The BBC News Magazine
has published several articles lately about vegetarians whose resolve has weakened now that organic meats are becoming easier to find. The first, by Megan Lane, recounts her own reversion to meat eating as long as it comes from "animals who've enjoyed a happy life before being slaughtered." Her article notes that organic products constitute just 1.4% of meat sales in the U.K., though the amount is rising. A spokesman for the Vegetarian Society noted that many of the three million vegetarians in the U.K. likely gave up meat in the first place because of the practice of factory farming, but added "you would be hard-pressed to find a committed vegetarian who would switch back to being a meat-eater simply because a lamb or cow was bred on an organic farm. These animals are still killed whether they lived on an organic farm or not." Suffice to say that the on-line version of this essay comes with lots of comments which make for interesting reading. You can find the whole article, titled "Some sausages are more equal than others" (nice riff on Animal Farm
, eh?) here
There is a follow up
called "As happy as pigs in muck" in the magazine's "Reader's Column" by former vegetarian Tom Welch, who now has "the occasional pork sausage or chop from my own pigs" as a by-product of his turn to farming. Welch, pictured above with one of his pigs, has 30 free-range pigs on his farms that he describes as part of an effort to remind us that "farm animals are living creatures, not industrial commodities, and should be treated as such." He tries to give his pigs a "happy life" at Treflach Farm. These two essays reflect a broader turn toward "ethical meat-eating" that can also be found in the U.S. More about that later...