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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. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Helen

    I so agree – it was so short sighted to drop cookery in schools. We buy much less meat these days but better organic meat. Our organic butcher is much cheaper than the supermarket for the cheaper cuts as most of his clientele don’t know how to use them.

  2. Hi i would just like to leave a little comment on the buying of meat. i have always used our local butcher to buy our meat from as he can tell me where and when it has been killed. i never had or never will buy meat from a supermarket as you cannot trace the origin. But i am horrified by children not knowing about where their food comes from and how it gets from field to plate. i do think cookery should be a complusary subject in school as my mother has always said “you reep what you sow” and after years of no food education in schools we have now suffering with many obese children and adults alike because they haven’t a clue on how to cook and think that ready meals are the only way to eat !!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Bib

    Thanks for registering. It’s fun to know that I have readers dotted all over the world!

    Finally I think people are waking up about factory farming and the sublime taste of happy meat. I wish I had the neck to keep a couple of goats or pigs but when the time came to slaughter them I’d find that very hard as they would be friends.

    The move from London to Croatia must have been amazing. When I lived in London I met Croatians who had moved to London but never the reverse. I’d love to hear more about life out there.

  4. Hello – I’ve been reading this website for ages but have only just registered. We’ve recently moved from London to rural Croatia. Everyone here raises their own meat to some degree or another. The other day as we were driving up the road something caught my eye, and when I looked, it was a just-killed pig hung upside down, being bled out in someone’s front yard. Lots of people I know would be absolutely appalled by this and consider it cruel – but I know that pig spent a very happy life with his piggy friends rootling around the orchard and muck heap. I doubt he ever had to stand on concrete, and he was not shoved squealing and terrified into a lorry to be driven to his death hundreds of miles away. I was a vegetarian for 18 years because of my abhorence of factory farming, and then one day I realised the best way to defeat it is by supporting the farmers who look after their animals humanely and give them a decent life before a quick death.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mandi

    I like pigs too. But I think if we kept pigs I’d find it hard to kill them.

    There was a sweet little pot bellied pig at the local fish farm. Very tame and about the size of a labradoor. They were really upset when it died.

    Loved the duck story 🙂

    Hello David

    Thank you so much for leaving this comment – much appreciated.

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