THE ETH­I­CAL MEAT UP­ROAR: HOW TO EN­JOY BEEF AND STILL SLEEP AT NIGHT

More and more meat-eaters are turn­ing to eth­i­cally raised and killed beef, re­ports El­iz­a­beth Meryment

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - REPORT -

It was a show that aired for less than an hour on the ABC re­cently, but the Four Corners footage of Aus­tralian cat­tle be­ing tor­tured to death in In­done­sian slaugh­ter­houses had a pro­found ef­fect.

“Peo­ple are still eat­ing beef,” says Colin Holt of Syd­ney gourmet butch­ery Hud­son Meats. “But they’re ask­ing a lot more ques­tions about it. They want to know if our beef is eth­i­cally killed.”

Higher stan­dards

“We’ve no­ticed a big swing [to­wards or­ganic meat] in the past few weeks,” says Bris­bane butcher Stephen Povey of the or­ganic butch­ery The Meat-ting Place.

“Peo­ple are con­fused about what’s go­ing on. They want to know how their meat was killed. But I can tell you, I wouldn’t sell meat that was hurt, harmed or bru­talised. I’d rather not be open than sell meat like that.”

For those dis­turbed by the shock­ing treat­ment of Aus­tralian cat­tle in In­done­sia, rest as­sured, Aus­tralian beef that is slaugh­tered and sold in this coun­try is not sub­ject to the same in­hu­mane con­di­tions.

“In Aus­tralia, we have the high­est stan­dards for abat­toirs in the world,” Povey says. “Or­ganic and con­ven­tional meat are killed in the same way in this coun­try, with vets present.”

But for many con­sumers, know­ing that all beef is eth­i­cally killed is some­times not enough. Many are also seek­ing to dis­cover the prove­nance of their beef so they can be sure that not only was their beef killed hu­manely, but the an­i­mal had some qual­ity of life as well.

Tap­ping the source

“Ev­ery butcher should be in­ter­ro­gated [by con­sumers] as to the ori­gin of their meat,” says Grant Hil­liard from Syd­ney eth­i­cal butch­ery Feather and Bone. “Most of them will tell you they buy it from the abat­toir, but in­creas­ingly meat ar­rives in anony­mous pre-packed, plas­tic-

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