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the Meat We eat ?


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The hidden cost of saving money: cheaper meat equals more Cruelty

May 19th, 2014

Special reporter

Consumers are eating less red meat and more chicken and pork. Few realise the increase in suffering this has caused.

AnimalsAustralia_image2.jpg

A breeding sow lives for about three years. For much of that time, she may be severely confined in either a stall or a "farrowing crate" or both.

Chickens raised for slaughter are bred to grow three times faster than normal. Many die from heart attacks. Some starve to death because their infant legs can’t carry their adult bodies to feed.

Sows spend much of their lives pregnant, giving birth in tight steel cages with concrete floors.

Of the animals we eat, which have the worst lives? It’s hard to tell; we’re not them. But what we do know is that cattle and sheep – red-meat contributors to human diets – in the main graze freely in open paddocks, sun on their backs.

And here’s another certainty – we are increasingly shunning their meat. A consequence of this is more suffering to more animals. What type of suffering and how animals experience it is open to endless debate. Consumption patterns aren’t.

A study published last year by researchers at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, showed that by 2011 mutton consumption had been “almost wiped out”. Chicken and pork had trebled and doubled their market shares over the past 50 years at the expense of beef, lamb and mutton, whose prices had risen quicker than white-meat counterparts. Australians these days consume about 111 kilograms of meat a year, including 33kg of beef, 9kg of lamb, 25kg of pork and 43kg of chicken. This is nearly three times the international average.

While lamb and beef have become luxury foods, chicken and pork are cheap and plentiful. When we eat bigger beasts, fewer animals get hurt. But what happens when chicken and pork dominate our diets?

Animals Australia’s communications director Lisa Chalk says that due to the scale of the industry, “the situation for chickens raised for meat is among the most dire”. Of the more than 500 million chickens raised annually in Australia for food, she says, the industry itself factors in a 4 per cent loss before slaughter.

“That’s over 20 million birds a year who die because of their fast growth rate and living conditions,” Ms Chalk says.

Chickens have been selectively bred to grow at three times their natural rate. They’re baby birds in adult bodies. Walking and standing are difficult as their bodies grow and lameness common. Their hearts and lungs are strained and often fail, and some starve because they simply can’t make it to food and water. Those that survive spend their five-week-long lives packed into a dimly lit shed, 20 birds to a square metre. Droppings accumulate beneath them, sometimes burning their feet and breasts.

Aware of consumers’ concerns over the plight of factory-farmed chickens, a few leading producers claimed their chickens were “free to roam in large barns”.

The claims were tested by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. ... Late last year, Baida Poultry and Bartter Enterprises, which supply Steggles chicken products, were each fined $400,000 in the Federal Court for “false, misleading and deceptive conduct”.

Industry body the Australian Chicken Meat Federation was fined $20,000.

More than 90 per cent of Australian pig meat is factory-farmed. Yet research shows that pigs are intelligent and have a sense of self.

read more > http://www.theage.com.au/brand-discover/animals-australia/the-meat-we-eat/?utm_source=Article&utm_medium=Spotlight&utm_content=the-meat-we-eat&utm_campaign=animals-australia

Edited by dee-luded
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been a vegetarian for over 25 years and reading an article like this reminds me why.

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I have been a vegetarian for over 25 years and reading an article like this reminds me why.

I haven't eaten chicken (apart from being deceived once), for 53 years. seafood as well, apart from gummy shark.

vegetarianism isn't a big jump from here, for me. although must admit to just buying some old cast iron pans.

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Dont think id ever qualify for the veggoh union, but what youve said about meat growing is spot on.

We still have chooks and kill a beast once per year,the difference in what we eat compared to city people is huge.

Unfortunately TV news talks more about nicole kidmans hairdo than the important issues of food supply.

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I'm not a vegetarian ( sweet sweet meat).

Whilst on an intellectual level I understand animals are dying for my appetite I at least try and do something by doing something that is sold to me as more humane.

Am I being hoodwinked - by buying stall free pork and free range chicken (and eggs) and meats ?

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I'm not a vegetarian ( sweet sweet meat).

Whilst on an intellectual level I understand animals are dying for my appetite I at least try and do something by doing something that is sold to me as more humane.

Am I being hoodwinked - by buying stall free pork and free range chicken (and eggs) and meats ?

Free range chickens are the same as every other chook,except on the last day before the truck picks them up they MUST be proven to have spent the last 24 hours in direct sunlight and not FALSE sunlight.

Pretty interesting law to make a chook "free range'

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Dont think id ever qualify for the veggoh union, but what youve said about meat growing is spot on.

We still have chooks and kill a beast once per year,the difference in what we eat compared to city people is huge.

Unfortunately TV news talks more about nicole kidmans hairdo than the important issues of food supply.

when we had a more Local supply to our regions, & less international trade, the farm was more of a service to the local communities, & the farmers were IMO better off overall, except those who want a 1000 Sq Mile Sheep farm to brag about...

the Co-Op was a friend.

Now its less about the service to the Communities, who inturn backup one another, & buy locally including Australian built cars, etc.... now its a competition about who has the biggest & best, [ car, house, bull, share folder, offshore bank account ]... where is the team in that? where is the community spirit ?

... & out of all this, is a great deal of suffering, all around.... the animals who are abused, including the live traded ones, the folk on farms who can't compete with the Duopolising Supermarkets; & the lack of the real help from the Libs, & the 'Farmers Federation' (so called farmers friends). What have they done to help Milk $$$ getting back the the farmer???

In the end only numeracy gets bigger, & Lives get less important.

Edited by dee-luded
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I'm not a vegetarian ( sweet sweet meat).

Whilst on an intellectual level I understand animals are dying for my appetite I at least try and do something by doing something that is sold to me as more humane.

Am I being hoodwinked - by buying stall free pork and free range chicken (and eggs) and meats ?

lets change it.... curt out the fat middle men who take Prime cut, & send the second cuts overseas to big paying foreign countries, & the slop is sent to tjhe Australin supermarkets.

you wouldn't believe how much better a steak sandwich is in Tasmania.

WE, are all being Ripped Off. by the middle men People. those faceless men people again...

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Thanks for this dee_luded, most thought provoking topic I've read on here!

My partner is a vegetarian and I find myself eating less meat the more I hear about animal abuse and live export though I don't think I'll ever be able to pass up a good steak or veal schnitzel. I read a fair bit about animal rights too, thanks to a few friends who are right into it though I hadn't heard about this particular issue.

I'll definitely be focussing my meat diet on red from now on.

Edited by Django
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