As a people, we have conflicting views on animals. We divide them up into vermin, pets or food. They're pests, best friends, or meat to be consumed. We like our wildlife to be approachable and cuddly, and want to get rid of any insect, bird or mammal that encroaches on human territory. Or worse, we pillage their food for our own selfish purposes. I don't have a problem with people eating meat, but I do have a problem with this attitude. I don't understand how we as humans can pick and choose. How can we pet some animals and mistreat others, often for no reason? How can we wolf down the meat from some, but be repulsed at the thought of eating others? Why doesn't the human race understand that the natural world is essential to their survival?
and foxes must be culled; krill must be exploited; and sustainable
palm oil must be promoted. We trawl sea beds and cut rainforests
down. We take more than we put back, thus destroying natural
habitats, but do we care? We believe we do, but we don't always
demonstrate this attitude. Ignorance is bliss and suppliers have
cottoned on to this. We readily accept what we're told, as then we
can't be held responsible and it's easier than digging for the truth.
Granted, consumers could not have known about the horse meat in their
bolognese and they should be allowed to decide what to buy by making
an informed decision. The fact that the meat might have been
contaminated was concerning, but no more than other drugs used in
animal feed. Essentially, this is a supply chain and labelling issue.
If you like eating meat, then meat is meat isn't it? A horse is no
different than reindeer, ostrich, or kangaroo. Eating meat is not
wrong if you realise it's hypocritical to refuse to eat the flesh of
one if you're happy to eat others. Personally, I'd rather you knew
exactly what animal you were tucking into and how it came to be
butchered. Instead we take away the name it's known by, its physical
shape and face; it becomes a cut or a lump of mince.
horse meat scandal is fraudulence on an grandiose scale and a
European Public Relations disaster, but I don't wish vegetarianism to
benefit from this. Many veggies and vegans will disagree and believe
this is the perfect opportunity to 'convert' people to vegetarianism.
Perhaps it is, but it won't be long-term, it will out of concern for
food safety. Consumers will be persuaded to switch to other
alternatives like Quorn, chicken, fish or lamb. It will change how we
shop, but it won't be about the welfare of animals.
this matter? Many vegetarians would argue 'No', as new members means
more benefits to animals, health and the environment, but I feel
differently. I dislike backlashes to news as they're short-lived and
not thought through. I've only seen one programme that highlighted
the conditions horses are slaughtered in and for me that takes
priority. The footage was distressing, yet 'Dispatches' were correct
in showing it. If horse meat is 'normalised', we're basically saying
this practice is okay.
food scare won't be the last, more will follow, and who's to say the
next won't directly affect vegetarians. It may seem unlikely, but is
it? Because at the core of most scares is processed foods and
switching to other brands won't make food any safer. As consumers, we
think we're at the end of the chain, but we're the first link in it.