Feeling so meatilicious

 

Stoke Newington Farmer’s Market – A Fine Place

There’s no such thing as a free lunch hmm? Tell that to the kindly Hare Krishna who just gave me a free mung bean curry and piece of cake and hot fruit tea. Healthy, tasty, filling and free: that suggests free lunch to me. As a pre-payday snack, it’s certainly good.

That said… the poster next to it said: “please don’t eat my friend!” with a picture of a child hugging a cow, and the slogan “Why vegetarianism?” Why indeed. You could:

  • deny yourself delicious meat
  • be scorned in every fancy restaurant in the world
  • never be full up again
  • have to supplement your diet to achieve a proper mineral intake
  • condemn thousands of already poor farmers to abject poverty

But why would you? In order to pursue some sort of crazed, utopian ideal that bears little semblance to reality? Check. To assuage your easily-manipulated guilt functions? Check. To be a hippy? Check, you hippy. Certainly the meat industry is as corrupt, tainted and and evil as, ooh… the music industry, but to live a truly healthy, careful life you’d actually have to cut out the majority of what you veggies eat anyway, at least the ones I know. Unless you have grown your produce yourself in complete organic isolation, you’re never going to have food which reaches its full nutritional potential, or is ethically- or chemically-sound. Your average paddy farmer is in at least as dire straits as your beloved cow, with it’s complete lack of human emotion.

That rules out quite a lot, and leaves you looking like one of those barking raw food loonies (best line: “I love to give myself an enema – a coffee enema in the morning is great.”). My advice: eat the meat. Eat it, you know you want to. You think vegetarians are inspiring? How about the woman who was been veggie for 15 years and came back in order to eat Gordon Ramsey’s cookalong steak?

Eat meat, it’s great. But do it right: treat your food with the respect you’d give to your homegrown carrots. Buy meat from farmer’s markets, from trustworthy butchers, know where it came from, treat it well, knowing that an animal bred for that specific purpose died to feed you.

I’m in the meat mood, I made a stew that averaged at a pound of beef per person over the weekend – I got it from Tom Clarke’s family butchers in Tottenham, he was proud of his meat and enjoyed selling it to me. And I enjoyed eating it – it tasted delicious, it was real.

Mmm, meatilicious.

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3 Responses

  1. Hey there,

    I enjoyed reading your post, with your frank opinion about meat-eating. Although my reply might appear argumentative, please don’t get me wrong. I have no particular dislike or opinion about your dietary preference; your business is entirely your business. I just wanted to add 2c here….. I stopped eating meat when i was 18, 20 yrs ago, and several months later met the Hare Krishnas, and several months later joined the hare Krishnas. Since then I’ve given away a free lunch or two too, lol.

    Anyhow, to your dot-points….

    Taste: What you find delicious is your affair totally. In vegetarian diet there is so much variety, you would not believe it. Seriously.

    Social: I think part of the reason you’d be scorned for ordering vegetarian meal in any fancy restaurant is that the restaurant’s profit margins are lower without meat, and there are a *lot* of overheads involved in being fancy. As for ridicule from your fellow diners, that’s just a matter of conformity, isn’t it? And in the world there are a lot of fancy Veg restaurants, where anyone smuggling in a sausage or something would be just as scorned.

    Part of the prestige attributed to meat-eating (in cultures that accord it prestige) is the huge cost of it in terms of effort and environment. Those costs are now increasing, btw, and are also able to be measured in so many ways, eg: http://www.dea.org.au/node/195
    FYI, apparently a meat-based diet requires 7 times more land than a plant-based diet, and each pound of steak from feedlot-raised cows comes at the cost of 5 pounds of grain, 2500 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about 25 pounds of eroded topsoil, for what that’s worth..
    So its a destructive, FTW kind of prestige, if you examine what’s behind it.

    Fullness: That’s just a matter of doing it right, like this guy: http://www.kurma.net/ , or this guy: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120122116182915297.html

    The fullness feeling from meat comes from the fact that our stomach acid is 20 times weaker than that of carnivorous animals, and our intestines are about four times longer than those found in carnivores. Nerdy fact though, hey. Have you tried this? http://www.iskcon.net.au/kurma/2005/12/20 it’s very filling.

    Health: I remember once reading that the vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists community was found to be among the most overall healthy communities in the world. Tried to find that info again and came up with this: http://www.annecollins.com/vegetarian-diet-health-benefits.htm

    Altruism: Nice thought, but most meat is ‘produced’ in massive feedlot systems, by corporations – kinda like Walmart. How that effects poverty-stricken farmers I have no idea. And anyway, I don’t think that anyone, Hare Krishnas included, seriously thinks that all of a sudden everyone is going to “Go Veg”. The poor farmers will be ok, don’t worry.

    Further, Vegetarianism isn’t utopian, it’s quite common: http://www.godsdirectcontact.com/vegetarian/vips.html
    It would be utopian to think that all of a sudden, everyone in the whole world was going to change their taste, a sort of anti-Metropolis idea, like that Talking Heads song ‘You Got It”. Nah. Our thing is to let ppl be, just give a choice though providing or presenting an alternative.

    Easily manipulated guilt functions? hm. I for one take my guilt functions pretty seriously… and I do think that guilt has a valid function – when its based on intelligence rather than emotions or preconceived ideas… Hippy? No way, I shave & bathe once a day minimum, lol.

    Yeah, for us Hare Krishna types it’s got nothing to do with bio-chemical purity or nutritional potential. That would be utopian, and we’d all be living in the mountains or something, chanting Hare Krishna there (as here), wearing tinfoil hats.

    And finally, trust me, if you can observe a cow for some time, you’ll find that the emotions, although not able to be expressed in ‘human’ ways, are pretty much the same really. The cow just has a cow vehicle, and we have a nice human-type vehicle to do and express things through.

    Thanks for your post is was most inspiring.

  2. Hi there – thanks for a thoughtful and non-irate response, it’s unusual!
    While my sentiments stand, I have to admit to getting a little carried away when I write, and therefore a little high-horse-y, so my apologies. I actually can appreciate the vegetarian lifestyle and I admire those who choose it on principle. I’m not convinced that every vegetarian has the same appreciation of the facts as yourself, however, just like us carnivores – myself, I would rather eat meat less but better, but I know that doesn’t apply to the majority.

    So thanks for your answer – you’re never going to convert me, but I like hearing well-reasoned arguments!

  3. […] the joy. I very much respect the gallic food ethic, and thusly this morning was spent at the Stokie farmer’s market, a result of which is a looming, and deeply exciting steak […]

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