Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Thought provoking exhibition

On our way through town last weekend we came across this run of photographs. IMG_7726.JPGe

The fifteen double sided cases each told a story. An animal from the food industry and it’s conditions in large format.

It’s been created by “Varkens in noodpigs in need an organization for animal welfare. The website has info about other locations. All the cases have English translation too.

The exhibition is called The forgotten Animals (Het Vergetten Dier)

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Most of the information was familiar to us but it was interesting to see that people didn’t really stop to read it or take in board the messages.

The ethics of the meat industry are a challenge.

The summary board above really hit home. The quantity of meat consumption per head in a graphical image.

All those little target creatures liked up in the food chain.

When the consumer demands this quantity (imagine whole European populations consumption on this scale) it’s hard for producers not to create efficient intense farming environments.

The recommendation? to eat less and to eat more ethically to impact these food factories. So it falls to the consumer to change their habits. Not necessarily by becoming vegetarian although that is my preference but giving meatless Monday a try.

It was good to be reminded of where food comes from even though the images were very sad.

I know some people find this type of image too shocking but I think it’s important to remember where food comes from rather than just looking at sterile pink packets in supermarkets.

I hope this exhibition gets more attention as it moves to it’s next location.

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I couldn’t help but contrast this image with our own sweet hens.

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22 comments on “Thought provoking exhibition

  1. ontheedgegardening
    September 20, 2014

    It is too easy to disassociate the meat on our plate with the creature it came from. We need to be reminded and we need to ensure that these animal’s treatment is always humane. Your chickens look lovely, good to end on a happy note. 🙂

    Like

    • lizard100
      September 20, 2014

      It’s about responsibility. The message if the exhibition was clear. The industry has accountability but the diner is driving their work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. carolinecocker
    September 20, 2014

    When people ask why I’m veggie, I say it’s because I don’t want to be associated with the industry rather than because I disagree with eating meat in general. I do feel hypocritical because the dairy industry is just as cruel so I’ve dramatically decreased my dairy intake and luckily my parents and a couple of friends have always had hens so I don’t have to buy supermarket eggs. It’s sad when people say that they’d rather not know about food production – it suggests that they know it’s unsavoury but don’t care.

    Like

    • lizard100
      September 20, 2014

      I’m a veggie because climate change now. I stopped meat because of mad cows disease nearly 20 years ago but then they still have problems with horse accidentally ending up on peoples plates. If everyone took responsibility for what they eat it would be far better.

      Like

  3. carolinecocker
    September 20, 2014

    Also, your hens are super cute 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Green Bee
    September 20, 2014

    That is the saddest pig I have ever seen! These are the images the global meat Industry don’t want is to see and this lack of regard for animal welfare is the reason I stopped eating meat aged 19. The pre-World War 2 model of eating meat is what the world should be aiming for but then meat is such a huge industry now and business will always try to win out. Respect for meat is the key I think if you choose to eat it.

    Like

    • lizard100
      September 20, 2014

      All the photos had the faces of sad creatures. Few were in any pain, few looked physically damaged but all had emotion in their eyes, their expressions. It was very hard to see the sentient nature of them all. Goats, rabbits, cows, ducklings, sheep, chickens, pigs….
      Post war rationing diets were also more reasonable. The sheer quantity of meat for the average person in their lifetime was staggering.

      Like

      • Green Bee
        September 20, 2014

        Have you read this column in the guardian? This chef Yotam Ottolenghi is not a vegetarian but writes the column with vegetarians in mind. He has a great attitude to meat consumption: He thinks we need to eat for vegetables & stop thinking of vegetables as just an accompaniment.
        http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/thenewvegetarian

        Like

      • lizard100
        September 20, 2014

        Thanks I’ve checked it out and I think I have him on twitter too. Really sound ideas. Good suggestions for some of our produce too. (Sad that today he’s got a tuna recipe mind you. One fragile species that shouldn’t really be on a ‘new vegetarian’ menu. )

        Like

      • Green Bee
        September 20, 2014

        Oh dear! I heard him being interviewed this morning on the Marian Finucane show and he was a pleasure to listen to and always preferable to the hideous Gordon Ramsey who I once heard saying he didn’t want any vegetarians in his restaurant. This was before he got into financial troubles in the US. He may be glad of their business now if he could only get it. Must check out Yotam on twitter.

        Like

      • lizard100
        September 20, 2014

        It’s good to see chefs who do recognize the power of veg.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. jpeggytaylor
    September 20, 2014

    It is good to see people caring about animal welfare when it comes to farm animals as opposed to pets or zoo animals, which tend to garner more sympathy. I support a campaign group called Compassion in World Farming who are constantly seeking better conditions and more humane treatment of farm animals, both in the EU and further afield. Sadly, you are right, many people do not seem too concerned about the welfare of the food they eat.

    Like

    • lizard100
      September 20, 2014

      It’s very disappointing that people don’t want to think about it while often being so interested in their pets for example.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jpeggytaylor
        September 20, 2014

        Indeed. Though perhaps as the serious issue of food security gradually comes more into public focus, more people will realise that ‘how’ food is produced is important to their own health.

        Like

      • lizard100
        September 20, 2014

        It’s hard to imagine how food security can continue to be sustained as the population keeps growing. Reducing meat intake seems so unlikely to so many people.

        Like

      • jpeggytaylor
        September 20, 2014

        I think that only prohibitive cost will eventually persuade some people to revise their eating habits … unless there are more dramatic meat ‘scares’ such as BSE, though the recent information on chicken processing in the UK wasn’t exactly wholesome reading!

        Like

      • lizard100
        September 21, 2014

        BSE did it for me!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Rambling Woods
    September 22, 2014

    This is why I don’t eat animals

    Like

  7. thebikinggardener
    September 23, 2014

    I had an interesting experience (here in Ireland) talking to a pig farmer the other day. He was saying how he couldn’t see how UK pig farmers could make money raising pigs outside in ‘fairly natural’ conditions, allowed to roam and act as they would ‘naturally do’ – i appreciate that pigs are domesticated farm animals. He raises pigs in sheds where they are not able to move as much and this put on weight far more quickly. He said they put on 1kg a day and that one sow would produce 2tonnes of meat a year through 27 offspring. I know he is a businessman as well as a farmer but I was disgusted. I am pleased that UK consumers seem to want high quality pork from more humanely farmed pigs. In contrast i was at the Grow It Yourself gathering the previous weekend where the talk was about sustainable farming and conserving the world’s soil. We have a long way to go!

    Like

    • lizard100
      September 23, 2014

      That’s another terrible Dutch thing. This country has more pigs than people yet I’ve basically never seen one. They’re all indoors!

      Like

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