Monday, April 18, 2011

Eat meat responsibly

Over the past few years I’ve realised more and more just how essential it is to know as much as possible about where ones food comes from and to be guided by ones conscience when making choices. So when I started my artisanal charturerie it was a no brainer that I would source local free range meat. It takes time and I have to do my homework and sometimes I battle to get enough stock but I’m proud to say that everything I produce is 100% free range. I visit the farms and find out for myself that ethical animal husbandry is practised. It’s essential for all domestic livestock to be free range, treated with love and respect and not mutilated in any way: also that neither growth hormones nor antibiotics are used and that their slaughter is as painless and stress free as possible.
Some might say that this begs the meaty questions of whether we should be rearing animals for  slaughter in the first place, irrespective of how well they’re cared for, how healthy their meat or how humane their death.
I’ve given this plenty of thought and this is how I see it. Research confirms that humans have been carnivores since at least the Stone Age and the few remaining indigenous tribes who still live in close harmony with wild nature continue to hunt even today. As one of my favourite foodies, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall puts it, “For hundreds of thousands of years we have hunted animals and for tens of thousands we have farmed them so that we can eat their meat.” So all in all I’m satisfied that our eating meat per se is not doing anything that’s outside the natural order of things and that if done correctly, our killing methods are as, if not more, humane than those of other non-human predators.
Where things have gone horribly wrong is that we’ve become greedy and lost sight of the fact that these are sentient beings that deserve to be treated as such. Those of us who believe that there is a moral content to eating meat have to take the responsibility for changing this. That means saying “no more” to industrial meat production and the factory farming systems where the animals are seen as commodities and profit is the only goal.  Instead of encouraging businesses to produce bigger piles of bad quality cheap meat and poultry, we must stop buying these dubious products all together. Instead we need to take the time and trouble to seek out the ethical small producers and then be prepared to spend a little more and eat meat a little less often.
Become very particular about what you buy and make sure that every time you serve any kind of meat dish everyone can honestly say that it was so good and brought such pleasure to their lives that the animal who gave its life was honoured in the process.
You can find me at the Constantia Waldorf’s Organic & Biodynamic Produce Market from 11am to 3pm every Friday during term time and at the Earth Fair Market, South Palms, 333 Main Road, Tokai every Saturday morning. But if this doesn’t fit in with your schedule email me at or call me on 072 240 8511 and I’ll deliver to you personally.

I'm out to cure the world.

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