New Year resolutions – let's get Real

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Another New Year’s Eve and the pressure to make some more new year’s resolutions. We’ve all made them. But how often do we keep them?
And then there are different types of resolutions. There’re those to provide you with a little self improvement such as: I will keep a clearer desk; I will drink less; I’ll be nicer to my wife; I must stop kicking the cat. These never work because your heart’s not in it.
There are nice and clear single objectives: I will change my job; I’ll ask the boss for a raise; I will ask that girl out. These sometimes work but, particularly in the case of asking the girl out, usually don’t through fear of failure.
There are clearly foolish ones: I will paint the house; I’ll clear the garage; I will bring down all my old LPs from the loft and transfer them to my computer. These all take too much effort and are obviously not necessary or can be done by someone else.
So there’s absolutely no point in making new year’s resolutions because they only make you feel useless and a failure. Unless, that is, you find a resolution that you can and want to stick to.
So it’s got to be something that gives you pleasure; not just in the succeeding but also in the act of carrying it out. Well, for pleasure, you could decide to drink more rather than less but I’m not sure that’s the point of a resolution as you start a new year. You’re probably pie-eyed when you make it anyway as you sing Old Lang Syne but that’s the same with all resolutions if you’re doing New Year’s Eve properly.
It’s got to be something that demands a conscious effort and putting yourself out a bit otherwise it’s not really a resolution at all. And so here’s where it gets a little more serious because I’ve got one for you that fulfils those requirements, while doing good and helping you enjoy life to a greater extent at the same time. I have to admit, this is only going to work if you’re not a vegetarian but that still means that over 90% of the population can take part so hopefully we can do some good.
I’d like you to resolve to try and buy any meat, or products that result from the rearing of any other creatures that have been flying, swimming, crawling or running around, from places that you know have sourced from producers who treat their animals well. Now this is quite complex so that’s where the effort comes in because so many supermarkets and large brands bamboozle us with clever words that are meant to suggest good animal welfare but in fact are just that; clever words. Despite the stuff we see on TV adverts, I frequently enquire in supermarkets as to the provenance of their meat and usually get back just a blank stare.
And it’s not just how the animals are reared but how their life is ended as well. After all, you’re the one who wants to eat meat so it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s been treated well; from conception to termination.
To get answers to these concerns you have to talk to the people concerned and that might mean you buying much more from good local butchers, farmers’ markets and farm gates but at least that means you’re buying local stuff and so that’s got its benefits as well. You may argue back that it’ll be more expensive and that may often be the case. But just because we want cheaper meat doesn’t mean that animals should suffer as a consequence, does it? It’s down to you.
And anyway, if you don’t want to spend more, buy a little less meat but of better quality. You don’t have to change your budget, just eat a little less. We’re continuously told that most of us are morbidly are obese.
Eating well-reared and slaughtered meat not only does your conscience good, it makes eating better too. That’s possibly for two reasons. The first being that it just does and the second being that it’s the farmers’ market effect: just knowing where your food comes from makes it taste better – even if it doesn’t.

So, as from tomorrow, please, come on and join me in my resolution. And a happy new year to you and all the animals.

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