Ethical Farming in the UK & Ireland-Our Approach
We believe that what we strive to do here at Broughgammon Farm is an ethical approach to modern day farming. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s a good start.
To begin with we believe in a stocked farming system, as livestock and organisms are key to the complex symbiotic nature of soil health, and can play a huge part in re-building our depleted soils (this is the problem that is often referred to in headlines such as ‘we only have 30-40 harvests left in our soils’) for more information on this read into regenerative agriculture. In regards to bio-diversity a stocked system provides far more variation in our environment, increasing flora and fauna that can establish on a mixed farm as opposed to one under permanent tillage.
We also feel that we are intrinsically linked into the food web as a predator species, and that we are even more interlocked and interdependent, having removed the other predator species. Our management of nature is key as otherwise it would have cataclysmic implications on other trophic levels (an example of the brutal hardship of nature can be seen in the population growth, and rapid decline in cycles in Soay Sheep on the isles of St. Kilda).
We also feel that animals and animal products, as well as plant and plant products are a natural and sustainable solution to sustaining ourselves on the planet going forwards- we do however believe that less is more, and that food wastage and nose-to-tail eating has a huge part to play in reducing the numbers of livestock farmed.
Why Kid Goat and Rose Veal are good sources of Ethical Meat
In regards to why we rear goats and bull calves, the food chain has become so disconnected from nature (and therefore inefficient, as a result of industrialisation on the back of cheap fuels) This means that we have become blissfully unaware (or as compulsive consumers has society simply turned a blind eye?) to the wastes that the modern food chain has created, the cost being hidden by the cheap production.
This includes males born onto dairy farms. Unfortunately this disconnect means these animals are undervalued, and rather than see some of their lives ‘disposed of’ or live exported we felt that it was far more honourable and respectful to keep them in Ireland and rear them in a high welfare situation, and to use their lives in order to sustain ours. This disconnect and depreciation of the true cost of food has also seen the inefficient movement of foodstuffs around the globe, often to the detriment of those unable to compete financially in the source countries, which is why we believe strongly in better management and balance in the food chain.
These are a few of the reasons and influences that we feel make our decision, and our management of our farm ethical. In regards to raising them and butchering them, it can be very hard, but we do so with utmost respect in that they give their lives in order to sustain ours in as sustainable and symbiotic relationship to nature as possible. Again, we’re a small farm, and external influences means that we might not be our envisaged ‘utopia’, but we do feel that by taking on these calves and goats we’re taking a very large step in the right direction.
Ethical Meat-How can we eat Meat and be Ethical?
- Eat nose to tail. Less wastage is absolutely key in how we move forward now.
- Look for farms who are open about how they raise their animals and are striving to make a difference.
- Understand the concept of regenerative agriculture and support farms who work within this.
- Eating seasonal wild game and meat that is a bi-product of other industries is a great way of eating meat ethically-this is why we farm and sell kid goat, rose veal and seasonal wild game.
Where can I buy Ethical Meat in the UK & Ireland
From us! We send our meat boxes across the UK and Ireland straight from our farm. We also are at markets in Belfast, Dublin and have an open farm and shop on Fridays here in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. You can shop our ethical meat boxes here.