'Classes for conscious carnivores', The Saturday Paper
The intro encapsulates the point of our classes:
'At butchery class, ‘conscious carnivores’ learn to break down a pig to better understand the ethics of eating meat.'
She goes on to discuss the class and the various questions it throws up.
'That the pig lived well and on healthy soil is critical to our hosts at Feather and Bone, an ethically minded providore in Marrickville, Sydney, that sources its meat from small producers who practise regenerative farming and raise their animals on pasture. In 2020, owners Grant Hilliard and Laura Dalrymple published an acclaimed book, The Ethical Omnivore, which merged recipes with an examination of the sustainable food industry and argued, remarkably for butchers, that we should eat less meat. Their classes are for conscious carnivores.'
She also interviewed our Senior Butcher, Din Aldan, pictured here in a photo by Karl Schwertdfeger. This is what he had to say:
“But I have respect for the pig and what I’m doing. It didn’t just die for nothing. The Muslim way has to be halal. It’s about respect, saying a prayer for the animal. And that’s why, when I butcher every day, I’m so passionate because it’s a living, powerful thing.”
As we say in our book, ‘The Ethical Omnivore’,:
‘We think butchery is a beautiful and venerable craft and when it’s performed with skilful expertise it is full of respect and admiration for the life given up to feed us. As long as we continue to eat animals, we need skilled and caring people to prepare our meat for us.’
A lot of that care and respect (whether you’re a butcher, customer or chef) comes from connection - a direct line of sight to the farm, a short and transparent supply chain. It's hard to care or take responsibility when the origin of most of our food is so opaque.
Ultimately, the respect here springs from the compassionate and intelligent way those farms are managed, the commitment to allowing everything in the landscape, from microbes to humans, to express their full potential. As some farmers say, their job is to respect the superior organising power of nature and mostly just get out of the way!
This regenerative approach is how we’ll create agricultural resilience and sustainability. It all starts with respect.