Pleased to meet you, meat to please you

The meat stall at Cardigan producers' market today was well stocked, not just with bacon, sausages and the usual steaks, chops and joints but with a good range of offal: ox heart, cheeks and tail, pigs' trotters and assorted internal organs (everything but the squeal as the saying goes.) I was looking it over when this West Indian guy picked up the lot. I don't think he was from round here and I suspect he was delighted with what he found.

Butcher Benni Thomas and his family are local farmers and meat producers on their isolated small-holding in a remote valley up in the hills. If you can find your way you can buy it there but more conveniently they bring it to the market stalls they run locally and in Cardiff, on 4 days of the week.

My title come from a travelling meat van that used to tour the villages of Berkshire where I lived for part of my childhood. I was always very taken with the slogan although my parents were not impressed with the merchandise.

I imagine that this image may dismay or even repel some of you. In fact, meat has no great attraction for me. I don't eat it on my own although I cook it for (and eat it with) the men in my life who are all enthusiastic carnivores. I have many friends who are vegetarians but I would never choose to be one, any more than I would choose to be teetotal. I have strong views on the subject of eating animals but the matter is too complex to engage with here. Suffice to say that human society has evolved absolutely through interdependence with and exploitation of animals in a multitude ways, not just as food, and we cannot unravel that, whether or not we chose to eat them. The important thing is that they are treated with respect and consideration, their essential needs are met and they are killed, if that is their destiny, swiftly and painlessly. Unfortunately this has rarely been the case but to abjure meat in consequence does not alter the situation.

Regarding my blip of three days ago, Path Finding: I contacted the County Council Footpaths Officer to clarify the status of the disputed path. He confirmed that the right of way I used was still valid, although not maintained by them, and the farmer's attempt to prevent me using it was unlawful. He will be sending two (!) officers to survey the route and talk to the farmer. I warned them not to expect a welcome from Mr Angry.

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