I have become the kind of person who plummets into a deep panic when surrounded by a lot of raw meat.
I don't know how it happened, but I think it started after I learned how to drive and was able to take myself to Waitrose. It was the meat aisle that did it. All those rows and rows of plastic packets of formerly happy bouncing lambs and docile cows and perky chickens. And I felt dizzy and ill and every time I go there now, I have to rush through.
Giles has very little sympathy for me on this. His argument is that you should always, always go to a local butcher whose meat comes from little farms and isn't sold in plastic cartons. I agree with him, but the butcher doesn't also sell deoderant and light bulbs and bok choi. And even then, butchers have started freaking me out too. I'm finding it increasingly hard to prepare a chicken for the oven without feeling just awful and guilty and SAD. What is wrong with me? I don't want to be a vegetarian, I really don't. I don't think it's neccessary.
It's not like I don't buy absolutely the most expensive, premium, grass-fed, free-range stuff I can. But my uncle used to have a farm and it was an excellent small farm in the Welsh hills, where old-fashioned husbandry was practised. Fresian cows, free to roam the blustery hills, patted and cared-for, used to hang their heads over the garden wall and look at you with their big brown eyes; we hunted for hens' eggs in the wood where the chickens scratched and buck-buckawed. And the process of slaughtering the animals was still fucking barbaric.
So I don't know what to do. I think the answer is to buy less meat. Or get therapy.