I have a friend who, amongst other life changing decisions, began 2007 by giving up meat.
Yes, "giving up meat" as opposed to "becoming a vegetarian."
She loves meat and doesn't have a problem with killing animals for food. She is giving up as a protest against the way that animals are treated during their life time.
And I thought, "Well, surely one person not eating meat isn't going to have the slightest effect as a protest, because the industry is geared to excess production. Anything that isn't sold is chucked or turned into pet food, and no one is going to notice throwing away one extra chicken and a couple of steaks per fortnight.
"Isn't there organic, free range chicken you can buy to roast? And didn't Harry say something about Australia being the world leading in organic, free range beef or something? If so, then there are ethical options for the meat eaters. Probably not for pig products though.
"So, if you want to protest against the poor treatment of meat-product animals, instead of simply not eating meat (which will be noticed by noone except yourself) surely the way to do it would be to pay the extra for the ethically produced meat and drive the demand up."
The reason there are so many free-range and barn laid eggs on supermarket shelves is because people decided they wanted them and egg farmers had to follow suit. Net result = happy chickens and yummier eggs. I assume the same thing could happen with ethical meat.
Now, i am not supposed to even be writing this entry and i'm certainly not going to spend time researching the farming practices of australia when i should be researching cold bugs (far more interesting *cough*) so all this is speculation and hearsay. This is where you lot, oh knowledgeable-about-many-things people, get to be *shudder* useful.
How are animals treated for meat production in the mass market? I know about chickens, and i've heard horror stories about pigs, but i have no idea how (or even if) the farming practices differ for wool vs lamb, and beef vs dairy cattle. Do the baa lambs get to gambol in the fields or are they penned?
Is there such a thing as an organic free range karmic hippy pig? I thought they were all intensively farmed.
And (most importantly, ha ha) am I right?
If so, I fully intend to try eating the ethical stuff, assuming i can find some in this sprawling metropolis.