Shots from the shires

Shooting Gazette - - Shoot Briefing - by John Walker

Talk to any qual­i­fied nu­tri­tion­ist and chances are that both milk and meat, now in­clud­ing game meats and veni­son, would be rec­om­mended in bal­anced di­ets. take milk first. my school pro­vided full fat milk which we con­sumed ad lib and later, milk­ing 120 Friesians, I watched this white gold go into the dairy food chain. but two things have changed: chil­dren don’t drink as much milk now and the price paid by whole­salers has de­pressed the mar­ket, but not as much as it has de­pressed dairy farm­ers. Now, we have an ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign with the tag line ‘Hu­mane milk is a myth, don’t buy it’, over a cow seen pic­tured be­hind barbed wire. per­versely mis­lead­ing, it is pro­mul­gated by an anony­mously funded or­gan­i­sa­tion started by an Ir­ish an­i­mal rights ac­tivist who de­scribes her­self as abo­li­tion­ist ve­gan, ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of a dead hen, aimed at peo­ple who have no con­cept of how milk, or any other sta­ple food­stuff, gets into their larder or fridge.

Another ex­am­ple of the ig­no­rant at­tempt­ing to in­flu­ence the un­in­formed comes in the shape of the pros­e­ly­tis­ers who say that we should give up meat be­cause it dam­ages hu­man health, forces producers into bad an­i­mal wel­fare prac­tices and that world agri­cul­ture is screw­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. See the theme here? As with many sin­gle-issue cru­saders, their ar­gu­ments ig­nore in­con­ve­nient facts, but their cam­paigns are aimed at the im­pres­sion­able and the young, and look what they just did in an elec­tion. It is claimed that sales of ve­gan food in the UK in­creased by 1,500 per cent in 2016, that there are more than 540,000 ve­g­ans amongst us and 42 per cent of them are un­der the age of 34, a seg­ment of so­ci­ety where eat­ing dis­or­ders are most com­mon. In my ex­pe­ri­ence by far the big­gest per­cent­age of dairy, beef, pig and poul­try farms in this coun­try are run by peo­ple who care deeply for the wel­fare of their an­i­mals, and we know that when game reaches the ta­ble it has, by its very na­ture, been re­spected.

per­haps in­flu­enced by the pres­sures of so­cial me­dia where ev­ery­one’s view is con­sid­ered equal, opin­ion for­m­ers of all stripes are di­vided on the is­sues of bal­anc­ing food pro­duc­tion tech­niques and what con­sti­tutes hu­man well­be­ing, but it is surely a sig­nal passed at dan­ger when teach­ing in schools al­lows the more ex­trem­ist views to grow un­hin­dered in the minds of the young. Choice yes, bad sci­ence no.

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