Can I Play Outside?
I grew up on a smallholding so the welfare of farm animals has always been an important issue to me. I believe farm animals should live without pain and discomfort and be able to fulfil their natural instincts. At the end of what is hopefully a pleasant life, abattoirs should be local so that hellish journeys are eliminated. Killing should take place under humane circumstances. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But with 600 mega-farms in the Netherlands alone, it’s a long road ahead. Whilst big numbers don’t necessarily mean bad animal husbandry, it often leads to overcrowded conditions and a focus on profit margins rather than quality of the meat/eggs/milk and animal welfare. It’s all too easy to blame the farmer but consumers and supermarkets play a greater role in their need for low prices and high turnover respectively. The Dutch government isn’t helping much, it even subsidises mega-farms outside of the Netherlands in developing countries. Go figure.
No Meat Today
I guess you are thinking I am a vegetarian. I’m not, but I do have meat-free days which makes me a flexitarian. If we all made a few adjustments to our diet and gave up meat once a week that would significantly reduce the need for intensive farming methods. Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday, campaign encourages us to have at least one meat-free day a week. That would have a huge effect on the amount of green house gases produced and significantly decrease the need for intensive farming and the spin-off animal suffering involved. Small changes on a wide scale can have a huge impact.
For many years I have made annual donations to Compassion in World Farming. They have just started a Crowdfunding campaign, to send the pig sculpture (pictured below) on a tour of the Netherlands. The aim is to raise awareness amongst consumers about the nightmarish circumstances some farm animals live in. The impressive ‘Ode to a Pig,’ is made by artist, Jantien Mook, who made ‘Ode to the Wilderness’ which I blogged about here.
Please sign the petition, End the Cage Age. Or better still crowdfund the campaign so that happy pig gets to go on tour in NL, CIWF campaign is open for funding till 8 November. Right now he’s in the Westerpark, Amsterdam, on the edge of the playing field. Why not leave meat off the menu for one day this week? Plenty of tasty recipes via the Meat Free Monday link. Good luck and on behalf of the pigs, thank you!
Great post, Susan. We have several meat-free days per week, partly because, like you, we want to do our bit for the environment. Also, the older I get, the less easy I find it to digest meat. And it’s so damned expensive! All good subsidiary reasons to do it.
Thanks, Vanessa for commenting. Great that you have so many meat-free days. I try to as well, quality meat is expensive. Often in spaghetti sauces you really don’t notice the difference whether it’s minced beef or vegetarian substitute.
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As we are not big meat eaters, we too are doing our bit for the environment. So agree animals should be kept humanely, and slaughtered humanely. Reaching
abattoirs should not involve horrendous journeys. A long way to go in some countries, Angela. Interesting topic.
Thanks, for commenting Chris. Indeed, there is a long way to go in many countries but I suppose we can only do our bit and hope for change.