Tuesday February 09, 2016

Ethical meat: how should we treat the animals we eat?

Listen to Full Episode 27:30
Pig Eater's Dilemma - headline

Julia Smith is a pig farmer in Burnaby, B.C. She believes her pigs should have a good life and ensures right until slaughter that her pigs are happy. (Julia Smith)

What do you know about the meat on your plate? Do you need to know what it ate and where it lived? Well, some meat eaters and animal lovers ­don't stop there. Their meat requires a few more special ingredients if it's going to transition from livestock to lunch. It's a question that challenges even the most philosophical of meat eaters: How well should we treat the animals we eat?

"I want my animals to be living in an environment that allows them to do the things that they were built to do — the things that meet their emotional needs."

- Julia Smith

Julia Smith gives her hogs about 10 times the space recommended by Canada's National Farm Care Council and insists on providing them with organic food. She also worries about her pigs' well-being and this often means offering cuddling time to each animal. Julia belongs to a movement of farmers, chefs, and consumers who share the belief that there's a moral imperative to ensure livestock has the best life possible.

About the producer

Elaine Chau - producer

Elaine Chau

Elaine Chau is an associate producer with CBC Radio's The Early Edition. She was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Montreal and Vancouver. Elaine is the 2008 recipient of the CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Internship, a multiple RTDNA winner, and Gold Radio winner in the Health/Medicine category at the 2011 New York Festivals for her series, AIDS: Then and Now.