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Green and Ethical Food

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  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    shinytop said:I'm not convinced a farm shop is any greener or more ethical than a supermarket for a lot of things, although I don't know.  Having said that I do use farm shops, because I like what they sell and |I like to support local businesses.  
    I know what you mean. I have asked questions of the shop staff or stallholders to try and make sure they are selling organic produce. As you say, trying to buy from local businesses will mean they are more likely to stay in business and keep selling to us.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
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  • joefizzjoefizz Forumite
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    The point that Martyn raises is that of meat production being a drain on world resources and ultimately is not sustainable.  That they poses the question of whether eating game is more ethical i.e. eating wild animals which will exist without farming (so managed grouse moors do not count).   I did hear an argument that if more people ate venison there would be better control of our growing deer population and we would be eating meat which doesn't have such a terrible environmental impact. 
    Im a townie and it wasnt until I got involved with the local farming community (farm at the back of the house here) that I realised how much of the argument is based on US figures and based on US intensive farming figures. Ive been (or rather have been kicked out of) to one of the US intensive dairy farms and it stopped me eating meat whilst in the US. But thats if you want to eat cheap meat with 3 meals a day. We arent really designed to eat meat 3 times a day and certainly not that cheaply.
    I source most of my meat from local farms, chicken, beef etc which would be classified as reasonably 'normal' here but free range or beyond free range in a lot of places. Of course its not cheap because when you have big open fields and cows/pigs/sheep/chickens running around then it wont be cheap.

    For me at least, as a newly educated townie, a lot of the arguments fall flat within 10 mins of talking to a farmer. All the stuff about working out how many crops have to be grown to feed cows and the 97-99% rule or whatever the latest metric is neglect one very simple fact that anyone who has ever travelled will instantly recognise... ...that a lot of the earths surface isnt suitable for arable farming either with or without massive fossil fuel input in terms of management or fertiliser etc etc.
    The farm near me has a kitchen garden but the rest of it is cattle and sheep. Why? Well I live on the north side of a mountain on a cold damp rock in the middle of the north atlantic and its rough grazing only suitable for cows/sheep/goats etc. Ive been to places in africa/middle east where theres little or no meat and conversely some of the best steaks Ive ever had (sacriledge coming from this country) have been in argentina where it was dirt cheap because it was almost all free range and locally available.
    There are reasons why welsh/scottish/irish lamb (and new zealand) is world renowned, simply because in a lot of places its the only thing you can 'grow'.
    Im lucky that within say a half days walk I have excellent meat, potatoes, fish etc etc which isnt cheap but is what I would call 'clean' in terms of food miles, ff input, organic open pasture etc etc.
    I have a lot of vegetarian friends who have the discussion with me over this stuff and most of them wouldnt think twice about eating a plate of rice or quinoa which has been flown half way across the world...
    I grew up dirt poor and when I was a kid in the 70s/80s every meal was meat/fish, spuds and some veg (out of a tin for half the year) simply because that was the cheapest and because it was locally available, nothing was sourced more than 20 miles from the house.
    The answer, as with all this stuff, isnt either or its just less of everything and source locally.
  • edited 23 October 2020 at 8:54AM
    Pile_o_stonePile_o_stone Forumite
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    edited 23 October 2020 at 8:54AM
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/may/22/britain-uplands-farming-subsidies

    Why Britain's barren uplands have farming subsidies to blame

    "Two friends of mine once walked for six days across the Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales, and did not see another human being. Yet there is scarcely any wildlife either. Cross that bleak plateau and you will see plenty of moorgrass, some tormentil and moss, a few crows, perhaps the odd pipit and skylark, but almost nothing else, except sodding sheep. The hills have been grazed to destruction.

    The Cambrians are worse than most places, but there's a similar story to be told in almost all the uplands of Britain: Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, the Shropshire Hills, the Peak District, the Pennines, the Forest of Bowland, the Dales, the North York moors, the Lake District, the Cheviots, the Southern Uplands and the Highlands. The desertification of our uplands, in common with most of our wildlife losses, has nothing to do with population pressure and everything to do with farming.

    The hills have been grazed to destruction and it's time we begin to challenge the irrational aspects of the farming funding system.

    The uplands of Britain are astonishingly unproductive. For example, 76% of the land in Wales is devoted to livestock farming, mostly to produce meat. But, astonishingly, by value Wales imports seven times as much meat as it exports. Six thousand years of nutrient stripping and erosion have left our hills so infertile that their productivity is miniscule. Even relatively small numbers of livestock can now keep the hills denuded.

    Without subsidies, almost all hill-farming would cease. That's not something I'm calling for, but I do believe it's time we began to challenge the system and its outcomes. Among them is a policy that's almost comically irrational and destructive."


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  • edited 23 October 2020 at 12:05PM
    shinytopshinytop Forumite
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    edited 23 October 2020 at 12:05PM
    To be fair, most of the UK's countryside would look very different were it not for farming.  I was in the fens recently and the contrast between the protected marshland part I visited and the mile after mile of vegetable and flower fields I passed through to get there was huge.  

    Can we not turn this section into a vegan vs carnivore slanging match ? (I know it hasn't - yet!).  It should be allowed to be  ethical and a be meat eater, drive a petrol car, support nuclear power, fly abroad, etc., shouldn't it? 


  • edited 23 October 2020 at 1:04PM
    Pile_o_stonePile_o_stone Forumite
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    edited 23 October 2020 at 1:04PM
    shinytop said:
      It should be allowed to be  ethical and a be meat eater, drive a petrol car, support nuclear power, fly abroad, etc., shouldn't it? 


    It depends on an individual's own definition. Some people think it's ethical to ban abortion, some think pro-choice is ethical. Both sides think the other is unethical. Who decides?

    Personally, I think it's ethical to raise your own animals and slaughter and butcher them if you want to eat meat. I don't think it's ethical to have other people do this for you so that you don't suffer from the PTSD that abattoir workers suffer from due to the mass killing of animals.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-slaughterhouse-abattoir-spread-infection-ptsd-mental-health-a9593511.html

    "Do you want slaughterhouse workers to do the dirty work for you? Millions in Britain take it for granted that someone else will kill their dinner on their behalf. That’s how they’re able to eat dead animals while still seeing themselves as animal lovers.

    Animal slaughter is very dirty work. Although cows, sheep, pigs and chickens are the main victims, vulnerable humans are also being exploited and abused in secret. Psychologists say it’s causing post-traumatic stress disorder, perpetration-induced traumatic stress and a range of other horrifying syndromes. Unsurprisingly, studies have found that slaughterhouse work is connected to higher incidents of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse.

    How would you fare if you had to kill a pig yourself, or a cow or a sheep? These blood-soaked workers have to take many lives in every shift. A man who slaughtered young pigs said: “Pigs down on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them – beat them to death with a pipe.” "
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  • JKenHJKenH Forumite
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    shinytop said:
     It should be allowed to be  ethical and a be meat eater, drive a petrol car, support nuclear power, fly abroad, etc., shouldn't it? 


    Totally agree but others might not. 
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  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    Personally, I think it's ethical to raise your own animals and slaughter and butcher them if you want to eat meat. I don't think it's ethical to have other people do this for you so that you don't suffer from the PTSD that abattoir workers suffer from due to the mass killing of animals.
    I understand your point about keeping & slaughtering your own animals. But it's not as efficient as having herds of grass fed, grass finished animals humanely killed in an abattoir. When I was on a national police rifle marksman course we were taken to one so that a head could be cut open and the brain location shown us for any future shot placement. The animals were treated very well until the end. The owner caressed the head of a beast as he positioned the captive bolt. It was dead before its body hit the floor and was two sides of beef about 15 minutes later. A couple of years later I did have to shoot an animal that had escaped from an abattoir in Lincoln. Thanks to what I'd been shown it too did not suffer.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
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  • EricMearsEricMears Forumite
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    Pile_o_stone quoted :-

    A man who slaughtered young pigs said: “Pigs down on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them – beat them to death with a pipe.” "
    I don't think beating animals  to death with a pipe is an approved method of working in UK abattoirs ?
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  • edited 26 October 2020 at 10:23AM
    Pile_o_stonePile_o_stone Forumite
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    edited 26 October 2020 at 10:23AM
    NigeWick said:
    Personally, I think it's ethical to raise your own animals and slaughter and butcher them if you want to eat meat. I don't think it's ethical to have other people do this for you so that you don't suffer from the PTSD that abattoir workers suffer from due to the mass killing of animals.
    I understand your point about keeping & slaughtering your own animals. But it's not as efficient as having herds of grass fed, grass finished animals humanely killed in an abattoir. When I was on a national police rifle marksman course we were taken to one so that a head could be cut open and the brain location shown us for any future shot placement. The animals were treated very well until the end. The owner caressed the head of a beast as he positioned the captive bolt. It was dead before its body hit the floor and was two sides of beef about 15 minutes later. A couple of years later I did have to shoot an animal that had escaped from an abattoir in Lincoln. Thanks to what I'd been shown it too did not suffer.
    I think you missed my point. It wasn't about the efficiencies of mass killing of animals it was the morality of outsourcing the raising, killing and butchering of animals to other people so you don't have to suffer from the stress and trauma of doing it yourself. I read an article a couple of years back that certain supermarkets were package their meat products in such a way that their squeamish customers didn't have to 'touch dead flesh':

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/04/17/squeamish-handling-meat-maybe-shouldnt-eating-7472058/
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
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  • edited 26 October 2020 at 10:26AM
    Pile_o_stonePile_o_stone Forumite
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    edited 26 October 2020 at 10:26AM
    EricMears said:
    Pile_o_stone quoted :-

    A man who slaughtered young pigs said: “Pigs down on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them – beat them to death with a pipe.” "
    I don't think beating animals  to death with a pipe is an approved method of working in UK abattoirs ?
    I can imagine that all sorts of unapproved methods of killing animals take place in abattoirs, though some of the approved ones aren't so great. For halal and kosher meats, the animal is strung up by its heels and has it's throat cut so that it bleeds out, all while still fully conscious.

    I'd also imagine that there are two types of employees working in slaughter houses. Those that dislike their jobs but can't get other ones due to lack of skills/qualifications and those who enjoy their jobs because they have a mental issue. They say that nearly all serial killers start off killing animals before they move onto humans.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
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