Vegan Vegetarian or meat eater? My view as a farmer in 2018

I ended up in a conversation last night regarding being vegetarian or vegan in response to the damage eating meat does to the environment. After I got home I thought I’d message a better response than what I probably gave last night. Please know I am not getting at anyone, everyone to their own eating in my eyes. I don’t like many meats and chose not to eat it everyday myself. This subject is huge and I haven’t covered everything. 

I think a large part of the problem from the farmers point of view, is that farming is the only industry that doesn’t create a product, know how much it costs and then add a bit on top as profit for us. Whenever we sell animals, it’s nearly almost at a loss. Because we don’t tend to put our time in, we just know our expenses and we do the working out on that. Realistically though we are on farm 365 days of the year, if something is sick we can’t just go home at 5.00pm and call it a day, we check on it over night etc…Living where you work as well makes it hard to feel you have a break, without going away, which can be difficult. The health of our animals on our farm is really important, to us and I for one want to minimise antibiotic use as well as medicines. We feed our animals well, the vets say to well and we give them the best life possible.

Dad is home here all day everyday and then I come in for the bigger stuff like lambing, but again I don’t charge for any of my time, I guess 24 hours a days for a month would soon drain the profit 😂.

Essentially then we get more and more demoralised and less inclined to “change” anything! Because we essentially are doing it for nothing. If you put a business hat on that would be stupid right? and you would sell up or give up!! We live in a world where the information is out there, we just need to do our research and find it. This can help guide us to making the right choices for the future. 

We are lucky in that we own our farm, so we have a nice house and the farm pays the bills, however in terms of reinvestment there often isn’t enough actual money in the bank to do anything big. It makes it even more important to go forward in the right way. 

If you get a ME in the family however, I believe it can be done and we can still make a viable business, and look after the environment and animals and be a driving force, for the industry. Else farms will continue to just carry on in the old ways because they have no driving force to do anything different. I AM A PAIN IN MY DADS BUTT 😂😂

I am really excited for the future of farming and I would like to think that Hayley can one day have a choice to be home here if she wants to. In terms of carbon foot print grazing animals gets carbon back into the soils. Cow poo also helps the organic matter in the ground and essentially keeps our soils healthy, it is broken down by bugs, worms micro organisms and helps us grow more. As long as it’s a grass based diet rather than processed.

I can see now how processed feed actually effects the natural immune system of the animals, essentially shortening their lives, which in the long run isn’t a good thing for us. The issue again though is company’s just selling farmers “cure all products” and we believe them because we will try anything if it means to improve anything. Most of the time though it doesn’t do anything other than put money in the company selling the products pocket. We as farmers need again to be researching and making sure we are making the right decisions for our animals and essentially then ourselves.

We need healthy happy animals that can produce good quality food, to make a healthy happy consumer, without costing us and the consumer the earth. Because realistically if everyone boy cotted meat which we know won’t happen, because people know they need it, just maybe not every single day. We wouldn’t have nice farm land to look at, it’ll become Barren and unproductive. I guess though that’s when more houses would be built, and hope that nothing ever happens, to mean they can’t get food into the country!!

There is only enough food for a few weeks in the UK at anyone given point, that is vegetables meat and dairy products. Essentially because we aren’t growing enough food in house, to feed the population we become very vulnerable.

It is no mean feat trying to change the thought patterns and traditions of a family, who copied their dad who copied their dad etc….. but it’s a challenge I am willing to except 😂😂😂

Health happiness and balance is the bottom line in my mind for animals, and for people, rather than profit. I doubt I am alone either, farming is on the change for the better, whether it’s vegetables dairy or meat. It’s all about not being wasteful, not being greedy, and looking after the planet and the animals as was always intended.

Leanne B xx

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