Do you know if you're buying ethically raised lamb or pork etc. in your grocery store?
I was doing farm expenses on the computer while listening to the local CBC radio program which is how I happened on this discussion.
A Calgary Co-op Grocery Store is soon to decide whether or not to supply ethically raised eggs and pork in their store and stop supplying products from animals raised in conditions that are too confining. The radio interview was with an intensive hog farmer, probing for his thoughts of the pending decision. You can listen to one version of the program at the CBC Radio site.
The program had my immediate attention and I set the numbers aside and opened up my text editor to write. I was a listener of the radio, but I was soon actively taking part in the discussion.
I usually save my deeper rants for my Crooked Fences Newsletter and it's getting late, so without tearing the interview apart and spewing it back out here, I'll stick to a couple key points for this blog post. Which, will be very hard to do.
There is a lot of grey area in defining more ethically raised, nonetheless, this would be a great step forward. While this move concerns only eggs and pork at this time, lamb is very commonly factory farmed so it sets the tone for other animal sectors as well.
It is mentioned that raising pigs in the best manner possible is something farmers agree on one hundred percent.
No, no, no, I'm not raising pig but I will not be labeled into this category of intensive farmer and I'm sure all the farmers who are raising pigs outdoors in a natural manner would agree. The word farming is a misnomer today and it gets my dander up to be lumped into this just by way of a label. This is why I deliberately titled the website and blog ranching-with-sheep instead of farming-with-sheep.
The hog farmer pressed that we raise these animals to eat them, they need to produce efficiently and this is a business. We can't take economics out of the picture nor put feelings in. This could be the same discussion that takes place at sheep seminars.
We have to move away from food, agriculture, and feeding people revolving solely around money. Money is the currency we exchange for goods, it should not be the determining factor in how humane or inhumane we raise an animal. Our consciousness should be doing that.
It is people who are raising livestock, killing them and eating them - all by choice. To insist we remove the feeling from farming is to insist we are not human.
Maybe it's time for a new business model and not just one that greatly inflates the price because a product is naturally raised. There can be a more wholesome, fair food system for both animal and human to afford.
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