The welfare of our animals and the respect we show them has always been at the heart of everything we do at Daylesford. Our animals are free to roam our organic pastures and the state of their health and well-being is closely monitored by our farmers throughout their lives. But at a time when veganism is on the rise and the quality and quantity of meat we consume in this country is being scrutinised, my team and I are often asked about our attitudes to eating meat, the environmental and moral impact and implications of managing a farm with livestock, and how consumers can justify paying the additional cost of sourcing meat of sound provenance.
We will be bringing these questions and many other environmental and ethical questions around eating meat to a panel discussion at our next Daylesford Discusses evening at our Notting Hill farmshop on 12th March.
For my own part I have always believed in the need to eat with my conscience and to eat sustainably, in a way that ensures we can feed the world’s growing population long after my own lifetime. By farming organically and rotating our fields between crops and livestock we build up the stocks of nutrients in the soil and ensure we are preserving its health for the long-term. For this reason I do believe in eating meat, but less of it; eating animals that have been reared with care and consideration; and ensuring that I am adopting a ‘nose to tail’ attitude in my consumption – using the cheaper cuts and offal in order to waste as little of the animal as possible.
Change is never easy, and for anybody used to including meat as a staple part of their diet, the thought of reducing it may seem daunting. However, it is clear that we need to act now – the world cannot go on producing and consuming meat at its current rate. By making even very small adjustments – observing Meat Free Monday or limiting our portion sizes of animal protein – we can all play our part in helping to protect the future of our planet.