
Tammi Jonas, 49, from Victoria, Australia, stopped eating meat when she was 19 — after reading Australian philosopher Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation, published in 1975.
She maintained her vegan lifestyle successfully through two pregnancies, but while carrying her third child, she became “dangerously anemic.”
After the iron supplements failed, she pondered if protein would be the best way to get healthy for her and her baby.
She told 10 Daily:
“I was at work one day and just thought: ‘a burger would fix this.’”
The mom of three continued:
“I went back to red meat, so beef and lamb, once a week throughout the pregnancy, and it was some years longer before I had any pork or poultry.”
“I never thought it was immoral to take an animal’s life for food – I’ve always been comfortable with my place in the food chain, but I thought it was immoral to treat [animals] cruelly, to not allow them to go outside and breathe fresh air and to be confined in crowds in sheds.”
Tammi knew firsthand experience in farming, having grown up on a cattle ranch in rural Oregon before moving to Australia in the 90s. So her move back to the land didn’t surprise her.
“When you’re from land, it’s in your bones.”
Her foray into not only eating meat again but actually producing it comes from a motivation to make positive change.
Tammi and her husband Stuart did some research and learned they could make a living from farming on a small scale with the focus being, treating animals properly and ethically.
On her website, Tammi explains:
“My journey from mindless industrial eater to vegetarian to ethical omnivore led me all the way to become a pig farmer to contribute to the growing movement to get pigs and poultry back out of sheds and onto paddocks.”
“We now grow, butcher and cure all of our meat, and serve 80 households from our thriving community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm.”
She now describes her farming practices as ethical and holistic, explaining there are no harmful chemicals used in her farming practices, and the animals live as they would if they weren’t on the farm at all.
She told Daily Mail Australia:
“Some people will draw an ethical line that killing is bad. But I don’t believe that – I don’t think killing an animal for consumption is unethical if it had a good life.”