I just watched one of those investigation videos where an Alec Baldwin sound-alike narrates you through the horrors of livestock farms and slaughterhouses. First, I want to tell you all that I've been an animal lover ever since I stopped mutilating the creatures I would find desperately trying to locate a way out of my swimming pool on Long Island. The facts that I was a child, and that children do what children do, do not keep me from feeling pain when I think about those days.

I love meat, though, and I doubt I'll ever stop eating it. I would push all my chips forward after betting that most of you dig on meat with as big a smile as I do. There are alternatives, though. Instead of aiding and abetting these corporations who hire the obviously demented, you can do your research and find out where you can buy "humanely" slaughtered meat. If you love meat, and can't part with it, then I suggest this, for your health will benefit as well will many other things.

I am not well-versed in the area of livestock, but I can tell you that I would rather be digging into a formerly free-ranging burger than one that was slapped and pounded by the hands of evil disrespect.

These grainy-voice narrated investigation videos, however, are created by people with an agenda. They are created by people who consider Michael Moore's work groundbreaking presentations of the undeniable truth. By nature, film is a manipulative art form. Don't be swayed one way or the other after viewing these videos. Do your research. You owe it to yourself as foodies.

Look up Jamie Oliver (www.jamieoliver.com/). He is the British chef commonly referred to as 'The Naked Chef.' He works to promote the use of fresh organic foods and has recently been crusading against commercial chicken farms (www.jamieoliver.com/jamiesfowldinners/). Give it a look.

More than a proponent of the ethical treatment of animals, I am a proponent of trading money for food with your local small businesses. Go to the less-than-super markets, including (and preferring) farmers markets. Buy your food products from the actual people who work to produce them. You will save money, stimulate the economy, build friendships, learn more than you've bargained for, improve your health, and while you are pleasantly surprising your tastebuds, you will be strengthening them as well.

Remember your taste zones!

Peace & Health,

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