About the horse thing. I’ve resisted commenting cos I run the risk of sounding like a smug vegetarian (and, let's be honest, there is little more irritating than a smug vegetarian) but, the more it goes on, the more I puzzle.
First up. People are upset because they’ve been eating horse. Well, honestly, meat is meat, isn’t it? I’ve said it before but really, I don’t get why one kind of flesh is acceptable while another isn’t. When I ate meat, I ate anything – pretty much. I ate bambi and badger and zebra and snake and eel and whatever. I kinda don’t get why – if we’re really logical, rather than sentimental – there is any difference. What am I missing? Okay, some animals wouldn’t be so good to eat – because of their own dining habits – but generally speaking flesh is flesh. And yet some is taboo. Interesting, huh?
Second up. I do get the drug thing. I get that people don’t want to eat horse because horsemeat could have drugs in it. But – and here’s my puzzlement – pretty much all meat has drugs in it. Animals bred to be eaten tend to have antibiotics and hormones and so on. Some of them have a heck of a lot of it. Organic meat not so much… But really, if you’re eating non-organic meat, you’re eating drugs. End of.
Third up. I get the whole ‘But we should know what’s in our food’ thing. I really do. But, riddle me this, how come we’re suddenly all ‘OMG!’ about what goes in our food? There has been all kind of crap in processed food for decades. I first went vegetarian after doing a story for iD magazine looking at the food industry. I haven’t touched processed food since.
See that pic? Ice cream? Marshmallow? Nope. That's MSM - mechanically separated meat. MEAT! It's what they use to make things like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, salami, pepperoni and other processed meats. Basically they take everything, and I mean everything (bones and eyeballs and all) and mince it up. Then, because it’s crawling with bacteria, they wash it with ammonia. And then, because it tastes disgusting, they stuff it with artificial flavouring. And then, because it’s alarmingly pink (let’s not think about why) they dye it with artificial colour. And then they cook it and people eat it. Children eat it. Nice huh?
I could go on and on but I don't want to put you off your tea.
And now there’s a flap about a bit of horse in beef burgers. Honestly, it’s the tip of the iceberg. Let's not even start on GMO.
But if it makes you think about what you’re eating, about what you’re giving your children to eat, then I reckon it’s a good thing. We should care about what we eat. For our own health and for the wellbeing of the animals we eat we should ensure they’ve had a decent life and a humane death. So, yeah, like the news reports are saying – use your local butcher; support local accountable farmers with good wellbeing records.
But then people say they can’t afford good quality meat. Well, eat less of it. It's not essential to a healthy diet. Go partly or fully vegetarian. I can't and won't tell you what to do but, truly, I spend a pittance on food for myself. Nuts are pricey and I do have a tofu addiction – but those are my luxury items. Vegetables, pulses, seeds, fruit…cheap as chips really. Ah, but you don’t have time, I hear you say? Do I spend hours cooking? You gotta be kidding. I either eat it raw (ie no preparation at all) or I stir-fry (minutes) or I bung everything in a slow cooker and let it cook itself.
Right. I’ll shut up now.
Except that - I made damn sure there were no horse puns in this post – but I bet you won't spare me ‘em in the comments. *smile*