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Compassion in World Farming


Photo: Snoozing piglets

Photo: Snoozing piglets

I can be a bit of an ostrich when it comes to animal cruelty. I’m happy to donate but I can hardly bear to see or read about the plight of animals trapped in a hellish world. So many humans can get very worked up by a pet being mistreated but are still happy to eat meat from animals that are factory farmed using inhumane methods.

Years ago I didn’t want to think or know. I was on a tight budget. I needed to eat. I’m on a tight budget again now but I’d rather eat much less meat and know that the meat comes from an animal has be reared with kindness and respect.

I only recently heard about the forty year old charity Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). This charity was set up by a farmer who was concerned about the horrors of factory farming. CIWF handled all the fund raising for Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Chicken Out campaign. It is now running a campaign focusing on pigs.These intelligent creatures suffer an enormous amount of abuse in factory farming settings.

We eat a lot of pork and the difference in taste between free range happy pork and factory farmed pigs is enormous. It’s almost like eating a different type of meat. I saw one of the CIWF banners while I was cruising on the internet and forced myself to click through and learn what was happening. I watched the video and was outraged. The sea of squirming piglets and unhappy sows was sickening.

I’d heard about the crates where sows can’t lie down or turn around. But I had no idea that in many factory farms piglet’s teeth are cut with pliers, their tails are docked and they are castrated – all without anaesthetic.

So I’ve registered my support with this charity. It’s free to do this. When I’m back working again I’ll make a donation and I will never knowingly eat anything but free range pork ever again.

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  1. Dave Beynon

    Hi to Fiona and all readers and commenters.

    I stumbled across this excellent blog after it mentioned Compassion in World Farming and I just wanted to add a note to answer Pam in particular…

    I run the website for Compassion and I entirely understand your concerns about the privacy policy of The Phone Room.

    Use of banner advertising and affiliate networks like that is a necessary part of fundraising but please let me assure you that Compassion in World Farming never pass on, trade, sell email addresses or personal details and we have made sure that The Phone Room do not retain your details either.

    However, if you want to show support directly you can sign up for a regular email newsletter on our website without going through the third party that Fiona linked to. So please do visit and look for the email box on the right hand side of the page.

    Thanks for your care and interest in the welfare of farm animals.

    Best wishes,

  2. Love the picture, I love piggies and often annoy my husband with futile requests for one.
    I have read that the average pig is more intelligent than a dog, which I also use in my constant arguement for owning one.
    I watched all the programmes on tv the kill it cook it eat ones about watching the animals being killed and then an audience eating it. I personally think anyone who eats meat should confront this, in person if possible, or at least watch the programmes.
    Obviously before supermarkets, animals were killed locally and you were exposed to it more, now its just waved under your nose in a nice plastic tray with an offer sticker on it.
    I would like to think I could kill something and eat it, but I think my diet would change drastically as I would only beable to eat animals I didn’t have any sentiments about.
    A couple of christmas’ ago we decided to have duck for christmas lunch, I was really looking forward to it, until when on the table for carving I noticed one of the legs had been left cut a little long and the scaley part of the leg that leads to the flipper was in plain view. All through dinner, I pushed the meat round my plate and kept thinking of some baby ducklings swimming round on a pond crying out’mumma’ …. I teased my husband with the story until he also could eat no more meat off his plate, by the time the rest of the bird was being chopped up for the cats, the poor carcus was even being referred to as matilda puddle duck, ( although the cats didn’t let it bother them one jot as they scoffed the lot).
    I don’t eat pork meat ( only pigs liver) as over the years I have become intolerant to the fattiness of it, but I’m sure if I tried to picture any animal as I was eating it i could very soon turn myself vegetarian.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi ChickPea

    I couldn’t agree more. I was really shocked by the videos on the CIWF site. We should be fighting to keep our pig farmers in business.

    We are very lucky. Our local organic butcher struggles to sell the cheaper cuts of meat(he says no one knows how to cook them)so we can buy happy meat often more cheaply than imported meat in the shops.

    Hi Toffeeapple

    That’s good that you have a local supplier.

    Hello Denise

    Yes the slaughterhouse worries me too.

    Thanks for the info on antibiotics.

    Hi LindaM

    We eat meat or fish most days. Much less of it than in the past and we pad it out with loads of vegetables. It’s a much better healthier diet, I reckon.

    Hi Paula

    Yes. I signed up for the chicken out campaign too. It’s a massive movement in the UK.

    Good idea to get bespoke meat!

    Hi Joanna

    That’s great! I didn’t know about that.

    Hello Pam

    I can see your point but I don’t mind if they ring me – I support what they are doing after all.

  4. I was going to register my support until I read their Privacy Policy. Obviously I give to charities like this as and when I can but I don’t wish to be phoned up by them and asked to pledge money.

    This site is run by The Phone Room Limited (“TPR”) on behalf of Compassion In Word Farming (“the Charity”). When registering your support for the Charity you will be asked to submit personal information.

    Any such information supplied by you will be temporarily stored by TPR and used for the purpose of making contact with you by telephone in order to ask you questions about your support of the Charity and to request that you commit to making one or more donations to the Charity

    Following such contact, TPR will pass your data on to the Charity, who will use it as they see fit for their own purposes (which are beyond the control of TPR). It is not currently our policy to pass on your details to other like minded organisations, and it is not our intention to do so in the future.

    For a full version of TPR’s privacy policy, please click here.

  5. There is some good news on the egg front. In 1999 the EU passed a directive that by 2012 there would be a complete ban on hens in cages. I think the egg laying industry have been ignoring this hoping this would be one of those things that gets postponed and postponed and postponed but in 2008 the EU confirmed that the ban will still come into effect and there would be no delay. So they have got another 3 years to get their act together and they are going to have to be making the move now to be ready for the complete ban or just go out of business, so more eggs from less intensive farming

  6. …and don’t forget that egg-producing chickens suffer too in their battery cages. Eventually I hope to have my own chickens, but in the meantime, we’re paying extra for humanely raised eggs. I’m also hoping that we’ll get a chest freezer this next year, so that we can order a pig and a beef from local ranches. My husbands sister gets hers from folks that basically raise bespoke meats, so I hope to use her sources.

  7. Thank you Fiona for tackling this topic. I have been a vegetarian on and off for many years. The off years are usually due to anemia and I have no choice but to add red meat again. When we eat meat we insist on cruelty free and we eat much less thanks to the price. Thank you for making an ethical choice.

  8. I understand how you feel. These days I eat organic meat only because animal welfare is given more importance, but I do still worry about what happens in the slaughterhouse.

    With regard to antibiotic use, I believe that organic farmers are allowed to use anitbiotics, but for sick animals only. The routine use of anitbiotics as a precautionary measure is not allowed. At least this is the position as far as The Soil Association is concerned, and I buy Soil Association certified meat. A withdrawal period is then needed before the meat or milk from treated animals can be used.

  9. Toffeeapple

    I still can’t bear to see any of the awful things that happen to the poor creatures, having learned about it many years ago. Fortunately for me, I can eat local pork that I know has been cared for in life.

  10. Thank you so much for this shared understanding – it can be very difficult to ensure you only eat British pork, but like you, we feel this is essential – pigs have been assessed to be intelligent creatures, and horrendous suffering is allowed in so many countries – notably USA and Denmark.
    This is also my concern with ‘organic’ animal products – if the animal is ill and NEEDS antibiotic therapy, I would like to be assured that they will receive it – even if this means it cannot enter the food chain for longer.
    British animal farming standards in this country are now excellent, and it is APALLING that imported meat, reared under sometimes significantly worse care standards,is on UK shelves at a cheaper price than UK produced meat. I believe strongly that the price of imported meat
    should be HIGHER to reflect the transport costs from elsewhere in the world, plus some penalty costing to reflect the poor care standards. This would assist our own farmers who struggle to cover their basic costs, let alone achieve a profit.

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