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142. Cruelty Free Living and Organic Farmer | Seaview Cottage | Kim Romeril | Dunedin, New Zealand
31st May 2016 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:38:26

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From Townie to Organic Farmer – Transitioning from Urban to Rural Lifestyle with Kim Romeril Cruelty Free Living at the Seaview Cottage

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From the other side of the world in New Zealand meet Kim Romeril from the Seaview Cottage!

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Seaview Cottage

Kim romeril dogs DogsOnBeach

Tell us a little about yourself.

Oh Gosh?! Where do we start? Im a 33 year old mother of 3 children… We live just out of Dunedin, just out of Dunedin up the coast a wee bit in a small rural community called Purakanui …  we were living in a really small community before that … it’s a Seaside community and  my children go to this fabulus school which at the moment has 12 students! IT’s an enriched environment being close to the coast and being in an agricultural environment. 

We originally lived in town, which is 30 minutes probably not far away in the scheme of other cities and stuff in other places and even for New Zealand. We lived in Dunedin for about 5 years prior to that we lived in a small community. But we really felt we were disassociated, driving all over the place to a plethora of extra curricular activities scattered across the city, both my husband and I were really stressed and tired.


I was doing  a bit of  research on emotinoal well-being through my job and I realized I kind of hit the rushing woman syndrome. I was really exhausted because I was just flat tagged constantly…as a result the kids were losing touch with some of the grassroots values we held as a family. We decided that we needed to do something about it, we started with our diets, we were really aware through social media through the local newspapers etc about conventional horticulture and food systems and we learned about conventional ag and the terrors of glyphosate and horrors of conventional farming and chickens and pigs, so we kind of had the epiphany, that we really needed to really make a change, if we wanted to improve our health and wellbeing, how we interacted without environment and how we supported our food systems was the place to start!

So we made a gradual change to eating organically and an immediate shift to eating cruelty free!

That was a big kind of start for us in terms of where we are now… it was a bit of a struggle initially because organic food is not cheap. We were mindful of the financial implications of that choice, we ate organically when we could. We weren’t close to any markets, apart from Farmer’s Market in town on Saturday morning, but we were able to source organic products and stuff from a store in town and from the supermarket and from the Farmer’s market and it was all good!  We started noticing some heath benefits in terms of how we were feeling our mental health improved and surely our  physical health would have been improving because we were eating organically and reducing our chemical intake which was a good thing, but we were still rushing around, and still tired and still out of touch with grassroots. 

In New Zealand we have an online site trade me where people sell things and list rental properties, and you can buy houses and we stumbled across this little cottage, and we thought why don’t we do something huge! A bit different a bit bold and brave! And we moved out of town to a cottage on top of the hill!  Really romantic with views etc! So we thought let’s do this!

Prior to moving out we had discussed with a few friends, we want to get a bit of livestock, and had this notion of a vision of free range chickens and free range animals and not any clue of how to farm. WE are not farmers we do not come from a farming background in anyway shape or form. We just thought we can do this, it will be fun it will be great it will be fantastic for the kids! 

Boris the Kune Kune Boar Pig

We decided to adopt a four year old Kune Kune Cross boar who was living in town, it was kind of one of those things that we didn’t know what happened, my daughter was at a soccer break up, and this mom says, one of the teachers is going over to England and she has this pig, she doesn’t want it to be put in the freezer. We said hey we might be interested, we’re moving out to this property, suddenly she’s on the phone and she’s arranging these meet and greets.

WE thought, it’s one pig, it wasn’t our intentino to establish livestock prior to moving out to the cottage, but here was this pig. 

The day we picked the pig up and it’s the day my father-in-law sort of dines out on, and it was the weirdest rain you could possibly imagine, we were soaked through to the brined, and this stubborn boar wasn’t going anywhere. And his owner’s husband is quite a tall guy, like my husband and he got him up the bath, and the pig is big and burly and he just turns around and runs back through his legs.

It just so happens we have a wedding that afternoon to go to , and we’re under this time pressure,  so this woman’s husband is a volunteer with the fire brigade so he calls to his captain and say’s hey we need some help. And the need things we hear the siren going off, the firetruck, fire truck comes up the road flashing and they jump out in full gear … and it was classified as dangerous animal rescue… and it was hilarious all neighbors watching, and this fireman trying to get this 150gram kilo pig = 330 lbs into the car… 

The first time I ever heard a pig screaming, but it was emotional, and the owner is crying and he was going to a happy life, but you know she was going to England and saying goodbye and we got him home to his paddock and had to get back to town to the reception and I raced in to change and I still smelled like pig, and the car is still smelling like pig. And that was kind of our introduction to farming! 

It’s always an adventure! 

He would suddenly turn up on our doors step. he was always on our door steps

We put wires up to surround around his paddocks

were cows in the farm across the road from us

he got out a few times from his paddock

Pig's car raid terrifies Otago woman

He wanted to be chasing the cows and he was squealing with delight. One time he got out he made international headlines

a lady saw him in the road

and thought he might have been a wild pig and he might have got out of the

she tried to get him back in his paddock

Boys loves people…

I’m sorry can I just interrupt, so 150 kilos is like 330 lbs!!!

and he obviously started to get into the car with her…she’s in the drivers side and he’s trying to get into the seat with here, he’s stinking smelly

they smell like warm ham!! 

It really traumatized her and he’s huge! and he’s really really strong

so many times I’ve been out in his paddock for him, and the grass was quite long

fell over for a while

he would make these tracks, he was like stealth mode and you wouldn’t know where he was and I’d trip into a hole, and  he was right there and I’d be screaming

fortunately for this lady, someone drove past and saw what was going on and managed to pull Boris out by his ear and they called the police and the animal control was advised and the newspaper was involved

suddenly this boar has been

did a segment on my husband and his pig and the romantic sweeping views of the coast and they did a whole thing and it was making a lot of people laugh during some ugly and not so nice parts of the globe and the comments people left, “this had made me day”

what a laugh

I really felt sorry for the lady, we never met her, respected her privacy

he’s just a lovable rogue! We went out there in the dark and I went out to go and give them some pig nuts, we have an electric fence

forestry block


We got a 5 month old kootenai saddleback cross sow for him, so we can breed off when she’s old enough. But he has a friend which is nice! He provides so much hilarity to our lives and he’s such a character. What sends me is when you have high intensive pig farming and the health and well being of animals how can you do that to such an intelligent

Pigs are hugely intelligent! My eldest daughter, won’t eat meat, she wont eat pork

she sees them being like one of us!

I was gonna ask you about being cruelty free I don’t think anyone’s talked about that do you want to explain it? I like that idea!

Cruelty Free Living

we became aware of how our

New Zealand is known for it’s ag


a lot of conventional farming methods especially around pork and chicken and they are cruel and inhumane. Even our beef and dairy have some huge challenges to face and overcome in terms of our welfare and 

where I watched that Food inc documentary, it really influenced me it largely focused on the food systems in america

locally in Dunedin theres a poultry farm and it’s caged birds, the cruelty to those birds for our pleasure and consumption at the end of the day it’s our pleasure. It just struck a chord with us and our conscious, they give their lives for us! And we owe them the respect and to ensure that their lives are happy and healthy and that they don’t suffer for our us because that’s just not right!

We immediately went to free range

free farmed pork

paddocked raised

the taste of the product and the quality

 is so much better then  intensively farmed

so much better

and the animals have been living a happy healthy life prior to being slaughtered, that’s part of us respecting the animal

we use every single element everything gets used. The carcases get used into bone broth

sheep that we grow on the farm, they get shorn prior to slaughter, so their wool is saved, and their skin is used around fruit trees as a weed suppressant

  • eats 
  • the liver
  • the heart
  • the tongue
  • everything gets used for dog food

shown respect given it’s life for us, the least we can do for it.

IT’s a cruelty philosophy as a family.

what we would like to do, pork and poultry i really expensive here, as we learn and grow aw farmers, we want to supply ourselves with our own pork and poultry products with the self sufficiency… aspect! But it’s 

You’ll get ti! you’ll be a master before long especially with all these adventures! I just love that, I like the thought of being cruelty free… I’ve been trying to go vegan, but that has not worked for me whatsoever but I could see me being cruelty free…

We love meat, we’re not eating meat 7 nights a week, maybe 3 meals a week. As individuals we can’t process, it’s not good for us, our diet is largely based on

  • vegetables
  • legumes