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Chicken toenails and yak kneecaps?

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default Re: Chicken toenails and yak kneecaps?

Post by Compostwoman on 10th February 2011, 4:08 pm

except that the MRM issue is usually from factory farmed meat put into cheap foods such as ready meals, pies, sausages and burgers

So the two issues ( how meat is reared and what goes into foodstuffs) are linked IMO, probably more so with factory farmed meat than free range meat.

I say this because it seems to me, from observation of butchers and chats with friends who raise organic or free range meat, that meat reared to higher welfare standards tends to be sold as " whole bits" of carcass - chops, joints etc,

so there is less destined for the MRM process ( if at all!) than the cruelly raised meat, where the so called best bits are removed and packaged for a supermarket and the rest is MRM and minced up etc...

So to me at least the two issues are fairly closely linked.

It is not about the issue of what is in the bargain burger, so much as the concept of MRM is easier to apply to a carcass if it has already been "de animalised" by cruel and unkind treatment when alive.


Not sure if that is too clear; I am on meds for my back pain and my thoughts are a bit fuzzy!

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Post by Sparhawk on 11th February 2011, 12:22 am

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:

Given that part of the ethos of this site is:
We believe that the homemade life is one that tries to avoid mass production, and attempts to reduce the amount of toxic products that have become part of our daily lives and routines.

It seems to me incompatible with endorsing factory farming practices that are inhumane, unsustainable for the planet and deleterious to human health.

Agreed, but arent the words in the ethos "tries, & attempts" & aren't some people more able to try & attempt things to a lesser or greater extent than others for varying reasons?

And if they aren't trying or attempting as much as the next person does that make them wrong?

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"the luxuries of civilisation satisfy only those wants which they themselves create..."
                 The Worst Journey In The World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922)

                "Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica,
    leads a ragtag, fugitive fleet, on a lonely quest—for a shining planet known as Earth."
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 11th February 2011, 10:26 am

I don't know that I entirley follow you, Spar.

Choosing not to eat eggs from battery hens is not a matter of trying or attempting. You either do it or you don't. I guess there may be circumstances in which you don't know whether the eggs you are eating are free-range or not - in a restaurant for example or at a friend's house, but in general terms it is simply a straightforward decision. I think we are all equally capable of saying 'no I am not going to buy the Tesco 2 value chickens for £3' - it is not a question of degree.

And if people choose not to opt for the more sustainable, humane option are they wrong? - well, depends what you mean by wrong. If I choose to drive a 5 litre Chelsea Tractor, run patio burners throughout the winter and jet off on holiday around the world four times a year and eat baby seal burgers out non-bio-degradable styrofoam packaging does that make me 'wrong'? If you mean in a moral judgement sense, I have no idea - i leave judgement to a higher authority. But it could certainly be said I am contributing to the problem, not the solution.

All these conumser issues about sustainable farming and so on work on the principle of supply and demand. Through the efforts of HFW et al to open people's eyes to the realities of battery hen farming, hundreds of thousands of people stopped buying battery eggs, and as a result of that, Sainsburys stopped stocking them.

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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 11th February 2011, 1:16 pm

Mmmm.... baby seal burgers. Mein Gotte, that's goooooood...
J/K

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that what Spar has in mind is that it's not feasable for some of us, myself included, to entirely change all of our buying/eating habits to more sustainable/ethical choices carte blanche. For many it's a matter of finances, think of those on fixed incomes, or local supply chain. I imagine those whom live in Iceland have some difficulty getting free range chicken readily available. The point is to keep making steps as possible to get closer to the ideal. You may have to say, this year I'm switching to free range eggs, but less of them because of pricing, then save a bit here and there so that by next year I may put in a hen house of my own. But in doing so, I may have to send the kids to school with common bologna sandwiches. Then next year, when I've got my own layers, I can get onto the next priority.

I beleive what the main focus of this thread is that, while being mindful of the main overriding ethos and ideal, what can we do within the boundaries of what each individual is currently capable of changing to get closer to the ideal. This year, I'm still buying xxxxx because I can afford it. How can I do it better? I have made up my mind that the goal is the sustainable and ethical use of resources, no doubt. I'll keep working, as I can, to get there.
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Post by Compostwoman on 11th February 2011, 3:39 pm

My point of view on this is, I would send my child ( or me, more like!) with a packed lunch of a tomato/cheese ( organic) /salad/peanut butter/anything else sandwich, rather than choose to buy a meat product which was made from unethically reared animals. So any ham/chicken/turkey/beef etc is out unless it is labelled Free range or organic etc

There is always a more ethical choice, most probably on a very limited budget it would be to eat less meat and make sure what is eaten was ethically reared.

Likewise with eggs. One can always choose not to buy them if they are battery eggs....

A cheaper way (if you can afford the slightly higher initial cost) of getting ethical meat for sandwiches is to buy a piece of meat, roast it and slice it up...people pay an awful lot for supermarkets to do just that and stick it in a plastic wrapper.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 11th February 2011, 4:56 pm

Yes, CW has the right of it here 100%.

there is never an economic justification for going for a product you believe to be unethical. Or rather what price do you put on ethics?

I just bought half a dozen free-range eggs this afternoon. Cost me 89p. The battery ones were 75p. That is a diference of 12 pence. 2p per egg. So if I eat 5 eggs instead of 6, I'm still good moneywise.

When the HFW Chicken Out week was on television the other year one of the things that struck me and stayed with me was a scene where they were interviewing blokes in a pub, asking about their views on eating free-range vs cheap Tesco chickens. All of them vehemently denounced spending £7 on a free-range bird to feed their children when they could get two for a fiver, because they could not afford such indulgence. It would be alright if they were posh and rich, but as it was they could not afford to eat anything but the cheap horrorchickens. As they necked a few pints at £2.80 a go, and puffed away at cigarettes that cost- I have no idea -£6 a pack? Not far off the price of a free range chicken. I have a neighbour who cannot afford to eat free-range chicken, and has an HD plasma TV the size of my car, a Sky TV subscription for £56 a month and a Subaru Impreza.

There is a great difference between thrift and buying rubbish. We spent a year and a bit surviving on a weekly shopping budget (for all shopping not just food) of £32. We didn''t eat any battery hens or battery eggs. We stretched meals and we foraged and we ate roadkill, and in fact we ate very well, because thrift forced me to be more creative. As has often been pointed out, the thrifty cook will get 2-3 meals from a chicken before boiling the carcass for stock. Going back to the HFW chicken programme, the families who bought the value chickens for budgetary reasons were eating the breast and drumsticks and chucking the rest away.

As an analogy I would suggest clothes and footwear made by children in SE Asian sweatshops. I would rather live without such products. If I could not afford to clothe myself or my children in ethically produced garments i would buy secondhand or from charity shops (actually we do this most of the time anyway) rather than support the exploitation of children.

My family eat a lot of meat, and a lot of fish. I am a foodie, and I am a believer in the value of child nutrition. I rear my own pork and chickens, and commission our own ducks to be reared elsewhere, but that only costs less per kilo on our plates than the equivalent supermarket stuff if we don't factor in our labour. We pay for beef and lamb. We don't eat Bird's Eye burgers etc because we will ot close our eyes to the horror of their production just to satisfy our taste buds. Better to eat beef once a month and eat quality, which does you some good and has been humanely reared than shovel industrial beefbulk in every day.

I am trying very hard not to rant,and probably not succeeding, but for me, personally and as a mod of this forum, it boils down to this: If you know that a product is not sustainable and is not ethically produced and causes suffering, then why do you think a Sutainable Living forum is the place to promote it?

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Post by Compostwoman on 11th February 2011, 9:13 pm

Billy's post says it all for me, really.

I really would rather be vegetarian than eat cruelly raised meat or poultry. Or fish come to that.

And I love meat.

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 12th February 2011, 8:48 am

Compostwoman wrote:

I really would rather be vegetarian than eat cruelly raised meat or poultry. Or fish come to that. And I love meat.



Exactly MY reason for being vegetarian for so many years.

I don't care if it has "yakky" bits in it as long as it's ethical and I like it!

My friends used to ask my why I liked watching Hugh F-W when he cooked so much meat. My argument was, and is still the same, he rears his own animals and uses everything possible.

As Billy, mentioned regarding the H F-W Chicken Out programme with part the men in the pub drinking and smoking but not being able to afford a free range chicken, still annoys me. I have a friend at work who has 2 boys and she regularly takes them to McD's and buys a pair of shoes most weeks, earns twice what I do but still says she couldn't afford to buy free range/organic food. headbang

I can get a nice free range chicken for £6-7. If I portion it up and freeze it I can get 4 good meals from that with leftovers for risotto/stir fry. Save the carcass bits in the freezer then once I've got all the bits, make stock, which then will make soup. Can't get much better value than that unless, of course, you raise your own chickens
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Post by Dandelion on 12th February 2011, 3:38 pm

This topic is now locked. We're all very different on this forum but we're all friends - this discussion has been heated and is in danger of becoming personal.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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