Kevin Pateman, Hertfordshire, UK

Eating humanely across the pond

I live in England, and 20 years ago I became aware of a UK-based charity called Compassion In World Farming, which campaigns against factory-farmed meat & live exports [the international export of live farm animals across borders]. I have no desire to be a vegetarian and believe it’s natural to eat meat; unfortunately, the manner in which most farm animals are kept is far from natural.

In recent years, the large branches of most of the UK supermarkets have started to sell free-range and organic meat. Within the European Union, certified organic requires animal welfare conditions that recognise animals as sentient beings and which I approve of.

I’ve bought free-range eggs for over 25 years and I started by buying free-range/organic versions of meat about 10 years ago, but I would still buy factory farmed products if there wasn’t a more humane version.  Gradually, I stopped buying non-humane meat completely and now all of the meat I buy for the home is organic or at least free-range.

Eating out is slightly more difficult. British & Irish beef tends to be free-range anyway, so if want to eat beef I ask where the meat has come from; if it’s not from the UK or Ireland, I eat fish or have something vegetarian. Buying more ethically produced meat is more expensive; if I suddenly couldn’t afford it, I would probably go down the pescetarian route.

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