Take Stock focuses on the topic of animal food production, touching on various public questions and concerns towards the meat and dairy industries, with particular interest into factors of health, ethics and climate change, these topics are touched on throughout the site providing a discovery.
The purpose of Take Stock is to provide factual information as well as uncovering individuals opinions and profiles of those who feel passionate about this topic. This short interactive documentary should help provide you with a clearer outlook on where our food comes from, and stimulate you to consider your own thoughts on the controversial issues of animal welfare, farming and our environment.
The topic of animal food production effects a variety of different aspects of our lives, the majority of our society rely on meat and diary as a substantial part of our diets, but how is this effecting our environment?
There are many campaigns that tell us of the importance of educating ourselves on the issues relating to our environment, concerning overuse of resources, the protection of our rainforests, global warming, and our carbon footprint. But what does all this have to do with farming animals?..
Well in many ways there are a lot of environmental consequences to consider by following a meat based diet, as animal agriculture has a strong effect on damaging our earth. For example did you know that livestock causes more pollution than the worlds entire transport system?
A strong reason why some people choose to follow a plant based diet is due to the huge impact eating meat and dairy has on polluting our planet. However, some would argue that farming benefits our climate. Global Warming can be the result of different sectors creating Greenhouse Gas emission’s polluting our environment. Some of these include industrial processes, fossil fuels, transportation fuel, agricultural bi-products and many others.
Keep scrolling for more information on this...
Whether you label yourself as a meat eater, pescetarian, flexitarian or vegan, knowing that our environment is being affected in this manor, and the vast amount of animal products we consume each year, we should be considering what actions we can take to be able to maintain a healthy environment for all. After all we rely on our surroundings to accommodate for our demanding lifestyle’s, without it we wouldn’t be able to continue to live comfortably in the modern conditions we do today.
As previously stated rearing Livestock means using up more land and water, and green gases produced from the use of pesticides and fertilisers on crops, and fuel/ oil for farm machinery. It does add up to a great amount of methane, carbon dioxide and other toxic gases that are detrimental to the land.
Attacks made on farming being the main cause of our climate change are often misjudged, agriculture does effect our climate change however it isn’t all through negative impact. In response to controversial views against this industry it is argued that farming livestock can produce food in infertile and hilly areas where crops are unable to grow. Livestock can provide valuable manure to be used as a natural fertiliser to increase crop yield.
Our health and diet is yet another important factor to consider when debating whether you’re for or against the meat and dairy industries. We are a society that tends to be extremely concerned with diet with constant attacks on certain types of food and ever changing recommendations we are given to live a ‘balanced’ and healthy lifestyle.
We are constantly being told what foods are good and what foods are bad, so much so it can now be hard to keep up with what food you should or shouldn't avoid. History shows us that meat has played a great part in our diets going back to the days of cavemen. A few notable benefits having meat and dairy in your diet are: its a good source of Protein and Calcium, helping to promote strong bones, growth and energy, it is also a good source of minerals and vitamins (particularly iron and zinc).
Potential health benefits from reducing your meat consumption are that you would be taking in less fat, the high fat content in meat can often lead to obesity if not eaten in moderation. Eating less meat can therefore be a great way of losing weight, which in turn can benefit other health aspects such as low blood pressure and lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
McDonald’s? KFC? Nando’s?...The food that arrives in minutes and leaves no arguing over who does the washing up... so setting aside these obvious conveniences why do we question such a brilliant concept?
Well there is a reason why it is commonly referred to as ‘junk’ food, many popular fast food chains are known for serving produce with high fat content, sugary milkshakes/juices and salt sprinkled chips. Additionally they often feature negatively in the media for their poor hygiene, food poisoning and nutritional concerns. As well as this there are a handful of other serious criticisms relating to alleged animal cruelty and exploitation of employees.
But what relation does this have to our farming and the meat and dairy industries? The demand for meat such as beef and poultry found in your fast food meal has put pressure on farming and meant shortcuts have been made and we have witnessed a great increase in Factory farms. The rearing of animals in closely packed conditions, plus the use of strong antibiotics on livestock, has in turn led to animal health problems.
Is the food we buy from fast food chains doing our bodies more harm than good?
From past nutritional surveys and documentaries on these forms of eateries it has been recognised that the food labelled as ‘healthy alternatives’ in these establishments are often no better for your health than the common burger or chicken wrap, this is usually due to the high saturated fats and sugars found in the juices, salad dressings, and processed meat.
On the other side of the spectrum it is worth mentioning the vast amount of jobs that have been supplied as a result of these companies, some would argue that without these fast food companies providing positions for citizens world wide many people would struggle to get work.
Farming is one of the oldest practices and over the years the rearing methods for livestock have developed greatly. With many changes being made to the ways our animals are treated, organised and raised by farmers.
Much of this is due to the mass demand for meat and diary consumption but also with the introduction of agricultural machinery and new technology speeding up farm processes; thus gaining farmers more profit for their produce. There are contrasting arguments that fight for and against meat and dairy farms. But let us not confuse the processes between factory farming and local agricultural farms such as the examples below.
( CFA and Standalone )
It is often argued that factory farms involve poor hygiene, cruel animal environments and unethical conditions to be able to increase the speed for faster meat and dairy produce making onto the shop shelves. Unfortunately, the demand of animal produce has led to these serious concerns for livestock and poultry. However, past cases of animal welfare hasn’t been the only worry, but also the safety and nutritional values of the end food product.
An example of a farm attempting to revive the traditional approach to farming, using their many acres to produce field to fork livestock including every variety of animal, vegetable and fruit possible. This farm also lends the opportunity for those wanting to experience educational, social and rural care services.
Church farm is as close as it get's to the traditional form of agricultural working methods. It is a refreshing experience being set in a small community situated in the heart of the countryside where the animals roam the land free of factory environments and confined conditions.
Visiter’s can purchase fresh harvest and produce that has arrived directly from the farm, their meat is butchered on site, where it has been traditionally reared with all animals living in free range conditions. The eggs they provide come from their orchard, where hens freely roam the land and local produce can be found in the Farm Store.
Church Farm’s holds faith in ‘Agrarian Renaissance’ –
‘We see the opportunity for small and medium sized farms to be multi-faceted rural hubs with sustainable food production, direct distribution and farms redefined as places to produce food and services.’ – CFA
Also known as ‘farm-to-fork’, this refers to the different stages of farming production that means farmers produce follows a more direct route to reach your plate.
The process of getting the produce to its buyer’s is naturally a lot slower than the stock that makes it onto the supermarket shelves.
However, many people notice the food sourced from local farms – whether it be animal produce or fruit + veg harvest – is recognisably different in taste and appearance than the food bought from stores/supermarkets.
The significance of recognising this process is to educate people about the links between farmers, and their local communities, the practice of animal food-production and the food we eat.
Standalone farm is part of Letchworth Garden City’s Heritage Foundation. The animals here much like at Church Farm roam the land they are taken care of by the farmers which follow an natural agricultural method of farming. The main purpose of this farm is for families and children to visit and spend time learning about the animals, take part in the milking and feeding processes, and witnessing the births of newborn lambs, pigs and other animals situated at the farm.
Standalone is a farm that commits to the wellbeing of their animals, it is a key part of the local community that welcomes all to experience farm life, it is an opportunity to learn about the rearing of animals in this form of farming environment.
An individual choosing to live by a vegan lifestyle is a person whose beliefs go against the exploitation of any animals. Putting the ethical concerns and welfare of animal’s first whether that be through not supporting the food industries that inflict pain on animals such as meat and dairy, avoiding cosmetics that have undergone animal testing, or choosing not to wear animal fur/skin related clothing, these are all key factors to being vegan.
Some people struggle to understand the concept of Veganism and often argue against this lifestyle. Common confusions that arise from being vegan have formed from the lack of information our society is given about animal welfare. This can cause people to form an ignorant judgement and shy away from some of the disturbing truths about the treatment of animals.
It is important that we understand the different reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle and the benefits /concerns that follow. One argument is that it is the natures intention for us to consume meat with and a balanced diet should involve meat and dairy.
Keep Scrolling for some interesting facts and views on the topic..
Meet Amy: 30, Oregan US, Jewellery Maker.
Full time Vegan/ Feminist/ Animal Rights Activist.
Amy believes is a strong believer in fighting for equality, starting with the concerns towards the treatment of animals. Her outlook on life is that as equals everyone should have the right to live and no animal should be exploited or slaughtered for our personal gain.
Amy has such a passionate interest in what it means to be vegan, after living this way for many years Amy has made so many changes to various aspects of her life to ensure she maintains a 100% vegan lifestyle. Due to the nature of our society in the Uk (with less than 1% of us following a vegan diet in 2012- Vegetarian Society Statistics), she has had to make some serious cut backs, yet she she has never seen this as holding her back or restricting anything she does. The more she does to help contribute to the change to vegan living, the more she feels she has accomplished something worth fighting for.
Her recent relocation to the states has highlighted the difference in the growth and popularity of vegan food. Amy has been requested to provide more information on her views of vegan and animals being utilised for food, please take time to look at this personal video sent from Amy from the states.
“There are alternatives to animal research, there are alternatives to animal foods and there are alternatives to zoo’s and places of captivity that exist solely to exploit. Choose vegan options wherever possible and don't support these cruel industries”..
”I will never understand why, when you can choose not to eat meat, dairy and eggs and be healthier, you would choose animal products and cause suffering and pain to animals and potentially cause harm to your body. It's horrible to see people I love do this”.
-Amy, Callirrhoe Jewellery
Now you’ve experienced what it is Take Stock has to say on the matters we’d like you to take action. Wherever or whoever you are if you’d like to get involved in the discussions and wish to spread your own opinion or even hope to gather more information on the subject of animal food production please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Take Stock is open to all thoughts and concerns on the various issues involved, so to have your say please fill in the contact box at the bottom of this page!