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Longtime 'ethical' vegetarian eats one burger, doesn't look back as she becomes professional butcher and pig farmer



Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

Tammi Jonas lived as a vegetarian for a decade, but a pregnancy craving for a juicy hamburger changed the course of her life forever.

What are the details?

According to Australia's 10 Daily, Jonas, now 49, was inspired to become a vegetarian when was just 19 years old after reading philosopher Peter Singer's book, "Animal Liberation."

"He detailed the treatment of pigs and poultry in sheds in a way that I just couldn't, in good conscience, keep eating meat," she said. "My immediate response was — I don't want to participate in treating animals that way and the only way I know how to do that is to stop eating meat."

Despite her pledge to avoid meat, Jonas found herself at odds with her own body during her third pregnancy, during which she became dangerously anemic.

All the supplements in the world couldn't help Jonas, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Oregon, and she knew that she'd have to bite the bullet in consuming red meat in order to boost her blood count.

“I was at work one day and just thought: 'A burger would fix this,'" Jonas said, according to the outlet. Not only did it change her eating habits forever, but she ended up becoming a butcher and a pig farmer to boot.

“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," Jonas said.

“I never thought it was immoral to take an animal's life for food," she said, explaining her decision to go from a vegetarian to a pig farmer. "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."

Anything else?

So she and her husband Stuart opened their own farm — Jonai Farm — in Victoria, Australia's Central Highlands.

“The penny dropped, and we realized that we were going to be farmers and, for me, I knew immediately pigs because they are some of the worst treated in industrial systems," she said.

She concluded with a jab at the popular "impossible" meat products.

“Hats off to you if you don't want to participate in any livestock production, but try not to have too hard a go at those of us who are trying to restore landscapes with livestock, and doing a much better job of it than your vegan impossible burger," she said.

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