Around the country lucky Australians will soon be sitting down to enjoy their festival fare and toast another year of happiness and well-being. Hopefully we can all take a moment to include other species in our blessings, together with our families and friends.
According to Animals Australia, nearly half a billion farm animals are raised for food in Australia each year. Most of these animals are raised in intensive factory farms where they suffer until they are slaughtered for food. This festive season if you are not inclined to prepare a vegetarian feast, then consider spending just a little more to ensure that you can purchase ethically raised animal products. The extra money spent will contribute to the welfare of animals, improved environmental practices and importantly send a message to the producers that you support free range products.
As there is no legal definition for ‘free range’ currently in Australia, there are many companies making all kinds of claims on their packaging. To find companies selling true free range check out the ‘what to buy’ section on the consumewithcare.org website or when you are out at the shops look for certified organic and free range produce.
Don’t be shy to ask questions at the butcher’s. As a customer it is your right to know about how the animal you are purchasing was raised. If the butcher can’t answer questions about the origins of the meat, the provider it came from or the rearing processes, then it would probably be best not to buy from that butcher.
Lastly, in the tradition of the US presidential pardoning of a turkey to save its life at Thanksgiving, thousands of caring Australians are stepping up to pardon pigs this Christmas. Help begin a new tradition of kindness and goodwill to all beings by leaving pigs off your plate and pledging to indulge in a cruelty-free Christmas. Go to the Animals Australia website www.animalsaustralia.org/features/pardon-a-pig/
Happy New Year to all beings everywhere X