I have just had a conversation with my husband that I don´t think either of us thought we would ever have. We have just discussed, in detail, the contents of burgers of two well-known Fast Food places (I feel calling them “restaurants” just a little farfetched) and praised both of the businesses for seemingly getting through the horsemeat hoohah unscathed, so far. We did deviate into an argument thinly disguised as a debate about how these burgers were cooked as he did seem to know a lot about this, looks like he may have been doing some research, all in the name of science, of course.
When I was a kid, indeed for the entirety of my childhood, I was obsessed with horses. Like many girls I was mad about ponies. I worried myself the other day by considering the fact that I have probably eaten horsemeat, and just not really caring. It turns out that I don´t think you should mind eating horse any more than I mind eating any other animal, in my opinion it´s no worse than eating dog, or cat, or cow, or chicken. If you eat one, then why not the other? My choices come down to squeamishness or how it tastes. I have knowingly eaten ostrich in Sydney, Australia and donkey in Verona, Italy (it´s the local meat, it´s in everything) but I couldn’t bring myself to try chicken´s feet in Taipei, Taiwan (too bony), or octopus in Mallorca, Spain (too, just too everything, yak!).
What I do object to is the meat industry´s deception of its customers. It didn´t occur to me that perhaps it wasn´t what it said it would be on the tin. Silly Vicki, what a chump. Ignorance was bliss though, ooh, how much do I love a banger, and what about my husband´s ‘Boy Chocolate’ as he calls it (chunks of salami), and how useful to have a couple of ready meal lasagnes lurking in the freezer for those moments when I don´t have the time to cook. Wonderful. But sadly, these days are now no more. It´s been a wakeup call for a lot of people I think. Reports have said that the sale of horsemeat has gone up, great news, eat what you like as long as you know what you are eating and you have made an informed choice.
So I would like to take this opportunity to thank the abattoirs who managed to mix up (deliberately or not) horse and cow meats, because it has finally pushed me into seriously thinking about what I eat and what my family eats. I know have a definite leaning towards more and more vegetarian and even vegan (I know, sounds extreme, but in reality quite delicious) cooking. There are side effects to this: lowering cholesterol, reducing the cost of the shopping bill, but most notably, increasing the amount of farting competitions my daughter and husband can have with each other. There´s an upside to everything if you look hard enough.
Family Matters Mallorca by Vicki McLeod ©2013
PS The photo is of Le Petomane who made his fortune by farting tunes in music hall shows. Both La Gidg and my husband both harbour ambitions. . .