As a vegetarian of 15 years my latest challenge – to find out about local meat and follow a lamb through its short life – could be one of my most difficult.
But if you eat meat I believe you should know where it comes from and as part of our Food Glorious Food campaign we have adopted a one-week-old lamb named Dynamite from Garden Farm, at High Leas.
We will be following Dynamite’s life on a traditional, organic farm and then – shockingly for some – his eventual slaughter, in around seven months’ time.
Many people will look at this adorable lamb and not make the connection between him and the meat packaged in plastic that you find in the supermarket.
Like it or not most lambs are bred for meat and millions are slaughtered every day.
Tim Sidaway, who took over Garden Farm in January, wants people to respect the meat they eat and considers animal welfare of the utmost importance.
He said: “I think this will help people understand a bit more about what local farmers go through, what animals go through and will maybe make them question where their meat comes from.
“People sometimes get sucked in to the supermarket system of just buying things and not thinking about it. If people bought less meat but better quality it would be better for the animal and maybe for their health and the environment too.”
He added: “Animal welfare is very important to us and we are always happy for people to come and visit, if they want to see for themselves how we work.”
As well as Dynamite, who is a Charolais X sheep, the 110 acres of Garden Farm are currently home to 100 other lambs, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and a heavy horse.
Dynamite is currently being bottle fed as his mother had three lambs and was unable to feed them all. In around three months time he will be weened then spend the rest of his life eating grass.
Readers will be able to keep updated with Dynamite’s progress, learn a bit more about local food production and follow the journey of meat from farm to fork.