Eat and enjoy ethically reared pork and other meat
October 31, 2016
Way back in ancient times wild boar was discovered in seven entirely different parts of the world and in every instance they easily became tame and domesticated and were kept and cared for and slaughtered for food. Their meat was so popular that by the Middle Ages pigs were allowed to wander freely in the streets,( the original free rangers) living the porcine equivalent of the life or Riley, right up to and until the moment when someone got hungry.
There have been both hunters and farmers amongst my ancestors and some of them have had pigs that waddled around the farm yard doing their thing until they were needed for bacon and ham. There would be necks and legs and loins and bellies just waiting to be salted or put in the oven. For generations my family have enjoyed breakfasts of bacon and sausages, lunches of chops or mince and dinners of casseroles and roast of all kinds. My great grandfather preferred lard to butter, my Gran’s biggest treat when I visited was “skaap stertjies” and as a young boy my greatest aspiration was to become a butcher on day.
But just because eating meat would seem to be in my genes and I love it, doesn’t necessarily mean that I shouldn’t think very carefully about whether it’s morally right to eat meat or not. After all I care about animals and I’m absolutely repulsed by the disgusting levels of abuse that are practiced on factory farms, feedlots and at some abattoirs. I also respect the opinions of those have elected to abstain from meat because they see this as a mark of moral progress. But after weighing up all the pros and cons and doing plenty of soul searching, I have to confess that I intend to continue in the ways of my forefathers.
In my opinion we have come too far down the domesticated pathway. There are far too many species that are totally dependent on us and it’s just naive o think that we can simply turn back the clock and allow them all to go feral and live peacefully and unaffected by man. If we were to abandon them to their own fate -they would either starve or wreak havoc in our carefully tilled lands and veggie patches, which we would have to fertilise without the assistance of organic animal manure to feed the soil. On the other hand if we were to continue to look after them and just not slaughter them, then would we leave them to die from predation (there’re plenty of other animals who have no intention of giving up meat), injury or sickness or stand back and watch them degenerate with age and suffer a slow but natural death without interfering as would happen in the wild? And how would we manage the population - by sterilisation or culling? And when they finally die, as everyone must, what would we do with the corpses – would we bury them or leave them to putrefy or be mutilated by jackals, vultures, crows and maggots?
Surely the only practical and rational solution is simply to raise all domesticated animals ethically – make sure that they live well, feed them on safe and appropriate food and insist that they are cared for by people who respect them and enjoy having contact with them. We must continue to strive to make their slaughter as painless and stress free as possible and then take their meat and make the absolute most of it. Waste nothing, so that appropriate tribute is paid to the animal that has died to provide us with the necessary protein and other nutrient that our bodies need.