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To love eating meat but hate the fact of killing animals?

(72 Posts)
AWholeLottaNosy Sun 04-Jan-15 21:51:49

I know this is totally contradictory but have been thinking about this lately and feel very conflicted about this. I love steak, bacon, roast chicken, sausages etc but I feel sick at the thought of animals being killed. We're so divorced from how these products get to the supermarket that I don't think we even make the connection with these things and what has to happen for them to get there. I feel hypocritical about this ( and I'm not a young, idealistic person either), don't know what to do! Also don't know how my body would cope without having all that protein either...

Sorry for confused post, just wanted to put my thoughts down and wondered what other people thought!

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Sun 04-Jan-15 21:59:14

I'm a farmers wife and I feel the guilt at times.
I deal with it by only eating ethically farmed meat. I'll eat meat from the UK as our welfare standards are the highest, and from most EU countries.
Meat from Brazil/Vietnam etc, which is almost all chicken in sandwiches and pizzas etc, is usually farmed to far lower welfare standards than ours, so I won't eat it.

Use free range where available (always free range for eggs) and always buy Farm Assured meat (red tractor logo).

I'll also eat meat from our farm as I know they've been well kept, and any wildlife that DH brings home as he is a humane shot.

I try not to eat 'throwaway' meat, but to really respect the fact that a life has been lost for the meal. So, I wouldn't think 'oh I fancy a snack, I'll just polish off this bit off chicken,' instead I'd snack on fruit etc and keep the meat for a meal.

Eat less meat - but better meat.

Jewels234 Sun 04-Jan-15 22:02:31

Agree with you. The way we produce meat is horrendous, just so it can get into our supermarkets cheaply. There are no nutrients that we can't get better in a meat free diet. We can't sustain the world eating as much meat as it currently does. And personally, I don't see eating meat as the morally correct option.

Having said that, I love sausages. And it really doesn't need to be black and white. Why not cut meat out of your diet one day a week? Be pescatarian instead? Have meat free lunches? Google flexitarianism - I think it would solve your problem! I live 95% of my life as a vegetarian...The odd sausage does slip back in (and I'm sure there will be a million people on here come on and say I'm not a proper veggie, but it's what works for me).

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Sun 04-Jan-15 22:02:39

Also, read all the packets for where the meat is sourced from. You wouldn't believe how little of it is UK.

Farmers in the UK have to adhere to strict welfare standards, which is a very expensive way to farm. This in turn makes the end product more expensive.
Trouble is, after making our farmers jump through all these hoops, the government then allows import of meat from anywhere in the world, which then undercuts ours.

But that's a whole other thread...!

Jewels234 Sun 04-Jan-15 22:03:55

ifyourawizard just gave a way better answer than me!

Lazymummy2014 Sun 04-Jan-15 22:04:08

Agree with the above. Get meat from a proper butcher, not the supermarket, or if possible a local farm.

AWholeLottaNosy Sun 04-Jan-15 22:04:47

Wizard, thanks for that, could be a good compromise. I know if I had to kill my own meat I couldn't do it and it's very easy to be unthinking about the meat in supermarkets. I have never seen 'Farm Assured' meat tho, is it in supermarkets?

lavendersun Sun 04-Jan-15 22:08:42

I buy from a butcher who is a farmer. I drive/walk past his fields daily. He has an abattoir at the back of the shop so his meat travels about a mile at the most.

I don't eat meat every day, probably 4 or 5 times a week max. I would rather not eat it than eat cheap supermarket meat.

I do buy chickens in Waitrose - Leckford or whatever the name is, other than that everything comes from my butcher.

EllaMenopy Sun 04-Jan-15 22:11:50

Something will die in the production of your food regardless of what you're eating, so yes, make an effort to buy meat that is well produced from farming systems with which you are comfortable, but don't beat yourself up about it.

disclaimer: I'm a former vegetarian, now married to a sheep farmer

HicDraconis Sun 04-Jan-15 22:13:33

We do the same as ifyourawizard - we eat meat, but we eat "good" meat.

So beef, mince, burger patties etc come from a local organic farm down the road where the beef cattle are killed humanely at home (nose down in a trough mostly) before being taken to the butcher for processing. We pay a higher price for this but the meat tastes far better than the local supermarket meat. We also buy a piglet for them to run until they're suitable for slaughter for our gammon / pork / sausages.

Chicken is more difficult because I don't know anyone locally that runs free range chickens for meat. Ours are all females (little feathered egg factories) and not great for eating. I buy free range from the butcher as a compromise.

We don't eat lamb because I don't know where I can get happy lamb from.

One meat free dinner a week (it's a pasta dish), at least one meat free lunch a week and I can live with our food choices.

corgiology Sun 04-Jan-15 22:13:52

What about Quorn products as an alternative?

The only other suggestion is buying grass fed or free range meat and visiting the farm to see how the animals are raised.

Once you are satisfied then buy meat from there smile

Also consider eating rabbits, deer, wild boar, pheasant, ducks (need to check to make sure it is shot and not factory farmed) etc as these will live natural lives met to a quick end by a pellet.

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Sun 04-Jan-15 22:14:01

Google 'farm assured logo.' I bet you've seen it, but perhaps didn't look closely.
I think that pretty much all UK meat in supermarkets is farm assured. We supply Waitrose and Asda and that all has to be farm assured.

It's also worth remembering that if no one ate meat there would be almost no farm animals in existence and the countryside would become redundant and then built on.
It's not kept all grassy and hedgy just to look nice - it's all for the animals. If no one ate meat the there'd be no need for the animals.

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Sun 04-Jan-15 22:16:05

disclaimer: I'm a former vegetarian, now married to a sheep farmer

Snap! grin

ConferencePear Sun 04-Jan-15 22:41:28

I agree 100% with Ifyouareawizard. I do my best to check that any animal I eat has been properly reared and humanely killed and I really try not to waste anything.
I am alarmed by the amount of good farmland that is disappearing under housing; much of it could be used for arable.

GingerbreadPudding Sun 04-Jan-15 22:44:28

I became veggie at 32 - you don't have to be young and idealistic! A friend is veggie and he said to me that he didn't want anything to have to feel pain, fear and die for him to eat since it was needless. It struck a chord and I've been veggie ever since. I do miss the taste and texture of meet but I feel better about myself and it's amazing how quickly meat just becomes a non-option, I don't consider eating it ever.

AmantesSuntAmentes Sun 04-Jan-15 22:51:27

I was a sheep farmer - now a veggie!

I could and have the ability/knowledge and experience to kill/clean/butcher an animal, weirdly.

So, in the unlikely even that killing an animal was necessary to my children's existence, I could do it.

I don't want to be part of mass, unnecessary slaughter though, so I'm not!

impatienceisavirtue Sun 04-Jan-15 22:55:03

My son is like this. He refuses to be in pictures if you can see him eating meat ha.

LittlePeasMummy1 Sun 04-Jan-15 22:56:04

I loved meat but gave it up about 15 years ago because it doesn't sit right with me that something has to die just because I like the taste of it. Every little helps and you just have to do what feels comfortable for you.

revealall Sun 04-Jan-15 22:56:09

Agree with the comment about eating "shot" food absorbed from a butchers. Pigeon, rabbit pheasant etc will be dead as if killed naturally in the wild.

Don't overthink the dead animal thing. Creatures in the wild die horrible deaths compared to our ours. Usually by starvation, disease or eaten alive by something else. They don't have long old age or retirement homes.

Look for free range small farm animals that haven't had intensive breeding.

HeresToAVeryDrunkAndHappy2015 Sun 04-Jan-15 22:58:29

I agree with you. I love eating most meats but hate the killing of animals in order to do so. I became a veggie last year because of it. TBH it's not really that hard, just swapping Quorn for meat products.

fluffymouse Sun 04-Jan-15 22:59:08

Personally I am vegetarian as I am not happy with the ethics of eating meat.

I get lots of protein.. Its a myth that vegetarians lack protein.

It really is very easy to be vegetarian. If you want any advice feel free to pm me.

Smoorikins Sun 04-Jan-15 23:03:44

I have a similar dilemma going on. I have been vegetarian through much of my life - although I did have a bit of a break in the middle. My reasons initially were solely as a protest against factory farming, rather than a moral issue about eating meat - but in time that has changed.

I have recently done a 'whole 30' (strict paleo diet for 30 days, strong onus on organic/pasture-fed meat with lots of veg and no grains) during which I decided that I would eat meat just for that month as it made the programme much easier. During the 30 days though I have found so many benefits. My asthma has improved, my skin has improved, I can run for longer are the main three, but there are others.

I only intended this to be a 30 day plan - at the end of it you reintroduce food groups back in to see if you react to any of the common allergens in the modern diet.

But I am conflicted. Obviously health-wise I benefit from this way of eating, but ethically I definitely lean towards vegetarianism.

I hadn't heard of flexitarianism, but that might be my way forward. Thanks for this thread op, it's really good to know I'm not alone in this!

Koalafications Sun 04-Jan-15 23:04:45

Quorn tastes nothing like meat and gas a very different consistency.

SunshineAndShadows Sun 04-Jan-15 23:06:00

I'm a veggie too - I feel uncomfortable with the idea that something has to die to provide me with non-necessary food. However food labelling is very important as pp have said. Red tractor is really minimal in terms if welfare standards but individual supermarkets have their own farm assurance schemes (waitrose, m and s and sainsbury are good) which their own brand products need to meet. Also the RSPCA use a freedom food logo for high welfare farms
This link has a breakdown if each if the many farm assurance schemes and what they mean in terms of welfare

SunshineAndShadows Sun 04-Jan-15 23:08:52

Just another thought and possibly opening another can of worms but if meat bothers you, you may also want to rethink your leather usage - most leather comes from cows kept in horrific situations in India and slaughtered only for leather (not meat) Plus lots of environmental and human health issues with leather tanning

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