Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Carnivores vs Vegetarians - What do you think?
At Ludlow Food Festival last weekend I chaired a lively debate on Carnivores vs Vegetarians - What does the future hold? Speaking for meat-eaters were Tim Dobson of Chestnut Meats and Adam Glyn Jones of September Organic Dairy; veggies were represented by Das Sreedharan and Keith Squires, both vegetarian chefs. If the two sides didn't quite lock horns, then the points debated were certainly contentious. You might be surprised to hear that the pro-vegetarians were actively encouraging the meat-eaters and the carnivores were all for eating less meat... and both sides made some interesting points, particularly with regards the contribution rearing livestock makes to carbon emissions and how essential pasture land is to transforming the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It was all good-natured fun - mostly - and by the end on a show of hands, it was felt that one of the answers to this conundrum is to eat less meat - but better quality (higher welfare, etc) over the year. I think this is an argument that bears further exploration. Is it better to eat less, high-welfare meat or to abstain completely? If you're a vegetarian, would you prefer that cows, sheep, pigs, etc didn't exist at all or is there a way to get the world farming responsibly? Is farming even a viable existence these days or are farmers just out for the profit - and what role does the government play...? What do you think...?