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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

What happens when you eat meat!

The first thing that I feel as though I need to disclaim here, is the fact that I'm not a vegetarian. No, I'm an omnivore and proud.

Principally due to its impact on our all too fragile environment and the effects that contribute to the way in which meat is processed, I relatively rarely eat meat these days. Probably down to weeks, rather than days, where I consume it being more the exception that the norm.

Don't mistake me, I do love an occasional biit of the fulfillment that I feel that meat can offer, but this is rare. Unfittingly, the only way that I do like my steak! The last thing that I want is to be sanctimonious about it. People trying to brandish you with some flaccid sense of superiority for choosing to be vegetarian make me feek sick!

But, I do feel that limiting your meat in take can iimprove your physical, mental and financial health if done considerately. The only instances where I feel that my choosing not to eat would be at a barbecue or havin my Mum's (obviously by far the best!) roast dinner; not a pressing problem as we've moved beyond the season for the latter.

Curry's a favourite shaple of mine and to my surprise and delight, I have developped a greater love for a fish curry thesedays anyway. Hit me up with some dish of tilapia or salmon to go with my pilau and I'll be more than happilly sated.

Meat is something that I feel can nearly always be better replaced by fish anyway. Take the italian staples, which have become a well ingrained part of our staple diet such as risotto, pizza (I do like pepperoni, but well worth the sacrifice onto my breath alone, I find) or pasta, I do not feel that there is anything to be gained by adding meat.

This is not to say that I wouldn't struggle without having fish to replace the meat with or that I am militant about any of these diet choices. I mean, what would I do, if I really craved a spaghetti bolognese? Well, I would just have one.

Though saying that, this anecdote of mine unearthed from a snipet from a previous blog of mine on my 'brainpain' website take me back to and unearths the consequences from my less than enlightened times:

"One of Those Day’s!

Like way too many of my anecdotes, this little tale has no real beginning, middle or end and certainly no real interest. Nevertheless, I let my Mum listen to this inane story – my Dad was luckily spared upon meeting an old footballing school mate who he’d not seen in at least a generation or so – it was only as I progressed to the chilli-con carne episode that I moved to the restoration of my faith in humanity. Not that it was ever fully lost, but it’s always positive when people seem to be on your side isn’t it.

This occurred upon the entrance to Kingsland Shopping Centre precinct after a return to Ridley Road market in Dalston where I had returned. This was as I was in the middle of sweating out the two red onions’ (yarns lacking with details to paint an accurate picture can just do one if you ask me) that I realised “shit, I’ve lost my mincemeat”!

Believe me, I’d hunted beyond the kitchen through the bathroom, living room and my bedroom in search of this precious ingredient to the meal that I was cooking. Whilst it could be interpreted as karma for having purchased this Halal meat – which I do think seems pretty barbaric from what I can imagine of bleeding anything to death – only I’m not going to have the pretention or to claim how I wish I could alter my conscious decision to continue enjoying scoffing meat. If you share my arrogance in deciding to eat meat, I don’t see how it can much matter how an animal is slaughtered providing that they aren’t treated cruelly whilst alive. This is why I find croissant-eating Guardian (which is obviously my newspaper of choice!) reader’s supposed sensibility that by abstaining from eating certain varieties of meat that they are cleansing themselves for eating meat. Animals having incredibly limited self-awareness is my only excuse and if I’m truthful, I simply just can’t rank animal welfare as an issue at all high on my priorities.

Christ I’m going off on a right long tangent, only the point that I was in the middle of was, that my mincemeat had gone. Whilst it was only about £2.50 worth from the fairly priced butcher’s at the market (one of the only ones at Ridley Street to actually understand and serve mincemeat, which I’d always assumed was a pretty basic requirement of a meat seller…), but still it’s the principle.

Of course, it took some time communicating my situation to the butcher’s when I finally got there, only they had no idea what I was talking about and justifiably just looked at me as though I was a bit mad or just a sandwich short of a picnic. But could I care less? It was upon having resigned to return to the Sainsbury’s in Kingsland Shopping Centre with the meagre if not futile hope that there may be some trace of my meat.

It was as I had entered the mall that a man fleetingly appeared to be jumping me, before he presented a red bag complete with my lost former purchase of age’s ago. Oh I could have wept for joy and tipped him handsomely, only he rapidly charged back to his stall. I wonder how many other people come to his stall requesting meat beef that they have lost!?

Now I’m left simply trying to work out whether I am sadder for having wasted my life to chase after a miniscule amount of meat rather than just quickly buying some more somewhere next to my house, or for spending time relating this inane experience to you. I’ll let you be the judge of that."

So here are the perils of eating meat. Unfortunately, our environment is noy always geared for the it is in fact my experience of having itsome meat last night that drew me on to the subject in the first place. Here's how it happenned.

I'd arranged to meet a good old friend of mine at thr Cittie of Yorke pub in Holborn. It's a beautiful setting and as it were the only place with any seating left, we were sat in the cellar part of the bar. This was the first spanner in the works as it not receiving phone reception meant that I needed to be up and down like a yo-yo to sort that we'd be able to find one another.

The second gripe rested in the fact that in my ignorance I had overlooked the fact that it was a Sam Smith's (pull snobby face), which I did used to love, but the acute feeling of cask ale ale and ugly face of the many lasting memories of its consequences the next day!

Anyway, me being fussy in my old age about what I sup, so we migrated to the pure class of the Penderal's Oak 'Spoons opposite. It was our entrace to that place that provoked us to be reminded that it was their curry club. Neither of us had eaten and it was too tempting for oeven just lightly lined stomachs to resist. Studying the menu, there was but one meat-free option. Fish curry has not yet cauht on in Weatherspoons. Perhaps the difficulty in procuring fish due to the EU department of Agriculture and Fisheries that cause their disdainful Brexit stance... Twats.

With the lack of meat-free options abd my mate wisely plumping for the first call to indulge in the tempting looking sweet potato, chick-pea and spinach curry. Not wishing to offer any attempt of asserting my masculinity, I went for a chicken jalfrezi as an old favourite of mine. Alas, this had sold out. This left me with no alternative but a chicken vindaloo. It tasted just hot rather than spicy if you have any idea what I'm on about. But was okay.

Curry Club may have its place, but it means that I all the more look forward to a proper TAKEAWAY curry when I go back and pay a visit to my parents tonight.

Moral of he story is for me to continue the relationship with meat that I have today. Still open to all foods, but a 1. veg 2. fish 3. animal feels like a healthier hierachy in prioritising what I eat for me and earth!

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