BBC.co.uk

Talk about Newsnight

Ethical Man - Justin Rowlatt

Another BBC Turkey

  • Justin Rowlatt -
  • 18 Aug 06, 07:44 PM

turkey203a.jpgMeet the Newsnight turkey. Not some duff story that will make the editor cringe when he sees it, but the bright eyed bird that will grace the table of Ethical Man and his family this Christmas.

I know some in the Ethical Man audience will not be pleased to see Ned – as the farmer has called him. Some of Ethical Man’s most consistent correspondents are vegans arguing that the only ethical diet is one that is free of all animal products.

Well I am a confirmed meat eater and I have no intention of giving up any time soon – though of course my producer Sara may have other plans.

So what makes Ned ethical?

Well first of all I think that if you decide to eat meat you should be realistic about what that means; namely that birds like Ned must be slaughtered in their prime.

I don’t think we should be squeamish about seeing pictures of the animals we eat – or for that matter, meeting them face to face. The important thing is that we meat eaters should try to ensure that the animals we eat live happy, comfortable lives. So you’ll have guessed already that Ned is a free range bird.

He’s Norfolk Black turkey – the clue is in the plumage - and is being raised by James Graham on Rookery Farm in – that’s right – Norfolk. I haven’t visited the farm yet but I am told that Ned and the rest of his flock are allowed to roam in the meadows and shelter in something called a “pole barn”.

Ned comes from very good stock (I’m hoping he’ll make one too).

henry203.jpgThe Black turkey was brought from South America in the 1400s by a Spanish explorer called Pedro Nino and the bird became fashionable in the Tudor era. Apparently Henry VIII was partial to a slice or two of Ned’s ancestors.

The Graham family have been raising Norfolk Blacks for decades. They’ve been established at Rookery Farm since 1880 and apparently James’ grandfather helped save the breed from extinction in the 1950.

James raises birds like Ned using traditional methods. As well as what he can scavenge in the fields he will be fed cereals (corn, barley and oats) that James grows on the farm. He parents were allowed to breed naturally (he’s from the Gold family) and none of the turkeys on Rookery Farm are fed additives, antibiotics or growth promoters.

Peeles – as the farm is known – is not certified organic but James says he tries to use as few pesticides and chemical fertilizers as possible on his crops. He says that the cost of applying for organic certification does not make economic sense for a small farm like his.

turkey_203b.jpgObviously an “ethical man” should also strive to ensure that any animals he eats do not suffer during slaughter. The plan is that I may have my own Gordon Ramsey moment and be on hand to ensure that Ned goes to his death a happy, unruffled bird.

But, let’s be honest, eating meat isn’t just about ethics. It is also about flavour and apparently Ned and his kin are the tastiest turkeys you are ever likely to have the pleasure to roast.

I am told that Ned is going to be very moist, have a very fine texture and a wonderful flavour. Norfolk Blacks are said to be as close to those first birds Mr Nino imported to Europe all those years ago. They are said taste like a cross between a pheasant and a turkey.

I hope to be getting more pictures of Ned as he grows. Apparently he looks particularly impressive when he “shows”. Remember: you’ll see those images here first.

In the meantime, roll on Christmas.

Comments  Post your comment

Yeah well like we told you, it is a South American vulture really. This is the bird that Bernard Matthews made a fortune on, by rearing them in cramped conditions in wooden sheds. Bootiful!
Sorry you lost us when you got to the bit about who was allowed to breed free range, - the turkey or its owner.
Do you propose to practice despatching it mercifully, or will you do what the french do with Ortolan and get it drunk on whisky first. Then at least it will die happy.
Aha Henry VIII - twas in His courts the Maids of Honour were invented, they were little almond tartlets: there were not any other kind of Maids of Honour in Henry VIII's Court. He made sure of that.

Yeah well like we told you, it is a South American vulture really. This is the bird that Bernard Matthews made a fortune on, by rearing them in cramped conditions in wooden sheds. Bootiful!
Sorry you lost us when you got to the bit about who was allowed to breed free range, - the turkey or its owner.
Do you propose to practice despatching it mercifully, or will you do what the french do with Ortolan and get it drunk on whisky first. Then at least it will die happy.
Aha Henry VIII - twas in His courts the Maids of Honour were invented, they were little almond tartlets: there were not any other kind of Maids of Honour in Henry VIII's Court. He made sure of that.

I'm afraid it's a scientific fact that meat-eating is highly inefficient. Farm animals take up a lot of land which could be used for more environmental causes. Much of the energy put into producing crops, and then fostering farm animals, is wasted. Methane emissions, particularly from cows, are a major source of global warming. I quote this paragraph from EarthSave International (http://earthsave.org/globalwarming.htm):

"By far the most important non-CO2 greenhouse gas is methane, and the number one source of methane worldwide is animal agriculture.

"Methane is responsible for nearly as much global warming as all other non-CO2 greenhouse gases put together. Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2. While atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have risen by about 31% since pre-industrial times, methane concentrations have more than doubled. Whereas human sources of CO2 amount to just 3% of natural emissions, human sources produce one and a half times as much methane as all natural sources. In fact, the effect of our methane emissions may be compounded as methane-induced warming in turn stimulates microbial decay of organic matter in wetlands—the primary natural source of methane.

"With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority. Methane is produced by a number of sources, including coal mining and landfills—but the number one source worldwide is animal agriculture. Animal agriculture produces more than 100 million tons of methane a year. And this source is on the rise: global meat consumption has increased fivefold in the past fifty years, and shows little sign of abating."

So, whatever the morality of vegetarianism (and I for one am a veggie), it is undoubted that giving up meat is one of the most environmentally-friendly actions an aspirant ethical man could undertake.

  • 4.
  • At 12:01 AM on 19 Aug 2006,
  • doc bob wrote:

it's all very well that you can post piccies of your turkey but have you got the nut's to kill it too mr ethical?

  • 5.
  • At 02:10 AM on 19 Aug 2006,
  • G.W.Hynes wrote:

My eating habits are similar in nature to those of ethical man. I like a nice bit of meat. I have no problems at all with eating meat. If cows were omnivores and had a bigger brain do you honestly think they would have a problem eating us. I don't think so.

My wife on the other hand eats hardly any meat whatsoever. Chicken or fish but only very rarely. She sometimes describes herself as semi -vegetarian.

We get on all right. why do so many vegetarians have to take issue with the food that someone else eats?

Great Story on Turkeys

  • 7.
  • At 09:57 AM on 19 Aug 2006,
  • Alexander wrote:

I couldn't agree more, I am firmly of the opinion that if you are going to eat meat, eat it ethically. However, that is a terribly middle class view point, and generally people who eat ethically can afford to do so. Those without the means to buy more expensive produce have to settle for those hormone enhanced Bernard Matthews birds - but then meat should be expensive, it always used to be and people should not eat it every day, so let em eat cake - the Christmas variety of course.

  • 8.
  • At 10:54 AM on 19 Aug 2006,
  • Brian Kelly wrote:

I profess to love all animals.. . & think (to myself)whilst eating my way through the conventional Turkey at Christmas,this has got to stop.. I have been to these factories(thats what they are) that breed for mass consumption, have seem awful conditions.. so should know better... in fact everytime i hear such stories,we say thats it ...no more, but time erases. At least we now buy free range from local farmers... but it's really not the answer...ethical or otherwise!So long as those factories still exist for all table birds.

I hope more people support local farmers, and also insist on animals raised in balance with their environment, so they don't require antibiotics just to survive.

The best book I've read about the balance of farming and human consumption is "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. Of course it's about other things too, but it has relevance in a much richer and more complex conversation than what sits on your table for the holidays.

I'm wondering, how do you ensure the bird has not suffered? Is there a "I died happy" sticker on the plastic wrapping at the store?

  • 10.
  • At 11:57 AM on 20 Aug 2006,
  • gaptooth wrote:

In response to G.W. Hynes' comment that vegetarians should not take issue with what other people eat, I am a long time vegetarian (exactly half of my 22 years) who has never preached to a meat eater about what they should or shouldn't eat. I can say the same for all of my vegetarian and vegan friends. However, I have found that if I mention in company that I am a vegetarian, quite often some meat-eater will pipe up with some snide comment and try to convince me that I should eat meat. It's a losing battle, but so vehement are these people that I often wonder, who are they trying to convince, me or themselves?

  • 11.
  • At 04:48 PM on 20 Aug 2006,
  • Tracey Goodwin wrote:

I'm vegan, and if anyone wants to know why, try logging onto the Peta website at www.petauk.org. Have a look at the 'Meet your Meat' video clip, and the KFC one and the Texas slaughterhouse one. All gut wrenchingly awful. They're not horror films made with actors like for example the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They are completely real. While you're sitting in your office, real animals are being treated like this, day in, day out. Too awful to contemplate? Yes they are, but instead of turning a blind eye, you can do something about it!

  • 12.
  • At 08:13 PM on 20 Aug 2006,
  • CLF wrote:

Free the carrot!

Veg have feelings too you know.

Join the Carrot Liberation Front today.

  • 13.
  • At 10:52 AM on 21 Aug 2006,
  • nick wrote:

Are you seriously going to waste airtime on this?

  • 14.
  • At 12:42 PM on 21 Aug 2006,
  • Nigel Hodgetts wrote:

In response to Tracey Goodwin above.

Don't believe everything you read from PETA. Did you know from July 1998 through the end of 2005, PETA killed over 14,400 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals"?

Two PETA employees are facing 50 felony charges in North Carolina, after police caught them killing adoptable pets (including puppies and kittens) and tossing their bodies into a grocery-store trash dumpster.

Want to know the truth about PETA? visit www.petakillsanimals.com

You ask if we are going to waste airtime on this, nick, so I would guess that you think Ned’s progress to my dinner table is too trivial a subject for a programme like Newsnight.

Well sorry to disappoint you, but Ned will be getting his fifteen seconds of fame.

Is that frivolous? I don’t think so. The way the food we eat is produced raises all sorts of important issues – just take a look at what some of the contributors here are saying – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t approach the subject in a light-hearted way.

Having said that, I don’t think we’ll be seeking an interview with the Carrot Liberation Front any time soon.

  • 16.
  • At 07:50 PM on 21 Aug 2006,
  • LondonPlane wrote:

Has someone at the BBC been watching Channel4's The F Word?

Gordan (not Brown) has done this with Turkeys and Pigs so far!%!

Jaime has done school dinners, both of these two have gone on about local food and the inability of us to cook simple food anymore. The food miles and farmers markets stories are old hat too!

Why are there no FairTrade readymeals anyone?

Yours looking for good, happy and fair food.

  • 17.
  • At 12:30 AM on 22 Aug 2006,
  • Jacqueline Hathaway wrote:

How do you plan to ensure "Ned" has a painless death?

Is it a good idea to give animals a name if you plan to kill him & eat him?

I do agree with your principles though.

  • 18.
  • At 12:54 AM on 22 Aug 2006,
  • Sheepish wrote:

Gaptooth is so totally right. You never fail to get a meat eater trying to start some futile arguement about why one SHOULD eat meat. I choose not to eat meat, but I don't try & persuade people to feel the same. Everyone has to live with their own conscience. My main issue is the poor treatment of animals whilst alive, and the way thay are intensively farmed and/or then transported alive to countries who have far lower standards of care for the animals than we do in the UK.

You can add eels to your list LondonPlane, because I saw Gordon Ramsey dispatching a brace of them with a meat cleaver only a couple of weeks ago.

The truth is that there is nothing new about slaughtering animals. People do it for us all the time.

We would have had a turkey for Christmas anyway and food was always going to be something that Ethical Man would explore so featuring Ned seemed an obvious thing to do. And Ned will certainly allow us to explore issues like those raised by Jaqueline.

  • 20.
  • At 05:28 PM on 22 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

my lecturer when i was studying raised the issue of animal [for food] methane 'excretion', and argued a case almost identical to that put by SPL, now, having an open mind, but being willing to question, i blurted out "but surely, humans who DON'T eat meat fart more, as they're processing the (often) sulphurous vegetable matter instead of the animals ?", but according to the data, (they'd apparently taken this into account too) it is not the case

not so silly really, to worry about methane, and a handy tip whether you want to avoid embarassment, or sending your own global warming up into the sky, is to not mix too many things such as carbohydrates, proteins, fibre etc in a single meal - anecdotal evidence could be the christmas day "blowout"

supposedly, the gut gets an early warning of 'incoming', and rustles up the right kind of stomach cocktail to break down the food group in question, no sooner have we piled in turkey, potatoes, bread sauce, more potato, carrots, more turkey, some sausages, bacon, christmas pudding, ice cream, cheese, crackers, and the final insult, coffee and brandy (no, i've never really been at a christmas dinner like this, but i've come close), and christmas dinner has morphed into some kind of brass band without the trumpets

so it's another high brow, low pants post from yours truly


i have no real sentimental attachment to eating meat per se, but i like the 'burnt/barbeque effect' you get cooking [meat] on those cast iron griddle thingies, but, dryness aside, most vegeburgers are excellent today, and if you do everything you might do with meat (to the vegewhatever), such as marinades etc, you can satisfy the latent bloodthirst and top it off with a pinch of cromagnon fire flavour (griddle is good for that)

i do, however have a beef with vegetarian food, not enough is done to make it enticing, why, when (for the meat eater) half the attraction of a good burger (i am aware of the oxymoronic aspect of the term) is succulence, and olive oil is meant to be healthy, do they not put more such oil in the vegeburgers, why the lack of imagination ? there are also many non-meat derived sources of meatesque flavours such as vegetable boullion and wine, so why can't they get some more eflavours into stuff like vegeburgers (to give an example, i got hold of some of these burgers, and having found them to be hard work, i attacked them, stabbing them with a fork repeatedly, and marinaded oil and vinegar into the standard, dry (you may well be able to guess the brand) vegeburgers overnight, and you know what ?...they were juicy and delicious, but of course not derived from meat anymore than their cardboardy brethren

and also, i know little about the costs associated with the production of vegetarian food, but it's a really massive shame that quorn* and the like tend to cost far more than meat, where're the bulk buy cheapy bags of good quality 'plant meat' ?...it's not really about being unable to live wthout meat, what i'm talking about mostly is getting enough protein, and variety out of dinner, without it (and especially for those who already eat too much cheese or are lactose intolerant)

have to recommend the asda*/tivall* vegetarian hotdogs though (not an ad, is this allowed ?), they have all the mustardy bubbly 'junk appeal' of real hotdogs, except that no animal lost its face or feet in the making of it, but alas, like all the other vege-meat, they're a tad expensive

meat costs from around £5 to £10 per kilo, for those whom £10 to £20 per kilo of meat substitute (quorn/own brands etc) is just silly money, it'd be nice to see some decent vege-meat produce around £2.50 to £5 per kilo

*other vegetarian and dead animal foods are available

  • 21.
  • At 01:56 AM on 27 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

For Ned come christmas its ibble gobble turkey wobble ibble obble out!!!

And If he´s so big at the Beeb I hope he fits in the oven!!!

  • 22.
  • At 10:13 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Sara wrote:

You should invite that nutter from the book club to your lunch-it would be a riot.

  • 23.
  • At 10:23 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Sara Burgess wrote:


As a farmer it all comes down to brass tacks.I cant afford to invest time in rearing organic produce when Im unsure if the market is sustainable.Organic produce may be fashionable now but so were lentils in the seventies.

  • 24.
  • At 04:51 PM on 14 Sep 2006,
  • Al Sortes wrote:


Is all organic produce ethical?Iwas about to reach for some organic peaches in M&S when it struck me that the price of these air-lifted goodies would be the release of millions of poisonous carbons into the atmosphere,purely to gratify my jaded palate.From now on I am giving them a miss.I suppose the ultimate ethical answer would be to learn home jam making and fruit tinning.In the meantime,is passion fruit unethical? Zac Goldsmith has numerous theories on food and the global market but they are rather too academic for me.

  • 25.
  • At 12:14 PM on 27 Sep 2006,
  • Jane Lee-Billington wrote:


Having visited a farmers market for the first time on Saturday,I have to say that organic produce suffers an image problem.The eggs with their authentic smear of chicken dung,the strangely twisted carrots..The home made cakes looked inviting until I began to wonder how hygienically prepared they were likely to be,with any number of farm dogs probably wondering loose around the kitchen.The farmers work incredibly hard at these markets but probably only take home a couple of hundred pounds after transport costs.A bit difficult to see the point, really.

  • 26.
  • At 10:42 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • phil hoy wrote:

According to Richard Dawkins they are just bio-robots anyway. So why not eat them? Bit tastier than my laptop computer. Time to stop being so anthropomorphic surely?

Actually Dawkins thinks humans are bio-robots too, so I suppose we can eat them as well.

  • 27.
  • At 05:54 PM on 17 Oct 2006,
  • ant walker wrote:

I struggle to reconcile 'ethical' with meat-eating:

1. The use of land for the production of crops for animal feed is much less efficient than the use of land for crops to feed humans, eg. One acre of land may feed 1 cow but that only feeds 20 people. That same acre could be better used to grow produce to feed 100 people;

2. The rearing of animals in the non-organic farm is designed with the end result (the meat) in mind - there is little thought given to the welfare of the animal - it is just a means to an end, particularly with the 'sell em cheap' philosophies of the supermarkets;

3. How can the act of killing the animal be ethical? It depends where you draw your boundaries, but I wouldn't want anyone to kill my friends, so I'm not prepared to kill the friends of another creature. Why should a human be any more worthy of a place on earth than other animals?

If the Ethical man really wants to look at sustainable futures for the planet then he cannot ignore the fact that we need to look at less meat in the diet, local produce with more organic methods.

If a veggie diet is good enough for Einstein, it should be good enough for the rest of us.

  • 28.
  • At 04:50 PM on 09 Nov 2006,
  • Aleanbh wrote:

Ignoring the issue of whether it is ethical to eat meat, but addressing the issue of whether it is ethical to raise animals for meat on land that could be growing vegetable based food for humans. Consider how much land isn't being used for either purpose or isn't suitable for cultivation, and consider that thriftier breeds of animals are extremely efficient at harvesting energy from that land. Even then, surely a cow or sheep grazing away on an arable plot of land that isn't being used to grow food for humans is producing less dangerous emissions, with more benefit than pushing an inefficient mower around. If land isn't overstocked, and native species aren't driven out, raising meat on marginal land can provide a significant source of food, with far less input than trying to scrape every rock off it, or adding tonnes of chemical soil enhancers.

  • 29.
  • At 02:08 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Ronald wrote:

It is quite striking that it is the people advocating vegetarianism, that have the longest winded posts here. Unfortunately for them most people have heard all the "arguments" before, and being long-winded about it does not endear...
For an alternative story (long-winded too I must say), look on martin frosts website, the interesting story about that piece is as follows:
"A provocative essay has been pulled from servers by Newcastle University authorities following complaints from vegetarians.

Nikolas Lloyd, who was granted IT services as a visiting fellow in evolutionary psychology, has had all his pages taken down and his email access rescinded.

Forum members on a vegetarian dating site took exception to the title of the piece “Why vegetarians should be force fed with lard”. It was one of a series of deliberately incendiary treatise, which included “Why banning hunting is wrong”, and “A woman's place”.

In his vegetarianism article, Lloyd argues against pro-veggie reasoning in tongue-in-cheek style. A typical passage reads:

Most vegetarians are women. In Britain, a person is doubly likely to suffer from vegetarianism if he is female...when men split up from their veggie girlfriends, they near invariably start enjoying meat again. This goes to prove amongst other things that men really will do ANYTHING for sex.

"Why vegetarians should be force fed with lard"

Here's Lloyd's original article."

http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/may2006/veggies_censorship.html

  • 30.
  • At 08:51 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Mariann Matay wrote:

I was looking forward to reading Nikolas Lloyds article where he argues against vegetarianism (http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/may2006/veggies_censorship.html) as after reading his introduction to his own article I was certain at last I would find a well thought-through essay based on strong foundation of years of analysis. It was nothing but disappointment. The arguments apart from not being based on any facts at all, also don't stand up on many accounts. I'll only mention a couple of them to avoid being long-winded :))

- He very-very briefly touched on the methane release by farm animals, the amount of which according to him is the same as it has ever been as farm animals simply replaced the vast deer population of the ancient UK....well even if that was true (though where are the numbers to support this argument?) he is forgetting that in those days Britain was covered by a vast diverse native forest which helped immensely to counteract these gases, and now sadly most of that forest is gone. It simply had to be chopped down so we have the space to grow more food for our farm animals...

He also stated (under the biodiversity section) that if we started growing crops for ourselves the small fields would disappear together with the hedgerows and large pieces of lands would be necessary to accommodate combine harvesters...well first of all he conveniently 'forgets' to mention the well-known fact (which Mr Lloyds himself admitted too) that if we did turn vegetarians we'd need only 10% of the land we use at the moment to feed ourselves. The rest of the land could have trees on it! Just imagine the vasts forests we could have again from that 90% of land that is currently used for feeding farm animals!
The other interesting contradiction in his argument is that we're already growing crops on our lands, but we feed them to animals rather than feeding ourselves with it, so can't see why anything would change in a negative direction (in terms of rabbits overpopulating, etc) if we grew crops for ourselves and only 10% of what we currently grow? The only thing that would change as already stated above that we would have a lot more trees, a lot more place for wild animals to live, - rather than just being squeezed into 'highways' of hedgerows – and consequently a lot more biodiversity if we changed to a vegetarian diet.

The rest of Mr Lloyds' arguments are just as unfounded. By omitting important facts they are also misleading. They stand on no ground at all, let alone a firm one.

All and all I think Nikolas Lloyds with this article managed to let down those who - for whatever reason - trying to argue against a vegetarian diet.

Regarding long-windedness: women had to do a lot of talking and convincing before they were allowed to vote, black people had to do the same before they were acknowledged to be the same human as whites, animals can't do any talking unfortunately (at least not in the language we understand and only we are to blame for our ignorance in this matter), so those people who are willing to speak up for the animals will also need to do a lot of talking before animals and especially mass produced farm animals start being treated with more consideration to their needs and welfare.

Allow me to finish with a quote from someone who is acknowledged by most to be able to reason with logic and facts:

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
-Albert Einstein

  • 31.
  • At 11:19 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Tim wrote:

'Ethical' with 'Extermination' is an oxymoron!!

  • 32.
  • At 08:43 PM on 27 Dec 2006,
  • hollie [[daughter]] wrote:

please do not complain about all my hard work that goes into this. they have perfectly good lives thank you very much i'm afraid you don't know what hard work and love goes into all this. you also don't have a clue what you are talking about if you worked on the farm you would understand !!!!!!!!!!!!! you should take a visit sometime. [[i work on the farm along with my daughter this is my daughter writing this and this is how she feels [[she is 14]and shes a meat eater and shes proud of it]]

  • 33.
  • At 09:10 PM on 27 Dec 2006,
  • wendy wrote:

Please do not complain about all my hard work that goes into this. They have perfectly good lives thank you very much I’m afraid you don't know what hard work and love goes into all this. You also don't have a clue what you are talking about if you worked on the farm you would understand !!!!!!!!!!!!! You should take a visit sometime. [[I work on the farm along with my daughter this is my daughter writing this and this is how she feels [[she is 14]and she’s a meat eater and she’s proud of it !!!!!!!!!!!!!]].

  • 34.
  • At 10:12 AM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • Mariann wrote:

I'd never mock anyone's hard work! I have no doubt you work very hard and I'm certain that with the best intentions. But sometimes best intentions can cause just as much damage to the world as bad intentions do...a bit of research on the internet will reveal the damage that is being caused by producing and consuming meat. Here is just a couple of articles from reputable sources (and there is many more if you feel doing further research):
http://environment.newscientist.com/article/mg19526134.500-meat-is-murder-on-the-environment.html
http://society.guardian.co.uk/societyguardian/story/0,,1677089,00.html

I'm sure you too would like to leave a world that has fresh air and clean water for your daughter and her children. We all want to do the same. In order to do this we might need to make drastic changes in our lives. Some changes may be completely against our belief system and lifestyle...however looking at the true cost and cummulative and long-lasting damage to the world that the production of meat is responsible for isn't it worth thinking about it?

Look into your daughter's eyes and ask yourself "Am I doing the best for her or am I contributing to the destruction of the world she and her children are going to live in?"

  • 35.
  • At 09:28 PM on 16 Nov 2007,
  • kirsty watts wrote:

grass is the most abundant 'crop' on the planet, humans can not eat grass! therefore we graze animals on this grass and eat them - that is common sense!
I also diasgree about cutting down rainforests to graze cattle in Brazil but rearing sheep in the highlands and on sloping ground that we can not cultivate is the most efficient way of managing the land as well as being a free food source for the sheep.
As much as i don't think that we should try to persuade vegetarians to eat meat if it is against their wishes i don't think that meat eaters should be critised for their choice.

  • 36.
  • At 12:17 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Mariann wrote:

Except that your choice to eat meat impacts everybody else around you (yes your family too) as it causes pollution, global warming and yes the destruction of rainforests. So unfortunately it isn't a personal preference any more unless you wish to be labelled selfish and/or short-sighted...
Can you (or anyone else) make always 100% sure the meat you eat was reared on those highlands that according to you would be useless for any other purpose?
If only this sort of meat was available on the market then most people would have to be vegetarian/vegan as there simply would not be enough meat to feed all those who wish to eat it...and yes I agree it would be much better world for everyone.

This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites