Saturday, February 9, 2013

The year of the horse - the veggie alternative

Eating meat does not offend me. I don't eat it and never will, knowingly, eat it again. Especially when I see the kind of meat which passes for edible these days.

As someone who found the Scotch pies with broon sauce at fitba games the hardest thing to give up during the transition to a meat-free diet, I can also sympathise with those whose intake of flesh is at the 'junk' end of the market. No venison, oysters or shark steaks for me as a teenager.

Onion rings or horse rings?
The recent, and seemingly ongoing, furore over horse meat in Tesco burgers - and elsewhere - does leave me somewhat smug though. And, not being of the Daily shock Mail mentality, the choice of animal does not really phase me. Killing an animal, foul or fish is just that - whatever the species. They have a right to life or they don't.

Horse chestnuts or horse nuts?
What most in the media seem to have missed though is the nature of the meat rather than the species. If those suppliers of Tescos, Iceland, Aldi, Burger King and McDonalds and willing to cut corners on the genus of the animal they slaughter, I'm willing to bet the body part they supply is of no more consequence. Does anyone think the horse meat in a Tesco burger is really in the same ballpark as the horse-steaks served in a Michelin-starred Paris eatery?

Chick peas or chick shit?

Even if I were to still eat meat, I'd probably boke at the thought of getting my laughing gear around minced and seasoned horse testicle. Each to their own though and if having a deid horse's genitals in your mouth floats your boat...

The reasons then for going vegetarian are still much the same as always, even accounting for the fact that soya is the number-one cash crop of environmental misery in the world and really isn't very good for you anyway...
  •  It's compassionate. Unless you live in Greenland or in an Amazonian tribe you could probably live very easily without meat.
  • It's green. Leaving aside the reputed 'fart factor' in the greenhouse gas tally, stuffing cattle with tons of vegetable matter to feed a few, instead of thousands, just doesn't make sense.
  • It's healthier. Let's face it - how many of you catch/ rear, slaughter and skin your meat. Even if you do you'll have to eat sparingly or get a huge protein overdose with a lump of flesh lying barely digested in your gut.
  • It's cheaper. And that leaves more dosh for yon "vegan distilled barley juice".

Some reading...
Food Matters - Not sure of the veracity of all their info, but it's still entertaining and even if half of it is true...
Supersize Me - mind this one? The whole film is on YouPornTube
Fast Food Nation - another, more serious look at the meat industry.
Vegetarian Society - want info?
Is tofu bad...? - discussion on the environmental pros and cons of vegetarianism
The dark side of Soya - article from Ecologist

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