Cheap meat unaffordable

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We are big fans of the writer Felicity Lawrence. Here’s an example of her work at The Guardian.

We can no longer afford cheap meat
Felicity Lawrence
The Guardian

Jamie Oliver’s TV campaign against the brutal conditions in which pigs are often raised is a noble one, says Felicity Lawrence – but it barely scratches the surface of what’s wrong with industrial meat production. Food that seems cheap at the checkout almost always carries hidden financial (never mind moral) costs.

To farm animals intensively you need three things:

an abundance of fossil fuels, to house and heat animals and transport them long distances; cheap feed, which can only be produced with mountains of fertiliser (again derived from fossil fuels), and massive subsidies from EU taxpayers; and drugs, because animals kept in such close confinement suffer continual outbreaks of disease.

The real price of cheap meat, then, is paid in environmental destruction, resistance to antibiotics, endless crises of animal (and human) disease, and a system of subsidies that tips the balance further and further away from conscientious, small-scale producers – “just as climate change makes local British farming more vital than ever”.

Cheap meat, in short, is an aberration that we can no longer afford.

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