I don’t think I’ll ever become a vegetarian. It’s not because I’m a big carnivore, far from it, I enjoy my Christmas dinner and I like bacon. Pancetta is the base of a really good carbonara. However, there are times that I have to question just how important meat is to me. It might be my old age, I might be getting soft in the head, there are people who already say that and as a ‘wheelie’ I can’t stand up for myself.
I read an article in my daily newspaper yesterday, The Times, I try to read quality although Mr Murdoch owns the Sun as well, so rather than call it a newspaper perhaps we should rename them scandal rags. The article that has upset me was on page 11 or 12 and was a small item at the bottom. I happened to be reading said paper cover to cover as I was waiting for my laptop to recharge. This particular piece informed me of the export of live sheep in cattle trucks covering 2000 miles from the UK to Hungary and Bulgaria. The sheep were loaded onto 3 tiers, approximately 300 hundred and this item was merely informative. It did not explain to me why this livestock was being slaughtered so far from England, it just seemed so matter of fact. There was no explanation as to it being cost efficient or somehow a necessary evil, it just was.
I can’t pretend to think like a sheep, I’m not one of those who follow the flock, but these animals are mammals, they have been mothers and although they are on 4 legs, we were also 4 legged until we stood up on our hind legs. They have emotions, can feel pain and therefore have the capacity to suffer. Can anyone imagine the anxiety and the stress to these animals on their journey? The dehydration caused, the cortisone and adrenaline released into their bodies, to say nothing of the defecation and broken limbs. This cannot make for palatable eating.
We have slaughterhouses in this country, still, just. In what possible world do we need to move livestock from one country to another in order to be slaughtered? Ever since I can remember we have been buying New Zealand lamb, frozen and often cheaper than our own. Why aren’t we buying and eating our own sheep, chickens and beef?
I think that if we learn anything from Brexit or the current Corona virus pandemic it surely must be that with a little bit of foresight and forward planning we could be providing for ourselves and not exporting or importing food.
We have ample green space and fields. We can grow and farm our own meat, we are an island, we are surrounded by fish. We can grow strawberries in June, apples in October and potatoes all year round. Our asparagus is ready now. We need to eat seasonally, I know we need oranges for marmalade, I appreciate there are holes in this ideal. Although English sparkling wine is better than Champagne and our Somerset brie is as good as anything from France, we can’t grow oranges yet.
I suspect that moving livestock around in this way is more cost efficient. I can’t think of any other reason for doing this and I am trying to find a way to raise awareness of this animal cruelty.
Please share this if you agree with me.