Meat the greens

 Someone said to me a while ago: "I'm not a greenie". Fair enough, one doesn't have to be a greenie. But what does that mean? Does it mean, perhaps, that the person has looked at the evidence for and against climate change  and decided there is no problem? Or that there is a problem but it is not caused by human activity.

Or, and this seems to be the most likely, the person simply doesn't care: "I'm OK, so I'm not bothered."

Of course, in this country, at this time, we are all OK. We are not going to disappear beneath the rising seas tomorrow, but does that mean we should not be bothered?

Last night the television in our house was tuned in to Country Calendar because there was story about a local butcher shop, Wholly Cow, run by a local family, which is doing very well. The business is intentionally as sustainable and kind to the environment as possible. There are many ways in which this family is attempting to lighten their step on the earth and improve the treatment of their livestock, at the same time as running a profitable business to ensure the long term survival and welfare of their family. 

I, personally, am philosophically opposed to the idea of eating meat but I commend this family and their business wholeheartedly. 

I don't condone the farming animals for the purpose of eating them; I think it is inefficient, unnecessary, and often inhumane - but that's just my view and I am quite willing to accept that others have differing views. In fact, two of the six members of our immediate family are carnivorous and we buy meat in the weekly shop. Except that now we will not be buying it from the supermarket. If we are to be customers of a butcher's shop we will patronize one which demonstrably values the environment and treats the animals with care and respect.

From the point of view of empathy and consideration for welfare of the animals I do not like the part of the process which comes between the animal in the paddock and the shrink wrapped product on the shelf. Even here these guys are scoring; they have their own abattoir on the farm and so the stock processed here are spared the last truck ride to the works. Likely a harrowing experience by anyone's standards, unless of course empathy is not in your repertoire of available emotions.

Environmental and climate change issues span a wide spectrum and my objections to animal farming which relate to that spectrum are based upon a small part of it. I have seen examples of farms in Europe which employ polyculture ie: many crops, including livestock, grown together. It's harder to object to the farming of animals when it is done on a small scale as part on an enterprise promoting biodiversity and sustainability.

Are the people who run Wholly Cow greenies? From what I saw last night - yes I think they are.


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