A Merry Ethical Christmas

A Merry Ethical Christmas

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If like me, your family follows a range of diets (we have a vegan, two veggies, a reducetarian and a few very enthusiastic meat-eaters), the prospect of cooking Christmas dinner can seem pretty daunting!

In years gone by, the non-meat eaters often had to make do with an extra serving of sprouts and the occasional (store-bought, usually not very nice) nut roast.

But with so many amazing products available now, "ethical" Christmas meals don't have to be a chore.

So, how do you make sure everyone has a delicious meal that caters to their various dietary and ethical needs while not completely overloading yourself in the kitchen?

Gingerbread cookies

What’s on the shopping list?

We are a family of animal lovers, so for the meat-eaters, animal welfare is an important consideration.

This year we're planning on picking up a small free-range RSPCA Assured turkey. I've been to visit a few RSPCA Assured turkey farms now, including the one where we filmed our 2019 Christmas advert​ this October. And even though I’m one of the veggies in my family, I've been consistently impressed by RSPCA Assured turkey farms.

The birds on the farms I've been to had constant access to the outdoors, with wooded areas to explore and fields full of hay bales, and they were active and healthy. RSPCA Assured farmers go above and beyond in providing their animals with enrichment to keep them busy.

I’m personally reassured that we’re buying a turkey that was treated with compassion and respect through all stages of its life, and that we will be supporting passionate, caring British farmers with our purchase.

On that same note, following my visit to an RSPCA Assured pig farm last year, we’ll happily be buying RSPCA Assured pigs in blankets and stuffing to accompany the bird.

Unlike more intensively farmed pigs, RSPCA Assured animals must have access to straw bedding and enrichment, and have plenty of room to move around and exhibit their natural behaviours. The use of farrowing crates for example, which prevent nursing pigs from moving, is forbidden. I’m much happier knowing that we are not endorsing those kinds of systems.

xen and turkeys.jpg

About the author

This blog was written by RSPCA Assured marketing manager Xenia Kingsley.

Xenia's favourite festive song is Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song) by Bing Crosby.

The meat-free centre-piece will be a vegan version of this chestnut mushroom, stilton and cranberry nut loaf recipe. We’ll also be making additional veggie sides, including green beans with lemon and veggie bacon (a delicious combo I discovered this year). The gravy will also be vegan to make life a little easier for everyone!

The key is making sure that most people can eat most dishes and that everyone has choices, with a few specific recipes to make sure Christmas is special for all.

What’s more, by buying less but better quality meat, we’ll be keeping both our shopping bills and our Christmas food waste lower.   

Find out where you can buy RSPCA Assured meat this Christmas.

Date: 27 Nov 2019