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Open Drum

When I found out many years ago, that veal was produced from milk-fed calves, usually confined to small cages then killed while still only very young, I decided never to eat veal again.And I never have.However, hypocritically, I still eat lots of other meat like pork and beef, fish and lamb.And even though I do feel guilty about picking up my conveniently packaged and plastic-ed styrofoam square or rectangle of flesh, I still take it to the checkout and pay for it then take it home and eat it – trying to close my mind to the images of the animals my meals have come from and the way they may have died for my my consumption.When I see images on the television of the abuse of animals at abattoirs and during live export or hear on the radio of the horrific suffering some animals must endure during the slaughter process –  I am horrified.I rant and rave like everyone else about how can this be happening and what are ‘we’ or ‘they’ – the authorities – are doing about it, why does it continue to happen in this day and age when we are supposed to be much more educated and caring about the animals we kill for food.I toy with the idea of becoming a vegetarian – and I think that when I no longer have to cook for a family I would enjoy the world of vegetables and meatless meals.But at the moment, I have to admit that choosing to buy meat and serve it up to my family is very easy.It doesn’t take too much effort to feed hungry kids a chicken or meat dish with a side of salad – or some lovely hot veggies.Not ever having been a vegetarian or been associated with one, I don’t have any idea of what I could serve up each night that would satisfy a hungry family and would be something that they wouldn’t turn their noses up to.My laziness is stopping me from changing my carnivorous ways.The fact that we farm animals for human consumption is loaded with moral questions. The fact that I believe that animals do have the capacity to suffer makes me cringe at my contributing to their suffering by continuing to buy and eat meat.However, until I do change my eating habits, I think that I am like the majority of Australians who are concerned that the meat we eat comes from animals that are respected during their lifetime – by those who raise them.

And when the time comes for those animals to be slaughtered for our consumption, that they are killed humanely and without suffering by those that interact with them.


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