Being sat in miles of traffic has made me realise farmers are being made scapegoats over the environment crisis - Jill Thorp

Jill Thorp
Jill Thorp
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As is usually the case with our family, we’ve all come down with the lurgy in the run up to Christmas.

Paul and I have picked up a flu like bug leaving us with blinding headaches and sore throats and John-William has come home from school with chicken pox.

Despite not showing any sign of a fever, his poor little body is covered in large, red, angry blisters. His hair hides the multitude of sores covering his scalp and unfortunately they have spread into his mouth and ears.

According to John-William, his teacher said at least fourteen to ten days, he thinks fourteen! Sadly any ideas of fun days at home on his bike or pony are way out of the question thanks to the location of some particularly sore and itchy blisters!

We’re a bit behind with getting the tups out to the hill ewes. The yard at home is a hive of activity, ewes getting burled and checked over and put into relevant groups.

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John-William has been put in charge of the marker spray so the vast majority are heading to the tupping fields wearing their technicolour dream coats.

Most evenings have been spent in Leeds at the General Infirmary where Paul’s father has undergone major heart surgery. He hasn’t had the best of recoveries from the operation but is now home and, for us, the misery of rush hour traffic on the M62 motorway is thankfully over.

The volume of traffic on our roads is truly horrendous. Cars, vans and lorries had all been at a standstill on the opposite carriageway as we had headed towards Leeds one evening.

From joining the motorway to exiting, a good ten miles, nothing had moved an inch. It is clear to see that farmers are being made scapegoats over the environment crisis.

How can we possibly be solely to blame when every minute of every day traffic is belching out noxious fumes into the atmosphere. A recent shocking television documentary highlighted the truly devastating practices of foreign meat industries yet failed to mention that British farming is very different and should in no way be compared.

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Consumers of cheap supermarket meat must be held accountable for their part in not only the vast environmental destruction seen in both North and South America but also the lack of respect and empathy shown towards the livestock.

I don’t believe meat should be an inexpensive, everyday staple. Rearing livestock with the best of care and adhering to high welfare standards is not cheap, therefore meat shouldn’t be.

I’m so pleased to see a new local butchers has opened, following all the aspects of farming and the meat industry that I believe are so vitally important.

They source from small independent farms that care about their animals. Despite veganism being on the rise, the number of people starting to take note of where their meat is coming from is also increasing.

The importance of buying locally has never been at such a high and supporting our own agricultural industry is vital.