WILL YOU PAY FOR ‘PIGNESS’?
In a number of recent discussions amongst farmers and with non-farmers, there has seemed to be an impasse.
It goes something like this:
Non-farmer: “How can you treat animals that way?”
Farmer: “We love our animals, you’re just being misled by activists showing you worst practice.”
Non-farmer: “I just want you to be kind to the animals while you raise them, and to kill them with as little stress as possible.” [Many vegans snort at this point, though not all.]
Farmer: “We treat our cows/sheep/etc better than our children! They’re pampered! We love them!”
Non-farmer: “But you handle them roughly and slaughter bobby calves young after starving them!”
Farmer: “What do you want us to do with all the bobby calves? We can’t afford to raise them all. But we send them to a nearby abattoir to minimise stress and time off feed…”
Non-farmer: “But the poor calves!”
Non-farmer then, in most cases, goes and purchases milk from Coles or Woolworths at $1 per litre for private label, or slightly more for ‘branded’ milk. They also consume meat and dairy daily, yet don’t want their meat to come from intensively-raised animals.
Who’s right here? And what’s at stake?
To get to the heart of the matter, I asked a very simple question on the twitterz yesterday (Nov 29):
Non-farmy (meat-eating) types – what do you want from farmers in the raising of the animals you want to eat? Be specific!
Here were the replies:
@trib: animals get more open space than legislated, only necessary drugs, healthy, natural food, capacity to behave naturally, eg herding
@FreeHugsTommy: I want the animals to be living a life as close as possible to the one they would live if they weren’t being farmed.
@hadrian33: Happy animals (allowed to roam and eat what they like best) As stress-less a death as possible
@andrewfaith: Organic, free range, humanely treated. Treat them the way we would like to be treated – with care and respect.
@katgallow: For animals 2 have chance of self-expression. Eg pigs root around, wallow etc as expressn of ‘pighood’
@drnaomi: I would like food animals to have good living conditions, good natural food and to not be traumatized by transport and slaughter.
@th3littleredhen: the best possible quality of life (& death) before it becomes food.
@graceonline: Truly pasture-raised, pasture-fed; no feed or plants with GMO or animal parts or slurry; respectful butchering; clean;
@abbystorey: to know where & how animals are raised. Sounds obvious but pics of happy farmyards & slippery terms like freerange are misleading.
@stillmansays: want cows raised in deep pasture w cow/calf herds & slaughter in pasture to allow cows opp to grieve & re-form herd dynamics
@EmpiricalBaker: reasonable prices, animals raised outdoors in nature, open communication with farmers
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