Wednesday, 23 February 2011

my dad, the english farmer

this is my dad.

my papi is brilliant. he is a university lecturer in agriculture and he knows everything there is to know about pigs. he is also passionate about making other Brits aware of the importance of purchasing British pork.

he's the one that gave me a love for farm animals, a passion for self-sufficiency, and an understanding of the farming industry.

he truly believes (and so do i) that British meat is the best - the quality is top notch and animal welfare standards are so much higher than other countries. it's also incredibly important to support local farmers. in the UK we've become used to paying low prices for sub-standard meat - so much so that we've lost any connection with how that animal is treated as it grows from a tiny baby to it's slaughter size or how real meat should taste and look.

it angers me to see people thoughtlessly buying the cheapest meat, because everyone else does, or they think they need meat each day to survive, or they just like a 'good deal' (yes, it's in inverted commas, because cheap meat is not a good deal for anyone - the farmer, the animal, or the eater).

here are five very important reasons to support British farmers:
  • without your purchase, the future of British farming is in jeopardy - it's a difficult business anyway (have you ever met any rich farmers in the UK? no? that's because they love what they do, even though it's not profitable - trust me, i can vouch for that)
  • UK standards are the highest in Europe, produce of the EU does not ensure high welfare, and there's a very high chance that a product labelled EU comes from a farming system that is actually illegal in the UK
  • because our country have been farming for so many generations, our livestock is the envy of the world, with the best quality meats available, why would you want anything else?
  • it's healthier for you to eat less higher quality meat with a far superior nutrition profile, than lots of sub standard meat with not much to recommend it nutrition-wise. it's better for your conscious too.
  • think of the UK without cows, pigs, sheep or livestock, without your support this is a sad possibility - how weird would the countryside look?
anyway, i'm sure my dad would have sold this better to you really. he is a legend....

and now for a very cute photo of me when i was little and we lived on a pig farm... that piglet was called Jacob.

i apologise to any vegans + vegetarians reading this post, but i imagine you agree more than anyone that animal welfare standards should be the highest possible? and i also want to mention (in case you didn't already know) that i do eat meat, a couple of times a week, and although not always organic, i do source it from suppliers i trust. but more on meat-eating another time...

and if you live outside the UK, then pretty please consider purchasing locally reared meat with high welfare standards - or even from a local farm you can actually visit to see how the animals are treated. look for good quality food, shelter, large pastures and a slower turnover (there are many tricks to getting an animal to slaughter size faster, so look for farmers that think of the animal before profit)

how do you feel about buying local? do you choose quality over price, or the other way around?

currently listening to: radio 1 on bbc listen live


  1. excellent post! i'm all about supporting the locals! i wish the US would follow UK standards because it's really bad here. "factory farms" are known for their cruelty to animals (have you read Skinny Bitch... there is a section where it describes what happens to them... I cried) and they're very filthy. I also choose to eat organic meat (I buy it from Whole Foods.) I don't eat pork (those piglets are so cute!) xx

  2. I have recently turned veggie but when I was eating meat I would only ever get the organic meats from the local farmers market which was expensive but worth it, for the taste and piece of mind. Your dad is fab x x x

  3. Don't apologize! You shouldn't need to worry about walking on eggshells because of others' lifestyle choices!


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