A Merry Ethical Christmas

A Merry Ethical Christmas

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If like me, your family follows a range of diets (we have vegans and veggies as well as reducetarians and enthusiastic meat eaters), Christmas dinner can seem pretty daunting!

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 previous years, when my family was predominantly carnivorous, non-meat eaters had to make do with vegetables and the occasional (store-bought, usually dry and flavourless) nut roast, making Christmas dinner a pretty boring affair.

With so many amazing products now available though, the demand for higher welfare meat and veggie alternatives can understandably no longer be satisfied by an extra serving of sprouts.

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What’s on the shopping list?

We are a family of animal lovers, with a host of pets between us. So, for the meat eaters, animal welfare is an important consideration.

This year I've ordered a free-range RSPCA Assured turkey. I went to visit one of our turkey farms a couple of months ago, and even though I’m one of the veggies in my family, I was really impressed with the farm.

The turkeys had constant access to the outdoors, with wooded areas to explore and fields to roam, and they were active and healthy. I hadn’t realised what inquisitive birds turkeys are and enjoyed spending time with these characterful creatures. I’m personally reassured that we’ve bought a bird 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 earlier this year, I’ll happily be buying RSPCA Assured sausages and bacon to make higher welfare pigs-in-blankets.

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.

The meat-free centre-piece will be a home-made chestnut mushroom, stilton and cranberry nut loaf . I’ll also be making 

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About the author

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

Xenia's favourite thing to watch during the holidays is Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas and her favourite festive song is Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song) by Bing Crosby. 

additional veggie sides, including roasted squash and cauliflower steaks to make sure we have plenty of plant-based options on the table for everyone to enjoy and the stuffing and gravy will both be vegetarian.

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

I’ve chosen quite simple recipes to keep the workload to a minimum and let the delicious natural flavours shine through. What’s more, by buying less but better quality meat, I’ll be keeping both my shopping bills and my household’s Christmas food waste lower.   

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

Date: 12 Dec 2018