Shots from the shires
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.