Just Food – Animal-Friendly and Fairly Traded Food – Session 1
This is a summary of the first session on Animal-Friendly and Fairly Traded Food at the CEL ecocell workshop “Just Food”, held on 18th January 2014 at St George’s Church, Bloomsbury.
[ The note taker was Peter Grimwood. ]
The key concept is “commodification”; that is to say treating animals, growers and labourers as objects to be abused, so that our appetites might be gratified. We have little awareness of the curbs on our appetites that scripture prescribes and we tend to interpret Genesis 1:26 as a license to abuse the rest of creation.
It was interesting to hear about the work and witness of the Christian Vegetarian Association and its advocacy of vegetarianism or meat free days in Lent. They have produced Biblical reflections and prayers to sustain this.
It was agreed that Christians need to foster a sense of the sacred in mealtime practices, and perhaps we should begin by giving more careful attention to the way we eat together as Church by labelling food properly and giving attention to its origin and the food miles involved in its journey to our plates. Anxiety was expressed about the ways in which farm animals are used and abused. The misuse of anti-biotics was noted and concern was expressed with regard to its harmful effects on all populations, both human and animal. Sanctuaries for elderly farm animals especially hens were affirmed.