The future is OUR choice

Posted on 24 Oct 2011 in Support Ethical, Think Welfare | 0 comments

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Ok, so hiSbe is here to highlight the “how it is” in the food industry, and ask you, the Great British Public if that’s “how it Should be”. But sometimes it’s mind-blowingly obvious that some things are just so plain wrong that they have to be stopped.

And, like the mega-dairy farms, this is another of those times. Massive US-style pig farms are being planned for the UK – turning thousands of pigs each week into huge quantities of cheap bacon, sausages and chops.

We’ve been conditioned by clever supermarket marketing to believe that cheap food is good, and they use a big chunk of every pound we spend with them to keep ramming this message down our throats and convincing us to shop with them more! Money that could be used on things like high quality ingredients, paying farmers properly, fair sourcing, minimising waste etc. – but that’s a whole other conversation!

So what’s the issue with industrial pig farms? Well, first of all the “cheap meat” argument is an illusion – there are HUGE knock on costs from farming on such a massive scale. In fact, Pig Business who are leading the opposition to a proposed mega pig farm in Foston, explain that there are 20 main issues, and they fall into the following categories;

  1. Threatening our health
  2. Polluting the environment
  3. Wrecking rural communities
  4. Abusing animals

Frankly, there’s already room for much improvement in each of these four areas in our existing factory farming systems, without letting standards drop even further by allowing the mega farms to go ahead.

For instance, it’s incredible to me that only one supermarket – Waitrose – provide bedding material (straw etc.) for all pigs reared for it’s own label meat. Not only do most of those poor animals have to spend their entire miserable lives indoors, they are expected to lie down on cold, cement floors – presumably to protect a few pence of the supermarkets’ precious profits. Yet they can afford to pump the animals full of prophylactic antibiotics that end up causing MRSA and other diseases in humans.

So what can you do about all this? Well, in line with “Think Welfare“, one of hiSbe‘s 8 Everyday Choices, Pig Business suggests one very simple course of action:

“BUY ONLY HIGH WELFARE PORK. ASK FOR IT AT THE SUPERMARKET OR BUTCHER, OR BETTER STILL AT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS’ MARKET WHERE THE FARMER GETS A FAIR PRICE AND YOUR MONEY STAYS IN THE LOCAL ECONOMY.”

The most effective and immediate way that you can change the things that are wrong in our food system, is by supporting what’s right. Every pound you spend on food is a vote, an endorsement and a direct request for more of the same. Your money keeps businesses going, so make sure you’re choosing the ones that operate in a way that you think is right.

Visit Pig Business to watch their brilliant documentary about how the corporate takeover of the food economy is damaging for us all. Here’s the trailer:

 

Thanks to our friends at Pig Business for the photos 

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