[Union of Grass Valley]
Vegan butcher educates customers about naturally produced meat
Standing behind the BriarPatch Co-op Community Market's meat counter,
28-year-old Marc Mongiardo appears to be an ordinary grocery store
butcher - though his lifestyle is guided by a philosophy of
excluding the use of animals for food, clothing or any other form of
Mongiardo is a vegan.
"Being a vegan requires less energy to feed than it takes to feed
someone who eats meat," Mongiardo said, eating his lunch of fresh
garden greens. "It takes more resources to raise a cow versus growing
beans and vegetables. On a global level, being a vegan helps conserve
energy. On a personal level, I feel more energetic after not eating
Living according to his vegan views for the past five years, Mongiardo
continues his work as a butcher in hopes of educating meat consumers
about the benefits of consuming less meat and of eating naturally
"I know I live in a world where most people eat meat, but I feel that
being a butcher for natural meat allows more options," Mongiardo said.
"If everyone in the town ate natural meat, they'd be better off
because there's no hormones, antibiotics or chemicals in natural
BriarPatch carries eggs from Country Rubes Farms in Grass Valley and
Nevada County free range beef from Nevada City, as well as an
assortment of other meats produced in Northern California. These
local, naturally produced meats are healthier because the animals eat
grass, creating leaner, less-fattening meat, Mongiardo said.
"If I can at least educate people about the benefits of natural meat,
I feel like I can actually have some influence on the whole animal
situation. It's a small way of being active on the issue on a
community level," he said.