An Insight into the Sustainable Meat Industry


The farming of animals has become more and more factory like over the years. Meat is now more affordable than it ever has been with most people eating meat two or even three times a day. Our increasing appetite for meat has put enormous pressure on availability, production and the environment with some less than desirable practices arising to meet demand. As these issues get the attention of the public more and more questions are asked about how our meat gets from the farm to our plate. People want to know exactly what happens during this process from start to finish, ensuring any meat they ingest was produced and processed in a sustainable and ethical way. Hence the rising trend of sustainable meat and ethical butchers.

In this article we aim to provide an insight into sustainable meat, what it is and why ethical butchers and sustainable meat matters.


What is sustainable meat?

Sustainably raised meat comes from small organic farms, where the animals graze outdoors on pesticide-free grass. This is opposed to the factory farms and feeding pens used by the major producers of meat. Sustainably raised meat is tended by responsible farmers who ensure their methods of meat production are humane and ethically just. These farms are often smaller in scale which gives more care to each individual animal resulting in higher-quality meat.

There are four keywords you’ll want to take notice of when researching sustainable meat.



The first keyword ‘natural’ is a bit sneaky. There are no regulations in place that state if a product can be called natural or not. This word is generally just a marketing term so keep an eye out so you don’t get duped.



Our next word ‘organic’ on the other hand is policed by regulations so is one you want to see on your meat. Organic standards are governed by law with farmers need to be certified before than can product an organic product. Organic standards cover the whole process, so you know the meat came to you in a sustainable and ethical manner.


Free Range

Another tricky keyword is ‘free-range.’ Technically this means that the animals must be raised in an outdoor area but this can be open to interpretation. If you see free-range on your meat then take it with a grain of salt just like you would with ‘natural.’.


Grass Fed

The term ‘Grass fed’ is used when the animals can graze outdoors on grass during the day. They may be brought inside at night, but grazing outside means they will have a more varied, healthy diet rather than being cooped up and fed grains.

One thing to look out for is grass fed but ‘grain-finished’ meat. This is where, in the final 90-120 days before slaughter, the animals are fed up on grains to fatten them up.


Why sustainable meat & ethical butchers matter?

Choosing to support sustainable meat and ethical butchers will benefit the environment and the animals. They are raised in an ethical manner, meaning you don’t have to worry about the animals enduring any of the horrible practices you’ve heard about on the news.

Large scale farming produces huge amounts of pollution for the ari and environment and cause major problems such as deforestation. They also require a huge amount of resources such as water and grain harvest.

By supporting your local ethical butchers such as you can provide sustainable meat for you and your family, safe in the knowledge that the journey from farm to plate was conducted in an ethical manner. Do your homework and pay attention to those labels and support the sustainable meat movement.



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