I am an animal. I am a ruminant mammal from the ovine family. I am usually raised for meat or wool production. I am a baby under a year old and sleep is essential for me as I sleep between 8 and 12 hours a day. I am very playful and spend most of my time in the herd during my waking hours.
You’ve known me forever. I have historical and symbolic meaning in your traditions. After being the first animal domesticated by Man, I participated in the first blood transfusion in history. For the record, Jean-Baptiste Denis, personal physician to Louis XIV, was the first to inject animal blood, mine, into a man, thus creating the first blood transfusion in history. In addition, I am an animal full of symbols and anchored in your religious beliefs. I am sacrificed ritually during religious celebrations such as Easter.
You cook me mainly with your family. Recognized as a refined meat, I have a great place in the kitchen during family meals. Choice cuts such as the leg, the mouse, the shoulder and the rack have earned me the reputation of being a tender and tasty red meat.
You know my nutritional values. I am a fatty meat whose consumption should be limited. Rich in protein and water, I am also a source of phosphorus, which is essential for bone health and the production of body tissue. I also contain iron and vitamin B, which promote the formation of red blood cells.
You eat less and less of me. Only 45% of households buy me for their food consumption. Sheep meat, the family to which I belong, is consumed up to 3 kg per year per French person. This consumption is mainly seasonal and doubles during the month of Easter. However, each year, it decreases with overall consumption of red meat. Although our country is the third largest European producer, it is not self-sufficient. The meat bought in your supermarkets generally comes from England or from non-European countries such as New Zealand.
I have a significant environmental impact. As a whole, meat consumption leaves a heavy ecological footprint. The disastrous impact of beef is well known, but mine is greater and less known. Production of 1kg of my meat represents 49,58kg of CO2 and 12 000 liters of water. As a comparison, it is the equivalent of 486km by plane, i.e. a flight from Nice to Rome, and 1,300 flushes of water, i.e. the average yearly consumption of a French person. Key figures to share at your next family meal!
I am…a lamb. Not to be confused with my father, the sheep!
Did you find out the identity of our mystery guest and above all, could you imagine that its ecological impact was so important? WiseFins looks forward to seeing you next month to discover the portrait of a new guest.
Written by Maeva Ortega