02 July, 2011

Meet your meat

Meet Julie, Judy & Julia.

They are family pets.

They have food: grain & grass (most days). They have shelter (a little chook tractor). They have access to clean water.

They even have designated places to poo.

My chooks are better off than 2.5 billion people, who lack these basic human needs.

My chooks are loved. They get cuddled. They get pats. They are treated relatively well.

Tonight, we are eating some of their relatives.

I am cooking rustic simmered chicken from:
Hay, Donna (2008) No time to cook

.....and it makes me wonder.

Where did the chooks that we are about to eat, come from?

I bought them from the local Chop Shop. Did they live happy lives? Did they die humanely?

Probably not.

For all the controversy over live exports of cows to Indonesia, I have to wonder if the animals that I eat, are any better or worse off than the cows in Indonesia shown on 4corners??!!!

John Safran demonstrates some this in his cooking video.

Michael Pollan is an author (& a Journalist) who wrote the Omnivore's Dilemna, using his investigative journalist's skills to trace his industrial food chains back to the farms where his food is grown.

My journey might be a little easier, since a lot of my food is sourced from Food Connect. I make an attempt to grow some our food in the back yard with mixed success. I am successfully cultivating possums.

I am conscious that different foods have higher carbon footprints and water footprints then others. Obviously anything that is refrigerated or transported vast distances is going to have higher embodied energy & water.

I try to buy local food, that is in season.

.....However, when I see folks vehemently opposed to live exports of cattle from Northern Australia to Indonesia, I wonder if they have thought through the alternatives.

If Australians ban live cattle exports, other countries may fill the gap in the market.

Selling chilled meat to a country where refrigeration is both limited & expensive may not be viable.

There is quite a lot of folks in Indo. Around 240 million, I believe. Growing food locally may not be all that practical. Relying on ever depleting fish stock presents another problem.

As I ponder these things, I am raising more questions than I am answering concerning social justice, animal welfare, food security, vegetable rights & peace.

We are what we eat.

Have you met your meat?

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