The Meat Question

- 30-Jan-2019 -

Cows and sheep have grazed the meadows at Henfryn for hundreds of years. Indeed without cattle there would be no fields or farms here as we know them. But of course just because it’s traditional, doesn’t mean it’s right. This is something we have carefully considered here at Henfryn.

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With so much in the media these days about the environmental and ethical questions about meat, we though we should outline our thoughts.

We reason that grass is one crop that grows well here, so well in fact that we buy virtually no additional feed for our cattle and sheep. They are fed nothing that could feed a human directly, unlike much of anonymous feedlot beef, pork and chicken that fills the nation’s deep freezes. Our amazing animals eat grass, turning what for humans is an inedible (albeit beautiful) green expanse into a nutritious protein source that has much to offer as part of a balanced diet. Our meat is so flavoursome that we always feel a little goes a long way, consistent with a healthy diet.

Furthermore, aside from small scale vegetable production (try some when you are here) the terrain and climate are not well suited here to arable crops and would likely lead to sedimentation of the river. Yes, our cows and sheep fart and belch methane like any others, but our stocking rate is low and our pasture is not overgrazed, so carbon is locked into our soils – as you can see from the colour of our mole hills! We do not buy feed that is shipped from the other side of the planet where it is grown in soya deserts that have displaced rainforest.

Welfare-wise too, our animals live natural lives, in herds and flocks where there are long standing familial relationships, where weaning is a natural rather than enforced process, where they know the farm on which they live and when their time comes the journey is short.

On balance therefore, we feel that raising animals here in the manner in which we do contributes positively to the landscape and biodiversity of the area, provides quality nutritious food in a landscape where other forms of food production would be challenging, to high welfare standards and in a manner that is more environmentally benign than most other approaches to meat production.

We also feel it’s important for others to experience all the evidence on which our reasoning is based – our guests can see how the theory works in practice and make their own minds up. A word of warning though, based on our ethos, we really don’t like food waste, especially meat….plan accordingly!


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Henfryn Farm
Pentre Cwrt
SA44 5BB
Tel. 01559 362840

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