NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: veganism effecting sheep  (Read 547 times)

mcd

  • Joined May 2014
veganism effecting sheep
« on: January 06, 2019, 09:15:01 pm »
All this talk of veganism (which doesn't seem to be going away) has got me thinking. Where do we see the future of sheep in this country as the wool is worth very little and even small family farms/ smallholders livestock methods are being ridiculed.

Do you think this is an opportunity for rare breeds as they are generally more ornamental and best placed to provide as pets. I know this market is small but will this be the only option in time? I hope I am wrong but the relentless propaganda posting on social media is capable of making the most hardened livestock farmer questioning themselves.

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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 09:43:49 pm »
Mcd, Don't worry about what people say. Look at what they do.

If more people want to become vegan, good for them. What we need to do as smallholders is not to fight back against that, but to offer a viable high-welfare alternative for those who do continue to eat meat.

For example, we raised a batch of meat chickens and took them to our local poultry abbatoir for processing:

Abbatoir Vet: "no, no, this is all wrong. Under '% mortality', you've written 'nil'".
Womble: "That's because none died"
Vet: "no, not today. Since you bought the chicks"
Womble: "But I bought forty chicks, and now I'm bringing you forty adults?"
Vet: Looks perplexed. "OK, let's go and have a look at these birds of yours then".
Vet: Looks stunned. "Wow.  They've all got feathers!!".

I can't blame anybody for deciding not to eat animal products if that's how they're produced.

The truth is, the world has gone mad, and food is produced in all sorts of unsustainable ways. I therefore think there's a good case for us doing something different in the marketplace, be that rare breeds, higher welfare, low food miles, whatever. The trick is going to be raising awareness, and finding people who are willing to pay a wee bit more for what we do. Perhaps our ideal market is people who would like to go vegan, but don't like vegetables enough?   ;)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 09:54:34 am by Womble »
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 07:18:10 am »

Spot on Womble.


Does dry January put pubs out of business?

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 08:32:58 am »
Dry January = dry gin, dry white wine, dry martini...

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 09:26:56 am »
The thing that bothers me about veganism, although it doesn't bother me enough to do the research, is where has all of this vegan food suddenly appeared from? We all know that you can't turn up food production overnight. Is it all GM free? Produced sustainably? Fairly traded?
And don't worry about your sheep, they have always been vegan :-)

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 11:05:44 am »
I think a vegan should be more worried what goes into growing the food they eat. Sprays, air miles etc. What are they doing to our planet ! Its all very well saying stop eating poor animals most of which are raised with care and love. ( most farmers will tell you how they love their cattle or sheep ) Fruit and veg cost money to grow, people need to weed and pick this. Many for very little money here and abroad. Land for farming is being sold for housing. Farmers are a dying breed. This is what a vegan should be more worried about.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2019, 12:35:17 pm »
..... and all of the vegans / vegetarians I know absolutely are!
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2019, 12:41:20 pm »
So is there such a thing as an organic pesticide low mileage vegan?

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2019, 04:46:38 pm »
Mcd, Don't worry about what people say. Look at what they do.

If more people want to become vegan, good for them. What we need to do as smallholders is not to fight back against that, but to offer a viable high-welfare alternative for those who do continue to eat meat.

For example, we raised a batch of meat chickens and took them to our local poultry abbatoir for processing:

Abbatoir Vet: "no, no, this is all wrong. Under '% mortality', you've written 'nil'".
Womble: "That's because none died"
Vet: "no, not today. Since you bought the chicks"
Womble: "But I bought forty chicks, and now I'm bringing you forty adults?"
Vet: Looks perplexed. "OK, let's go and have a look at these birds of yours then".
Vet: Looks stunned. "Wow.  They've all got feathers!!".

I can't blame anybody for deciding not to eat animal products if that's how they're produced.

The truth is, the world has gone mad, and food is produced in all sorts of unsustainable ways. I therefore think there's a good case for us doing something different in the marketplace, be that rare breeds, higher welfare, low food miles, whatever. The trick is going to be raising awareness, and finding people who are willing to pay a wee bit more for what we do. Perhaps our ideal market is people who would like to go vegan, but don't like vegetables enough?   ;)

i echo what you say Womble
i have a small flock of Wiltshire Horns so wool doesnt come into play, but we produce a small amout of lambs and raise them to a high welfare standard
they where grass fed throughout we didnt creep feed and when it came to selling to family and friends we built up a story behind it and the reviews where exclellent we could have sold 5x over, i sold for £80 per half box,  the people that want to buy meat will continue to do so,
we put that bit of extra effort into it and we could sell for a premium
we also set up a local facebook page so that peoplecould buy into what we do

seems to have worked well

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 09:28:48 pm »
I think sheep farmers have more urgent worries than veganism…. but maybe this forum is not the place to discuss what is going to happen to hill farm after EU subsidies end....

mcd

  • Joined May 2014
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 09:42:52 pm »
Well that is reassuring, food for thought indeed! I do wonder and this is the worrying part that many people are just swept up by the vegan buzzword and are actively looking for products without any knowledge or even care about the intricacies of the food system. It's a bit like the gluten free movement. I have never had so many requests for gluten free sausages/burgers and flavourings yet 10 years ago this was very rare, Not all of those people can be suddenly coeliac.

I guess it's about staying true to yourself and knowing you have done the best job possible. At the end of the day as long as it is pre-stunned the tagline I would like to get across to customers is 'A good life and a good death' for all my sheep. Surely that is more ethical than wildlife being ploughed up/ripped away from their habitats to grow more crops for a growing vegan population.

 

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 11:13:07 am »
So is there such a thing as an organic pesticide low mileage vegan?
No, but they'll still be on the moral high ground. Poorly informed, middle class lifestyle  choice.  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2019, 02:43:50 pm »
I keep rare breeds because I want to and I can afford to. It seems a worthwhile thing to keep these genetics going and the main weakness with the Vegan mantra is it deprives lots of animals with the opportunity to live at all.  It is still difficult for a lot of people in urban environments to easily access meat with provenance so for young people in particular who are consumers rather than purchasers their choice to go Vegan may seem more straightforward.

Keeping rare breeds/ Veganisms are both answers to the same question about the sustainability/ethics of meat production. RBST have voiced the meat production need for some time but maybe are keeping quieter with the current vocal nuisance?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2019, 11:25:52 pm »
Just read an article on veganism on the beeb news website.  A quote:
<<Most vegans are against wool, according to Raoul.
This is because wool is obtained by raising sheep with the sole purpose of shearing their woollen fleece.
Amy says she's also against wearing wool as "it feels wrong to me to wear an animal's coat">>
??? 


I think they'll all eventually grow out of it, or die of nutritional deficiencies and cold.

In the 1950s I asked my mother, who was a vegetarian, what a vegan was, she said 'oh they're the crackpots'! So they've been at it for decades, and the meat trade goes on regardless.

I think there are much bigger things to worry about.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 11:30:15 pm by Fleecewife »
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Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: veganism effecting sheep
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2019, 01:25:49 pm »
I think opting out of animal exploitation is noble though I don’t think most have costed out the full implications of their choices and for the world to turn vegan would be a disaster.

Farm animal rescue centres, factory farming, Disney, supermarkets, the ‘Rise of The Pet’, distance from food and death, processed food and animal free alternatives have paved the way. The public mood is set to veganate. It’s a tiny, very loud group who hold the moral high ground and won’t be going away any time soon. Vegetarians are looked down upon as they support the egg and dairy industries.

How much chemicals do you apply to grass pasture for low stocked sheep?
How much can they sell you to grow cereal or veg in your already impoverished soil?  Follow the money. Chemical and food processing companies are very happy with the mood shift.

I think you’d have to be careful supplying pets, if they got wind that you perhaps eat some as well?


 

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