25th March 2015

I’d like to visit an abattoir. Not from some horrible, macabre, salacious desire to see the ending of an animal’s life. That’s not me. That’s not where I get my kicks.  I’m just interested. I honestly would like to see how this part of the food industry works. I’ll tell you for why…

As previously mentioned, I eat meat. I like meat. I think it tastes fantastic. I have no problem with my vegetarian friends who decide meat isn’t for them. Total respect for that point of view. It just isn’t mine. Just don’t try to fob me off with Quorn and tofu. I’m not going to fall for it so don’t insult my intelligence (and if you want to see a food product that was designed in the laboratory, read up on Quorn).

So, if I am determined to carry on with this meat-eating lifestyle of mine, I feel I need to get to know how it all works. That might mean I’m in for a few shocks and surprises. But I’m prepared to take one or two for the team if it means that we can be assured that this part of the food industry is being run humanely (is that the right word?) and causes as little suffering as possible.

The vast majority of farmers care deeply about the health and well-being of their animals. It’s not in their nature to be cruel or to be indifferent. Yes, of course, it’s their livelihood and animals to them mean profit but, over and above that, I’ve yet to meet a farmer who doesn’t want the best for his sheep or pigs or cattle. I’d like to think that abattoir owners have a similar attitude. Yes, they’re killing animals for profit but deep down I’d like to think that they have honed their systems to make it as swift and as painless as possible.

So, I’m going to try and arrange a trip and report back. It really is essential we understand the way our food arrives onto our plates. We owe it ourselves and we owe it to the animals we eat.


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