UK newspaper, The Guardian, is set to launch a new article series focused on animal farming. The new series is funded by the Open Philanthropy Project and will consider how animal welfare has gone down hill in UK farms. The series will examine how livestock is kept and evaluate what happens to the animals that go through the factory farming system. The paper will also consider the question, “What does it mean for the planet?”
The Guardian acknowledges that there has been a “revolution” in the way that UK animal products are produced and consumed over recent years. Meat and fish have evolved from a luxury, to a staple that appears regularly on dinner tables up and down the country. But at what cost?
“By increasing the scale of production, and reducing exposure to what were once seen as essential components of farming, such as sunshine, quality of life for the animals, space and natural grazing. A new artificial lifecycle was introduced instead,” the newspaper states. “Eggs are hatched on factory belts, chickens are crammed into sheds and cages, pigs are confined to crates, cows are reared in barns.”
The article series has come at the right time for the UK population, who have become increasingly aware of the negative impact of widespread meat and dairy consumption. At the beginning of February, it was reported by Kantar World Panel that nearly thirty per cent of all UK meals were now meat-free. The reason for this surge is not just down to animal welfare concerns, but health concerns too.
“Our ideas about what’s healthy are also changing – we’re more focussed on foods that are natural and less processed, and eating a varied diet,” said usage expert for Kantar World Panel, Richard Allen.
In addition, UK supermarkets have also noticed a difference in consumer buying habits. Waitrose reported that sales of meat-free haggis had gone through the roof, with many people choosing to celebrate Burns Night cruelty free. Tesco have also noticed a change, launching the Wicked Kitchen vegan range of ready meals and sandwiches across six hundred of their stores.
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