Was that a pig I just heard squeal­ing?

The Queensland Times - - NEWS OPINION - THE BEST OF DAMIEN BATHERSBY

I LOVE meat.

In fact, I might love it a lit­tle too much.

There’s more chance of me danc­ing the lead role in Swan Lake with the Aus­tralian Bal­let than there is of me turn­ing veg­e­tar­ian.

If God had meant us to be veg­e­tar­i­ans, he wouldn’t have made an­i­mals out of meat, would he?

Hav­ing said that, I will ad­mit I was a bit sur­prised when I heard about that butcher who was in trou­ble for nam­ing his shop The Squeal­ing Pig. Did you see that? He copped it from the an­i­mal rights peo­ple and ve­g­ans.

I felt sorry for the bloke but even I, the self-pro­fessed King of Meat Eaters, felt a bit squea­mish about his choice of busi­ness name.

He reck­ons it re­flects the noise pigs make when they’re in the pad­dock.

Per­son­ally, I can’t es­cape the men­tal im­age of a pig’s fi­nal sec­onds be­fore he goes to the great pigsty in the sky.

It’s not some­thing I like to think about when I’m chow­ing down on a big chunk of pig, feel­ing the piggy juices run­ning down my chin and savour­ing the gen­tle crunch of baked piggy skin be­tween my teeth.

Give me a sec­ond, I feel a bit light-headed.

Okay, I’m bet­ter now. The prob­lem as I see it is, what would hap­pen if ev­ery shop that sold an­i­mal prod­ucts went down the “truth in ad­ver­tis­ing” path?

Af­ter you’d been to The Squeal­ing Pig to grab a chunk of dead porker, you could nip over to the su­per­mar­ket and get a dozen un­fer­tilised chicken foe­tuses. On your way out, you’d be able to get a litre of baby cow food be­fore you head home to throw a slice of cow’s flesh on the bar­bie.

Per­son­ally, I like to wash my hunk of cow flesh down with a glass of fer­mented grape juice.

Which brings me to the day’s good news – cheap wine is good. Re­ally, re­ally good ap­par­ently.

As some­one who looks di­rectly to­ward the bot­tom shelf when he walks into the bot­tle shop, I have long been aware of the qual­ity of wines avail­able for $5 a bot­tle. And when they’re on special, I can stay rel­a­tively un­sober for $10 a week. (Okay, un­sober is not re­ally a word but I like to use fancy made-up words to main­tain an aura of class).

Don’t get me wrong, I have helped a mate pol­ish off a $1000 bot­tle of red but I can’t say it was 200 times bet­ter than my reg­u­lar drop.

My faith in cheap wine was jus­ti­fied the other day when a red wine sold by Coles was hon­oured at an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

The $6 caber­net sauvi­gnon (“cab sav” to you and moi) went head-to-head with some of the world’s top la­bels and came out on top, with a “dou­ble gold” medal.

Which makes it what I like to call “a bloody good drop of cheap plonk”.

So there you go. You don’t al­ways need money to buy class. Although it helps when a bloke’s look­ing for a de­cent drop of plonk to go with his chunk of chook. Or his chunk of pig. Did I just hear a pig squeal­ing?

PHOTO: KADMY

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