The Doc Project

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

What do you know about the meat on your plate? Do you need to know what it ate and where it lived? Julia Smith 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.
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)
Listen to the full episode27:30

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?

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
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.