We recycle. We use energy efficient light bulbs. ‘Bags for Life’ are now considered the norm and growing your own veg is more popular than ever. It seems that being ethically aware and environmentally responsible is now a big factor on our lifestyle choices.
So why then do so many of us still eat cheap, intensively farmed meat?
Maybe the clue is in the question: it’s because it’s cheap. Maybe people just aren’t aware of the issues and maybe they just don’t care (heck, a chicken is a chicken regardless of where it’s from).
Ethical eating is ultimately benefical for everyone. From our health to animal welfare and the environment. Thing is, at the moment we are continually buying low end/cheap meat pre packed in the supermarkets, when we eat out or order a takeaway or grab a convenient pre made sarnie or salad. Why? IMHO it’s to justify a relatively modern yet already outdated idea that we need to eat a sizable portion of meat with every meal.
This attitude to our diets is forcing the market to unsustainably produce cheap meat, fast. Animals are being intensively and unnaturally reared and the environment is suffering under the weight of the mega unfriendly agriculture systems that are in place to produce and pump out all this meat for our ‘conveniance’. Our health is suffering too with obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes being caused by a large consumption of meat.
If you’re thinking i’m suggesting we all turn veggie then you’re wrong. I’m not suggesting we just stop eating meat. If you wanna turn vegetarian then that’s most awesome, but i love meat. I could never give up a Sunday roast and let’s face it, the mention of ‘vegetarian’ generally equals mass switch off. Most people just aren’t interested. I like the taste of meat and it does have it’s health benefits (we are omnivores afterall…) but it needs to be good quality meat and less often.
I guess I could just say Eat Local! Protest against supermarket meat and say we all only eat local meat but then the demand would just throw us back to where we are now. The paradigm of only local just doesnt work (paradigm? heh- i’ve been watching waaay too much ‘Big Bang Theory’). It needs to be local and less.
Eating less meat would also allow for any cost issues. One argument against eating ethically is just that the cost is too high. Truth is, if you’re only eating meat once a week or so, it shouldn’t be a problem and why are we expecting our meat to cost so little in the first place? Plus, learning to cook more efficiently would mean getting more meals from the meat and getting more for your money (including the health, animal welfare and environmental benefits).
I appreciate how hard it is to change your lifestyle but it can be done. Really, it needs to be done. Maybe i’m wrong, but next time, why not walk out with ethical meat in your recycled ‘bag for life’?
For more information please visit Compassion in World Farming