We used to have a blanket “NO” approach to selling kangaroo. After searching high and low, we have found a supplier who holds welfare and ethics in high regard. Previously, our main concern with roo was the fact that female roos were shot regardless of whether they were pregnant or not.
Orphaned ‘in pouch’ joeys of shot mothers are either decapitated (if very small) or killed with a blow to the head. Dependent ‘at foot’ joeys often escape, and suddenly face a life alone, often falling victim to predators, exposure or starvation. The mother and joey’s bond is immensely strong. Red kangaroos are not weaned until a year after birth and Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroos are not weaned until they are nearly 18 months old. It is estimated that 300,000 ‘at foot’ joeys die each year.
We only stock kangaroo that is harvested under strict guidelines which dictate that no females are shot. Macro Meats, our supplier of kangaroo, only take males! This also helps control the roo population which is important to environmental conservation.
Milk Fed Veal
Did you know that veal is a baby cow?
When we say baby, we mean 5 – 15 days old. Dairy cows are kept pregnant so they keep lactating (producing milk). All the males that are born to dairy cows go into the veal industry, whilst the females go back into the dairy industry.
The only needs of a calf are to be near it’s mother and to drink her milk. These very basic, fundamental needs are denied almost immediately after birth when they are sent to slaughter. We’ve heard and considered all the facts around this topic, and like anything, there will always be mixed opinions while people try to justify eating veal. The bottom line is, we do not support the industry.
You may notice in-store that we sell grass fed veal. This is from fully weaned cattle, aged between four to six months. This may sound young, but in agricultural terms it is not, and at least the animals have the opportunity to experience life.
Conventional Dairy Products
If you don’t like the idea of eating veal, have you also condisered the cause of why the veal exists in the first place? As stated above: veal is a bi-product of the dairy industry. Every latte, every pastry, every biscuit is made with conventional dairy products. So not eating veal actually has no affect on the amount of calves being sent to slaughter. It is driven by the dairy industry.
Of course, it’s unrealistic to completely cut ALL dairy from our diets, but some thought given to the ethics of where we source the dairy staples can actually make a huge difference.
We stock How Now Dairy cream and full cream, unhomogenised milk. They don’t separate calves from mothers, and don’t send “bobby calves” (males) to the veal industry. They also guarantee that their cows are fed a minimum of 75% grass, which is exceptional for dairy cattle. If you’re after a grass fed and ethical producer of butter, look for our Ashgrove salted butter.
Non Free Range Chicken & Eggs
Surely everybody knows that the stocking densities and other living conditions that non-free range chickens are disgraceful.
You would think the the caged egg industry in Australia was in it’s last phase, yet the 12 million hens who are forced to lay Australia’s ‘cage eggs’ will never feel the sun on their feathers, beat their wings, or experience the life that nature intended. Instead, each hen is imprisoned in a wire cage with up to four other birds. Her allocated living space is smaller than one A4 sheet of paper (not even enough space to stretch her wings). The combination of lack of exercise and continual egg-laying, which depletes hens of calcium, leads to weakened bones. It is estimated that 1 in 6 battery hens live in their cages with untreated broken bones.
Non Free Range Pork
Sow stalls, teeth clipping, concrete floors, tail docking and filthy, over crowded pens. Does this sound like a nice place to live your 20 week life? That sounds like prison! Allow us to elaborate.
Pigs have the intelligence of three year old humans. The piglets will have their tails docked, teeth cut down, and the males will be castrated – all without pain relief. The confined, unstimulating, unnatural environment that factory farmed pigs must endure condemn them to a life-time of perpetual stress, boredom and depression.
Lactating mothers are housed in crates (sow stalls) that are so small, they cannot turn around, roll over or get comfortable. Yes, this is to stop the mother from rolling on her suckling babies, but nonetheless, an extremely unnatural restriction.
Of course all farmers care for the welfare of their animals, but in our opinion, the term “welfare” extends beyond “industry standards” and “minimal requirements”. Especially when these industry standards are far from what the animals would choose for themselves, if they were ever given a choice. Pigs should range freely.
Our pigs are also not fed the ractopamine supplement ‘Paylean’ a adrenoreceptor agonist that binds to and activates hormone receptors in the body causing a cascade effect that results in lean weight gain. Paylean achieves a similar effect to added hormones but slips under the radar of labelling conventions on a technicality. Despite nations like China, Malaysia and Russia banning the use of ractopamine (along with 150 other nations – 27 of which are in the EU) – Australian regulators have deemed meat raised this way fit for human consumption, but in the absence of any long-term studies ruling out the health risks we’re happy to be stocking pork raised the old fashioned way.
Grain Fed Beef
Did you know that feed lots are over crowded, dusty feeding paddocks which make no resemblance to a cows natural habitat? Cattle that are feed-lotted will almost always be administered a HGP (growth hormone) and antibiotics in order to defend against diseases, which they are much more susceptible to, being in a high stocking density environment. Grain finishing or feedlotting, changes the omega 6 and 3 ratio from the ideal of 3:1, to the unhealthy range of 24:1, which is bad news for your heart. Grass fed beef has the same healthy ratio of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as found in fish and is very good for you. This change happens within the cattle after only one week on grain.
Don’t be fooled by the marketing campaigns, slick branding or fancy worded menus. Grain fed beef is NOT a premium product. Nothing beats premium 100% grass fed beef. Click here for more information on the health benefits of grass fed beef.
Shed Raised Ducks
Let’s not forget that ducks are aquatic animals. They need to be around ponds/pools of fresh water so they can clean their feathers, nostrils and eyes. It’s a very basic and fundamental need. Another basic need for their happiness and health is to be outside, under the sun. While the major duck producers in Australia meet all the minimum welfare standards, there is such a huge difference in the quality of our free range ducks and their shed raised ducks, we know that free range is, and will always be, the only way to farm truly happy animals.