Sunday, 10 February 2013
As a vegetarian I can't understand why people are so horrified at the idea of horse-meat. It is very bad to sell it as beef, but if it were correctly labelled would that not be all right? (Selling it as halal or kosher is a different matter). Both kinds of meat are the muscle of large mammals, and if people don't mind eating bits of dead cow, why carp at bits of dead horse? Are horses more noble than cows, just because they let us ride them? Cows surely suffer as much as horses. My own reason for eating neither is that it takes a lot of land and water to feed livestock, and there just aren't the resources on our planet to provide meat for everyone. I have been a vegetarian for fifty years, so I know that one can be healthy and active without eating meat. I don't expect everybody to give up meat, but it would help the world if more people ate less of it. Another way to help would be not to buy food that you don't eat. Supermarkets are very guilty, because they reject any food that is not "perfect", and they push food at people with offers of "buy one get one free", "three for the price of two". My local authority has distributed special bins for waste food to all households, inciting people to feel comfortable about throwing food away. A recent study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers suggests that up to half the food grown in the world never reaches a human stomach. At that rate we could feed up to twice the present world population of seven billion without using any more resources. So have I not refuted my own argument for eating less meat? Well I believe we have already taken more land than we should from wildlife, so I shall continue to be a vegetarian.