A reason to eat animal products, and a list of ethical animal farmers for Brisbane

December 5, 2017 by

Veganism (or plant-based eating) is a burgeoning movement. At least 60% of our employees at Wandering Cooks are vegan. Many of our food makers are also vegan or are making ever more plant-based menus, on our and our customers urging.

With this growing insurgence of vegans surrounding our warehouse, I sometimes find myself questioning my meat eating motives.

Do I keep eating meat because I hate being ‘on trend’? That’s definitely not a good reason to eat animals so lets scrap that (even though it’s partly true). Is it because I love eating meat? Well I do, but not always, and we’ll come to that. And on top of loving the plentitude of textures and flavours in my diet that animals play a part in, the idea of eliminating whole skill profiles from my cooking repertoire is disturbing. But then, there are so many other skills I would learn if I no longer ate animal products, so that’s not the greatest reason either.

None of these are the real reason I keep eating meat, and serving it to my family and customers.

Underneath lies something else… a reason I think everyone should embrace. I say ‘should’ with a cringe because I hate being preachy, but I say it because I’d hope even vegans could embrace this one. I eat meat because I have profound respect for farmers that love their animals well, and embrace a practice of regeneration through farming with them.

I can’t bear not supporting them, not celebrating them for their resilience, their strength of character, care and ethics. To stop supporting these farmers, to me, would be tantamount to abandoning their stories and throwing them into the dark cavernous void where most of the world farms. Where the world’s heart should be is darkness because of this place.

At Wandering Cooks, we serve certain farmers products because for us, these farmers hold the darkness back from completely taking over our humanity. They embody the exact force which most vegans are revolting against. Without these farmers, everything kind and thoughtful about us would fall away into the void. I truly believe this. So even if you don’t eat animal products, please put aside for at least a moment, the arguments about whether or not we should eat animals at all, and help us fight industrial animal farming by supporting farmers whose practices are entirely other to it.

Below are some of who we’ve gathered for your support. A very incomplete list to be sure. To be questioned perhaps. But we need to start and this is it.

Most of below are retail outlets or online stores, not wholesale sources, but perhaps some of these sources do wholesale and don’t always declare it publicly. If anyone has more info to offer us, we’d love to hear from you. And of course, send any leads on more individual farmers to mention that are doing an excellent job as well as where to find them. Plus more distributors that specialise in sourcing carefully. We’d very much appreciate your help with this.

Sustainable Table is a great reference website to help you understand what you are looking for.
Meats – retail sellers
Here are a few organic and/or ethical butchers/grocers/online stores you can ask if they do wholesale or whole or 1/2 beast deals on pasture-reared (grass fed) meats for you, and what they specialise in. They don’t all advertise themselves as wholesale specifically, but they might do it for larger buyers. You can ask them.
1. Sherwood Road Organics – Lamb, Chicken (these guys are farmers and will sell whole animals for cheaper prices.)
2. Allsop Organic Butcher – Beef, Lamb (more affordable – also sourcing direct from a farm we think, but we need more information on this one)
3. Meat At Billies – Lamb, Pork, Beef, Poultry (not all of Billy’s products are pasture-reared, or to the same extent, but look for Eggcettera Pork, Long Paddock Lamb, 9Dorf Poultry & Eggcettera Eggs in particular)
4. Echovalley – Pork, Beef & Eggs
5. 9Dorf Farms – Beef (online), Poultry (Meat at Billies), Fish (not sure where to source this from yet?)
Meats (wholesale focussed with some retail)
*6. Handsourced – all animals, including the above plus Sommerlad Chicken, the ultimate in chicken and more like game than what we are used to as chicken meat in AustraliaRun by Shirley Harring, she is our absolute pick of the bunch when it comes to sourcing animal products. We are thankful every day for her existence.
Echo Valley or Bottom Hill Organics (both use Joel Salatin’s principles of intensive grazing, I think, but would love to know more).
Barambah is a great source for your Milk and Yoghurt Products as they are local, careful farmers who are among a small number who actual announce their strategy for looking after bobby calves on their website. Is their a better one out there? You tell me. You can source them through Foodconnect wholesale and retail.
Suggestions, please?
So here is our start. There is more, and we’ll add all this material as well as links to more details about the farmers and their animals when we have the time. But please do see this as an opportunity to help us develop this list into one we can all be proud to call our own – one we can ask questions to and get the answers we need in order to eat animal products well in this city.

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