Letter: Improving the lives of those bred to die

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was most interested to read Carla Lane's comment ('What hope if we can't care for simple sheep?', 24 August).

I, with my family, have just bought a sheep farm and in the next few weeks am about to buy our first ewe lambs with the intention of breeding sheep for slaughter/consumption. I have been around slaughterhouses - they are without doubt extremely distasteful places. I am, perhaps, one of the few carnivores within the UK who has actually killed, butchered and eaten the same animal. I am far more comfortable doing this than buying a pre- packed cellophane-wrapped artificially coloured lump of meat off a supermarket shelf. I know the animal I have killed has been handled humanely.

I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the 'Bambi' mentality and the intellectual and ethical laziness this entails. This is compounded by a staggering lack of knowledge of where our food comes from and how it is produced.

We have farmed the land, and raised and eaten animals for centuries. It is the unwillingness of vast sections of the urbanised population of this country to acknowledge how their meat came to be on their plate that is the cause of suffering to animals, combined with soft, sanitised supermarket retailing.

Let us all learn about where our food comes from, let us all engage in intelligent debate towards an appropriate balance of humanitarian concern for animal welfare, the environment, and the quality of the food we eat. Please do not let us run away on an emotional bandwagon.

Yours sincerely,

WILLIAM McCONNEL

Week St Mary

Cornwall

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