Anybody who watched Babe at a formative age will have had one of two responses: swear off bacon butties for ever or rapidly develop brittle powers of dissociation to help turn a blind eye to the truth about where our food comes from, and its devastating impact on the environment, in the process.
Until recently, it has been relatively easy to continue in the latter camp. We know meat is bad for our health, bad for our ethics, bad for the planet, but the thought of a shorter life expectancy, an existential crisis about intelligent pigs and the realities of cattle farting the Amazon into dust just haven’t been enough to change most people’s habits when a fat, bloody steak is in front of them. The problems feel too remote.
Television is bringing those horrors into our home, and pressure is building like a bubbling slow cooker. Over the past few months, there have been at least a couple of damning documentaries on in any given week that probe the problem of meat….