Are ethical meats really humane?

Can meet be ethical? Editor Joe Smith tackles the debate...

Joe Smith
2nd December 2019
image: Sam Carter Unsplash

In my opinion there is no such thing as completely ‘ethical’ meat. All meat is still dead animals and they have all been bred for their own slaughter.

Although I believe there to be no completely ethical meat, I still think there are ways for people who want to eat meat to try and be more ethical when buying. The easiest way to get sustainable and ethical meat in the UK would be to shop at a local butcher, as it is most likely that a large portion of the meat, they sell would’ve been grass fed and given a fairly happy life. This is not always 100% true however, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask butchers directly just so you get to know more about where your food is coming from. Although a butcher can be much more expensive than going to a supermarket, it’s worth it to know that there was some degree of welfare for the animals you’re eating when they were alive.

The damage the meat industry does to the environment is overwhelming.

The act of animal slaughter and the levels of animal welfare are not the only issues that arise when discussing the idea of ethical meat. The damage the meat industry does to the environment is overwhelming. Avoiding eating meat and dairy is said to be the biggest way to reduce your carbon footprint. Rearing animals for food require an incredible amount of land and resources. It is estimated that a huge 80% of all agricultural land in the world is used for farming. We are losing forests and green space just so more meat can be farmed. So many resources are being drained just so animals can be consumed. No matter where you buy your meat from, it is still required to come from a farm, a farm that is responsible for draining the resources we so desperately need to preserve.

To further fuel my point that there is no such thing as wholly ethical meat, here a few examples of how the meat industry is incredibly damaging for both animals and the planet. The meat industry causes dangerous amounts of deforestation, water pollution, greenhouse gases and animal cruelty. If we each want to do our bit for helping save the planet and prevent harm to animals, we should research more into the horrors of the meat industry and try do our bit to avoid speeding up the death of our planet.

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