Eating meat that would otherwise go in the bin.

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  • I work in a school where the children are served a hot meal everyday..all of which are meat based. After the children have eaten there is sometimes a lot of food left over which always goes in the bin. Having been a vegetarian for quite a number of years now I'm not sure that I could actually eat the left over meat but I think its important for me to think about. Animals have been killed to provide these children with food..and if there is food left over I wonder whether it would be more ethical for me to eat it and for it to nourish my body than for it to go in the bin. I dont like to see that an animal has been killed and then a large preportion of its body wasted :(

    I think perhaps one of my biggest problems with it is the fact that if I ate the left over meat I might be giving out the signal that I think killing for food is alright, which I dont. And perhaps by refusing the wasted meat other people will begin to question the ethics of eating meat.

    what do you feel about the idea of eating meat that would otherwise go in the bin from an ethical perspective?

  • That's a really good question, and one that is really hard to answer. From an ethical perspective I would say eat the meat, the wrongness of the system on it's own is less than the wrongness plus the wastage, if you can understand my awful attempts to write what I think.
    From an idealistic perspective I would say don't eat it, as to do so is to help perpetuate the notion that "meat is good"
    Your dillema is to decide whether the ethics or the ideals take precedent:hippy:

  • Is there anyway you can take it anf feed it to the local foxes. I know that might sonud mad, but we had loads of trouble with our foxes getting into bins and rabbit and chickens, so some of us started to fed them and now not only do they not try to eat pet rabbits or chickens, but they are a lot healthier and thriving. just an idea, however once you start they come to depend on you, so you'll need to sort something for during the school holidays. oh and i live in London, but we have lots of them to feed

  • Good thread.


    martin eats joes leftover meats and I occasionally eat his leftover fish...it's not a moral dilemma for us at all... the only problem is doing it in public as like you said, people think "oh well shes not that much of a vegetarian" and be less concerned if they ever give me food if it has meat or whatever in it....if that makes sense....which breaks the point as then meat will have been killed for me...


    I would eat leftover meat but its been a while now and i'm so put off by it I don't think I could..morally though I see no reason why not to, it';s the same as roadkill

  • I also got thinking that there maybe someone you know who is on a low income and eats meat, that would maybe glad of a little help, what with food being so expensive now, although you'd have to tread softly in your approach to them, don't want to hurt their pride. But you never know they may be glad of it.

  • Thanks for the input everyone :)

    Is there anyway you can take it anf feed it to the local foxes. I know that might sonud mad, but we had loads of trouble with our foxes getting into bins and rabbit and chickens, so some of us started to fed them and now not only do they not try to eat pet rabbits or chickens, but they are a lot healthier and thriving. just an idea, however once you start they come to depend on you, so you'll need to sort something for during the school holidays. oh and i live in London, but we have lots of them to feed



    There are no foxes in guernsey and I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of foxes becoming more and more reliant on humans.

    Quote

    I also got thinking that there maybe someone you know who is on a low income and eats meat, that would maybe glad of a little help, what with food being so expensive now, although you'd have to tread softly in your approach to them, don't want to hurt their pride. But you never know they may be glad of it.



    This would probably be the option that suits me best. The only problem is I dont know anyone very well in guernsey yet and the majority of people here are quite well off and would be highly offended if I offered them school dinner left-overs.

    If I can do it I think its probably most ethical for me to eat the meat. I just have to decide whether I'd actually be able to do it and whether I can cope with the fact that once I do it my housemates will atempt to offer me meat all the time.

    I also worry that eating the left over meat will make me more relaxed about the idea of buying and cooking meat for myself. I dont think it would.. but the brain can be a funny thing.

    hmmmm..its a tricky one.

  • i was thinking the housemates to!
    also what about challenging the school about how much they order. if you did your research first regarding how much they buy and how much it costs etc and showed them how much waste is costing then they may be willing to cut their order!
    claire

  • I think it is a real shame that the food is being wasted like that. How do the other staff members who eat meat feel about it?



    Sometimes they take some of the leftovers home but not always. I dont think they are too worried when food is bined though.

    Quote from Pumpkin

    could you not just take it home for your housemates to eat?


    My housemates work with me. They are given the option to take leftovers home and I've never seen them take up the offer.

    Quote from Clarabell

    also what about challenging the school about how much they order. if you did your research first regarding how much they buy and how much it costs etc and showed them how much waste is costing then they may be willing to cut their order



    Hmm...yeah, maybe I could do that. Though I dont think I do it until I've settled in a bit better and feel more confident. Having said that it would be difficult because children are quite unpredictable. Sometimes they eat loads and finish all the food and sometimes they dont seem keen to eat so much. I recon the boss recons that its better to have too much than too little, which is understandable.

  • I think the more you eat the leftovers the more the school will keep buying the same amount. I think a word in the purchasers ear would be best so that there are no leftovers and so farmers do not have to produce as much

  • unfortunately kids... are not predictable eaters:(




    I am aware of that but as this was raised as an issue I guess they are predictable in what they waste otherwise it would not have been mentioned :) Plus kids should learn not to waste food

  • When I first started uni I found myself in the same situation - my housemates would often cook themselves meals (using meat) and then have loads of left-overs, so thinking the same as you, that it is worse to waste meat and see it go in the bin, as then the animal has died in vain rather than fulfilling a purpose, I started eating people's leftover meat that would have otherwise gone in the bin.

    However, the problem then was that when my housemates cooked meals for everyone where previously i would have opted out, and only eaten if there were leftovers, they started cooking enough for me as well, not really understanding how I could be 'vegetarian' if I ate their meat leftovers. And when something was cooked for me i couldn't refuse it, as then they would have had to put my portion in the bin, which was exactly what i was trying to avoid happening.

    The other problem is that although during the 3 years or so that I was solely vegetarian i had no meat cravings at all, as soon as I began to eat meat I found I began to crave it, and wanting to eat meat all of the time. Now I find being vegetarian hard, and find myself occasionally eating meat that isn't leftover or sometimes even buying it myself in order to settle a craving. Plus now my friends at uni don't see me as vegetarian, and so will invite me round for dinner and cook me meat.

    At the moment I am finding it hard to return to being 99% vegetarian (I would still eat leftovers) and to resist my cravings/temptations to unnecessarilly eat meat, however, I still think that for me throwing meat in the bin, or watching others do so, is not something I could stand by and watch. Whilst I still stand by my morals and beliefs that killing animals for meat is not necessary in a country where so many alternatives are available, I also believe that once an animal has been killed it is better that it is eaten, and respected, than simply thrown away to rot in a landfill. I guess it's just important to be aware that once you start eating even small amounts of meat your body may start to crave it (or at least mine did) and that as you said, the brain can be a strange thing, and although morally I don't want to eat meat sometimes I almost feel as if my body goes on auto-pilot and blocks out my moral standpoint until after I have bought and eaten the meat.

    I understand that when it comes to feeding young children, as you said, ordering less probably isn't an option as children are unpredictable, and what they don't eat one week they will wolf down the next. Instead, if when you are more settled you do speak to the kitchen staff I suggest you suggest that the meat they buy is ethically
    sourced from places where the animals are free-range, and do not suffer in order to provide nourishment. That way, if you do choose to eat the left-over meat, you know the animal has not suffered in order to provide nourishment to you and the children, and also you can respect the fact that although the animal has died, it has provided an important thing (food) which hasn't been wasted, and thus it hasn't died in vain...


  • what do you feel about the idea of eating meat that would otherwise go in the bin from an ethical perspective?



    I think very much that it's better it is eaten, but it depends on the reason you are veggie, I guess.
    I once ordered a veggie burger with no cheese but they put mayo on it which i didn't realise they would!
    my friend who is vegan wanted to complain and get it sent back, but i thought - it'll just go in the bin and be wasted anyway, as well as the burger being wasted, so i ate it.
    And I don't think that was wrong; maybe it makes me 'less' of a vegan or something, but it certainly doesn't impede on my morals.

    If it was meat.. i wouldn't eat it.. but i would always wrap it up and take it home for the dog. Dog is meant to be veggie too, but obv it's better it's not wasted :)

    Btw., following on what Jinkleberry said, maybe if you did eat it sometimes, you should prob do it in secret..? i dunno if that's wrong, but it would make things simpler.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

    The post was edited 1 time, last by elfqueenofrohan: mistype! ().

  • I am trying to clarify in my mind what is being said here. it seems that..if meat is going to be binned then it is ok to eat it.... now.. is this the same as buying a real fur because the animal is already dead and the fur is going to be chucked out if nowone buys it?

    I suspect it is not..but help me see the difference please:panic:

  • I am trying to clarify in my mind what is being said here. it seems that..if meat is going to be binned then it is ok to eat it.... now.. is this the same as buying a real fur because the animal is already dead and the fur is going to be chucked out if nowone buys it?

    I suspect it is not..but help me see the difference please:panic:

    There's no comparison. A better analogy would be whether someone would wear a fur coat once it had been chucked out....

  • My view on this is if they are leftovers and your vegan/veggie then you should stick by your morals and not eat it. I used to be a chef and left
    before jaimes school dinners but i guess the schools i sometimes worked in
    as a temp still use scolarest and there suppliers quality of meat really is not fit for your dog let alone your children. I used to bring the meat upto the boil first and see all the gunk come out strain it off then add it to a dish. Really the amount of crap pumped into the animals and then added in processing is truly shocking.
    If you are going to eat meat goto a organic farm shop where you will get real organic meat.
    One thing i would also like to point out that hygiene law says that it is illegal to take or give left overs away and the amount wasted is always recorded and taken off the tax.

  • I am trying to clarify in my mind what is being said here. it seems that..if meat is going to be binned then it is ok to eat it.... now.. is this the same as buying a real fur because the animal is already dead and the fur is going to be chucked out if nowone buys it?

    I suspect it is not..but help me see the difference please:panic:


    If it's going to go in the bin anyway then eating it won't contribute to the meat industry - the damage has already been done by someone paying for the meat in the first place.


    I don't think I'd be able to eat meat now even if I wanted to, but if my housemates are definitely about to chuck out something that's veggie but not vegan I'll often eat it if nobody else wants it.

  • Thing is - this kinda thing is happening all over the UK and it's not your problem to solve. It feels like you want to do it because you should rather than you want to. Like others have said, you doing this won't stop it happening and ultimately, you'll probably end up feeling crappy for eating meat! As for the animal has died in vain argument - I don't agree. The animal has already died in vain - there must be a hell of a lot of wasted animal produce and given that we don't need meat to survive (topic already discussed!) it's complete indulgence in my opinion.

  • Thing is - this kinda thing is happening all over the UK and it's not your problem to solve. It feels like you want to do it because you should rather than you want to. Like others have said, you doing this won't stop it happening and ultimately, you'll probably end up feeling crappy for eating meat! As for the animal has died in vain argument - I don't agree. The animal has already died in vain - there must be a hell of a lot of wasted animal produce and given that we don't need meat to survive (topic already discussed!) it's complete indulgence in my opinion.



    *hugs Whirler*


    That's was what I wanted to say but couldn't think of the wording.

    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well preserved package, but rather to skid in, broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming...........WOW!! What a ride!!!"

  • The animal has already died in vain - there must be a hell of a lot of wasted animal produce and given that we don't need meat to survive (topic already discussed!) it's complete indulgence in my opinion.



    whilst i wudn't eat meat either, wasted or not, i dunno if it would be complete indulgence (i do recognise that that is ur opinion though!) because if you eat that food instead of whatever other food you were going to eat rather than as well as, there is less food wastage over all! yes a tiny amount i know but it's frugality and less wasteful, if that makes sense!

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • whilst i wudn't eat meat either, wasted or not, i dunno if it would be complete indulgence

    I'm not sure if you'd misunderstood me. I think that eating meat is an indulgence generally due to the fact that we don't need it to survive not that it would be an indulgence if eaten on this occasion.

  • Could you not just take it to a soup kitchen? I know Guernsey is a relatively well off place, but I'm sure there must still be people who are in need...
    I guess then you still have the problem of encouraging the consumption of meat, but it could be a good compromise if you're really bothered by the waste.
    If I find meat when I'm raiding skips, if I have the time I make pies or a casserole and give it to my friends - it's a lot more appealing than offering left overs to people!

  • If you are committed to not buying into the meat industry, eating meat that has been thrown away is not unethical at all. Don't let people convince you otherwise. I don't eat discarded meat purely for health reasons, and I have enough to eat for the time being (If I was starving then I would eat the leftover roast dinner without a moments thought)