So after my initial post yesterday I have done some more research. It's definitely way more expensive to buy ethical meat than I anticipated which is super sad. It's particularly hard where I live because it is so urban I would have to travel pretty far to find truly certified ethical meat. However, I have been reading a few other blogs and exploring much better options than what we are doing right now.
First off, it's more realistic to say I am going to attempt to drastically cut down on the amount of of factory farmed meat I consume rather than saying I am never going to eat it again. For our family, at this point, it's not realistic. I have found a small local farm that is not "certified" but I have seen the farm and I feel good about the way they treat and feed their animals and they are more reasonably priced than some of the more more trendy ethical farms out in Virginia. I plan on visiting them next week to make some purchases.
Another step is to just eat less meat. I definitely am a meat lover and probably eat more than my share. So by increasing the amount of organic vegetables I am eating and decreasing the general amount of meat it will make a difference. Also, a huge point for me is the eggs. To me buying "cage free" at the grocery store means nothing. No one regulates this label being put on food so who knows if they are even doing it and many farmers' interpretation of cage-free means a million chickens are shoved in a room where it's so crammed they can't even walk or peck. So one plan I have it to use pumpkin instead of eggs and oil in my baking. I actually already do this with one type of cookies I make, but I plan on implementing this on everything I can. Now I am on a mission to find some locally grown ethical eggs nearby for the rest of my cooking. One exciting this is these kinds of eggs last longer than the type you get in the grocery store so the cost may even out over time because I always end up throwing eggs out all the time.