I renewed and expanded my commitment to eat only humanely-raised meats, eggs and milk about a month ago. It has been difficult, since I don't have a freezer full of meat like I did last year. It was convenient always having that around. I have to be more vigilant and go to specialty stores, and they are expensive. I will soon buy a quarter cow of grass fed, organic beef to cut my costs and load up my freezer.
I eat vegetarian at restaurants, now. This is the one area that I was very lax last year. While my grocery meat purchases were right on the money, I would eat anything if it came from a restaurant. This is the major place I have changed this time around.
A few days after I made my commitment, however, I was hungry late at night and indulged in some Chinese food loaded with no doubt factory-raised chicken. Aside from that one instance, I've kept my commitment rather well.
It can get extreme if I factor in all the eggs, milk and animals fats that are ingredients in just about everything. I try not to worry about all that and focus my attention on the items with large components of animal products.
I picked up a couple of whole chickens at the farmers market. I use them to make soup and usually extract some meat for sandwiches. I also have been eating a lot of fish.
Wild caught fish is a good option, since the animal did not live in confinement and probably suffered little at the end, comparatively speaking. However, the fishing industry as a whole is causing massive turmoil in all of our waters, so it is not a perfect choice. But knowing that none of our food choices is perfect helps me to make the best of it. Even if you eat only vegetables, if they are raised through conventional agricultural methods they are contributing to destruction of ecosystems and global warming when you factor in pesticide usage and erosion. But you can avoid cruelty to animals and have a smaller environmental impact overall by eating vegetarian or properly-raised meats.
I ask for the veggie patties at Subway. They are not on the menu, so you have to ask for them specifically. Most Subways carry them, but not all. They are quite good!
I eat pork and chicken at Chipotle. They are listed as "naturally raised" in Columbus, OH (each restaurant may be different, so you have to check what their menu says). I am under no delusions that this meat would meet all my ethical standards, but I support their efforts to bring better quality meats to the mainstream markets. A chain like Chipotle is large enough to help the industry develop in size and infrastructure, making the work of the next generation of meat vendors easier. Hopefully, we will see meats from animals not raised in confinement and completely organic, but what we have now is a start.
A baked potato and caesar salad at Wendy's isn't a bad lunch, either. I'm a growing boy, so I can often get spacey if I go too long without a substantial meal, so it takes some work to find suitable alternatives to meat. My foray at the Chinese restaurant above was due to not planning and then having a major protein crash. Keeping trail mix conveniently stashed in my car or desk at work helps out in case I get hungry and a substantial meal is too far away.
It has taken some adjustment, as I often eat meat only once a day now, and there are longer gaps between servings. It is best when I can avoid restaurants, especially fast food, but it is unrealistic to think that I can avoid them altogether. The best options in town are the Whole World Bakery & Restaurant, one of the Aladdin's locations or the Northstar Cafe's. The latter serves grass-fed beef and free range turkey as well as great vegetarian meals.