Saturday, 2 February 2013

If We Are Not Meant To Eat Animals Why Are They Made Of Meat?

During my first few years of this life supermarkets didn't exist. The first one I ever saw was a store called Lipton's in Brixton South London. I was with my foster mum at the time, a mean scrawny old hag by the name of Aggie Davis. You might think I'm being rude describing her thus, but in fact if you had ever had the bad luck to meet her, you might then consider this a mild description indeed.

Being an inveterate thief, Aggie saw the introduction of supermarkets as an absolute godsend. In those days  the term shoplifter didn't exist, anyone who stole from shops was described as, and treated as, what they were, common thieves. Aggie was a kind of Fagin like character, and she would take me and David the other foster boy into shops to see what we could pinch. Having been brought up as institutionalised God fearing kids neither David or me enjoyed doing this, but if we didn't obey her rules, she would make our miserable lives even worse. Beatings and starvation were her main punishments. She had one hell of a temper.

Oops! Here I go again, getting sidetracked by memories. This article is supposed to be about supermarkets adding horse meat to beefburgers. It has caused outrage here in England. Putting aside the fact that people are paying for beef but are being sold horse, the main crux of the matter seems to be that we love horses and therefore should not eat them. I suppose it is this love we have for animals that also makes it abhorrent for us to eat dogs or cats. Yet all these creatures are readily slaughtered and consumed in other countries.

Personally I would not knowingly eat horse or dog or cat. I am not a vegetarian, but these are all animals I have kept as pets. The thought of eating them makes me feel physically sick.

And yet the carnivorous among us positively salivate when we think about eating roast lamb or piglet. Both of which animals we can also ooh and aah about when we see them in their live state. It just doesn't make sense if you really give it some thought. Why is it all right to slaughter for food cows and calves in their millions, yet to do the same thing with horses is unacceptable? If we are to take this argument to it's logical conclusion, it must surely be that it is wrong to eat any animal? Should we all be vegetarian?

I don't wish to be vegetarian. I like eating meat. Whilst accepting that it is perfectly possible to be healthy eating a completely meat free diet I believe we humans are designed to be carnivorous. Having just said that, I am now thinking of the effect eating meat has on our bodies. The damage that animal fat can do to our arteries is now well researched and proven, and the rising numbers of bowel cancers are thought to be because of our increased consumption of red meat in these times, of relative prosperity.

Aggie would take us to Brick Lane market in East London. There would be great piles of meat on the butcher's stalls, and it would be sold simply as meat. You paid your money and you got your meat. What meat it was didn't seem to concern anyone, and I know for certain that there was horse meat among it. What did it matter? It was only going into a stew or a meat pie?

Eating horse meat won't do you any more harm than eating cow meat. Strange though don't you think that we call cow meat beef, and yet we still call horse meat exactly what it is?

So here I am at the end of this article. I was going to say still sitting on the fence regarding the subject, but that wouldn't be strictly true. I try to make a difference by making sure that any meat I eat comes from sources where the animals welfare is taken seriously. Where the animal is allowed to live as naturally a life as it can right up until the moment it meets it's end. Isn't that noble of me? Compassioninworldfarming.com

Could I do it? Could I become a vegetarian? I'm considering it now, having given the subject all this thought. I will get back to you on that.


Of course we can never be certain if the meat we are eating is what the supplier says it is. Recent events have brought that home to us. So there is horse meat in the beefburger. That should be the least of your worries. It is what else is in it, what other unknowns. That is what you ought to be really concerned about. That and the power of the supermarket chains.



17 comments:

  1. Vegan,proud ,with a clear conscience, 'kick ass' cholesterol levels, and the heart of a young woman.
    Jane x

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    1. With you all the way Jane, your meals look scrumptious. I am gradually reducing my fish consumption as well, almost there.

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  2. Mmm, similar thoughts often go through my mind. I do eat meat although not as much as I used to. I only eat good quality meat which has been responsibly sourced. I also only buy free range eggs. There is no way I would eat one of those cheap junky burgers. Its not just the horse meat that stops me but all the other rubbish that is so often in processed food.

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  3. I have eaten not only beef, but fried beef all my life. Where I live beef is plentiful. The reason so many of us have elevated cholesterol levels is that we do not exercise and work the same ways as we used to. And we need fewer processed foods. They are easier to fix but they have things in them that are bad for us. As a matter of fact my cholesterol is only slightly above what it should be. I do refuse to eat meat from any animal I have been introduced to. It seems slightly "cannibalish" to me.

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  4. Here in California there has, among the health conscious, been a strong increase in "live-food" enthusiasts. I was much relieved to find they are vegetarian.

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  5. I have heard that it is relatively easy for fruits to become vegetarians, but being as much of a manly man as I truly am, I wouldn't know for sure.

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  6. I met an old friend yesterday, 50 next birthday, and he is worried about his health. Doc has put him on tablets for gastro problems, they found a growth in his stomach. I have been nagging him for years to cut down on his meat intake, he keeps saying 'but it wouldn't be a meal without meat'. I am sorry that he is having problems with his health, but he could do something about it. Why are people so stubborn?

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    1. Have your friend eat a lot of onions. They are thought to be good against growths in the digestive tract.

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  7. At least fifty percent of beef cattle are male when they are born. They can't all be used for breeding. So you have to eat them. I never buy pre-packed meat. We even ask the butcher to mince the steak in front of us. Beef is far superior to any other meat in my opinion. But I would say that since I am a smallholder who owns cattle. Great thoughts John.

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  8. I'm in a quandary now, John. I tried vegetarianism and was almost there when on medical advice I had to go back to eating red meat. I have to say that most of the time I enjoy it but guilt plagues me every time. I can never understand how a chicken farmer eats his own chickens.... ugh!

    Gosh, I remember Liptons! That's going back a bit.

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  9. Oh dear John, you've opened a can or worms here.
    I do eat meat and I don't think actual meat does the body any harm its more likely the stuff that's injected into the animals that cause humans problems.
    I personally have found that wheat makes me far sicker than any meat. On researching the reason why, it is quite scary to find that wheat/gluten is in almost everything we eat and it is so modified and genetically altered that we are actually all getting sick from it. Take a look on google and you will see that it is so. Since leaving wheat and gluten out of my diet (not easy)I am feeling so much better.
    Today nothing is as it was, bread was unaltered in my childhood and animals were treated with some dignity and not injected with god knows what, its hard to get away from all the changes that have occured in the last 50 years but worrying about things is the real killer.
    Just my opinion
    Briony
    xx

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  10. A very thoughtful post, John. We gave up red meat several years ago, and have added much more vegetables to our diet. I would be in much better shape if I could just ban sugar from my diet.

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  11. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the news report. Even though I do not eat red meat, I know lots of my friends are very disturbed by it all.
    We just have to be careful and extremely vigilant about we put into our bodies.

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  12. Don't do it! Just buy your meat from the butchers so you know it's responsibly sourced. The main fact I think is that whats written on the pack should be whats in the pack. I wouldn't care if it was pork in the beef burgers, if they say its beef then it should be beef!

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