Bartholomew wrote:If I have processed ham or other meat on a sandwich I can take one bite and think I am eating a skin sandwich, so put it in the bin.Black pudding is pig's blood and something I couldn't eat and apparently sausages in England are full of minced up eyes and testicles and all the other things you really wouldn't want to eat.
I think living in the cities is a big part of the problem. When I look at the above post from Bartholomew, I find that a very interesting and poignant statement. Thing's you wouldn't want to eat? Only we in our overfed western countries would look at it like that. The reality is much harsher, look at Uganda:
She points to a brittle, old, dried goat-skin hanging inside her hut. It's crawling with insects. She brings it down and bangs it, throwing dust into sunbeams coming through gaps in the roof. She takes a knife and slices off small chunks. The children's dulled eyes light up a bit. Expectantly, they gather around like a scene out of Oliver Twist. Ms Echak hands out slices of raw skin. They grab them, chewing frantically and wolfing them down - fur and all.
For my grandparents, who had one pig each year to feed a family of 7, anything was edible as long as you could chew it. What was not immediately consumed was ground up and went into sausages to be eaten later, and there was no part of the animal that was thrown away (bones maybe). My great-grandmother's cookbook is full of recipes for heart, lungs, kidney, liver, brains, thymus and other internal organs from an animal. For us of today, the only edible part of an animal seems to be the lean muscles, and even that comes with health warning for red meat. While I am not keen on chewing gristle in its original form, I have no problem eating it when it has been nicely minced and seasoned, so sausages are fine. But you cannot even buy half the parts of an animal at the butcher's any more, since there is no market for it. Go and try to buy pig trotters, you will probably have to order them in advance.
In today's world, we are too detached from the harsh realities, be that of food shortage or how animals are treated during the life on the farm and when their life ends. It is that which makes us indifferent to what is going on in battery farms, and enables the atrocities that are going on. Don't believe for a moment I am blind to that. I find it very interesting though to see a woman complain after the BBC series "Where our food comes from" about the horrible images and insist we buy meat in the supermarket "where no animals are hurt". This woman has lost all touch with reality, but she is not the only one.
So rather than stopping to buy meat and living off plants entirely, I rather try and get to buy meat that was properly reared and killed, and hopefully, we can restore proper living conditions for those animals. For me, the discussion is less about eating meat and more about he question of how we want farming to be in the future. With our population rising, and land not being extendable, we will have that discussion soon anyway. If you have a look at the government report on food shortage:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12249909
We might soon have to decide whether we feed animals or humans. Like it or not, we might all be going vegan soon. In the meantime, I enjoy my lamb korma.