Brits like their meat: at least 93% of the UK population eat meat and one-in-five of us are eating it every day. That’s a lot of animals and the food industry uses intensive factory farming to rear animals for meat in order to manage all this demand. However, animal welfare organisations, like CIWF and WSPA, are challenging the factory farm model and pushing alternative cases for animals to be reared in farms and fields, not factories.
But why the debate?
Well the demand for meat has shot up in the last two generations because since the 1970’s the food industry has focused on making meat as cheap, available and accessible as possible. Intensive factory farming has become the normal way to produce meat, in order to minimise cost and maximise profit. But what is factory farming? We’ve all seen those pictures of “battery” chickens, living their lives caged, but we rarely think about the other animals. The fact is that most of our meat comes from chickens, pigs, sheep and cows that are confined in overcrowded spaces for almost all of their lives.
It’s uncomfortable to think about it, but we’re supporting a system that promotes unnecessary suffering, creates large scale waste and pollution, gobbles up most of the world’s grain and antibiotics and is producing increasingly poor quality food and new health threats. These are the hidden costs of cheap meat.
As meat eaters we can improve things if we think animals should be in farms, not factories: it’s about choosing meat that’s been farmed in ways that respect animal welfare, respect Nature and respect the integrity of our food. That’s why Protect Nature and Think Welfare are 2 of hiSbe‘s 8 Everyday Choices.
It turns out the ways that are best for the animals and the planet are also healthiest for us too…