Monbiot calls to end idealised fairytale view of farming – Red Tractor responds

THE CRUEL treatment of farm animals is perpetuated by an idealised view of farm life, George Monbiot has said this week. Red Tractor disagrees.

Foodservice Footprint Straw-Bales-300x293 Monbiot calls to end idealised fairytale view of farming - Red Tractor responds Foodservice News and Information Grocery sector news updates Out of Home sector news  Red Tractor Guardian George Monbiot farming














The environmental campaigner and author argued in an article in the Guardian that idealised “children’s tales bear no resemblance to the cruelty of most modern farms, yet this image enables us to turn a blind eye to animal welfare and is exploited by the industry for profit.”


Stimulated to comment after his own paper, the Guardian, included an advertorial children’s story sponsored by Kerrygold as an insert, Monbiot believes that bringing children up with images of sanitised farm life where animals roam freely getting along with each other allows us to close our minds and conscience to the shocking conditions farm animals are treated to in reality.


As an example, Monbiot cites Red Tractor standards, where planned stocking densities for broiler chickens “gives each bird an area the size of an A4 sheet of paper”; and where chickens are “stuffed with high protein feed” beyond the capacity of their body weight, “with the result that the birds often suffer from painful and crippling health problems, as their hearts, lungs and legs are overloaded.”


Monbiot believes the reason that a nation of self-professed animal-lovers allows these inhumane practices to continue is because the bucolic images of farm life perpetuated in advertising and children’s stories allow us close our minds to the realities of modern farming.


He is calling for consumers to wean “themselves off the fairytale version of farming … to judge it by the same standards as we would judge other industries.”


Red Tractor CEO David Clarke responds