Monday, 1 March 2010

Meat fear

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.


  1. If you watch Casino, Goodfellas, and anything by Quentin Tarantino, everyday for a month (Maybe throw in Sweeney Todd for a change) I am sure your aversion to slaughter will be dulled.
    You could lead a Veg-esque lifestyle at home and enjoy meat dishes when you go out. Means eating less meat overall, which might be better for the environment; or it means you go out more, which might be good for the economy.
    I am a little meat squeamy as well. (I had a bad experience with a free-range, organic turkey.) So I stick to veggies at home and let others do the dirty work on my meats.

  2. Hahah yes. Watch Tarantino films! Or The Saw! (not my cup of tea though)

    I'm never really squeamish when it comes to raw meat, because you can imagine how yummy it becomes once you cook it! I think a whole raw fish is sometimes worse than raw meat because you can see its face and its little eyes looking up to you pleadingly......."Eat me... Grill me..Fry me..." Now that's scary.

  3. Oh man yes. If it has eyes... Prawns with the heads on them still? ugh. Love Spain, hate that everything comes with the head on it.