Burger backlash just silly
I really don’t care what Air NZ serves up disguised as food.
Whether it’s foliage pretending to be meat or synthetics trying hard to look edible, the only experiences I’ve had with the airline’s menu have been frustrating, demeaning and dignity destroying.
Unless you’re bean-pole thin (but not tall) and not sitting next to someone so big your allocated seat number is merely there to receive their physical overflow, chances are your efforts to manipulate plastic cutlery around a plastic container and convey the contents to your face are less than successful and frequently messy.
The sustenance rarely reaches its destination.
I’m not complaining (much), that’s just what I get for being too poor to afford business class. My fault entirely; sorry I spoke up.
But this backlash because Air NZ dared to put a vegetarian dish on the menu has gone too far.
Really, one simple — but well-publicised — addition to an airline menu is not going to destroy the New Zealand meat industry.
It’s just not that fragile. It’s not as if the airline has suddenly banned meat products from its planes and has started preaching bornagain vegan catechisms. It’s simply a menu adjustment. Another choice for the paying passenger.
To contemplate the demise of pastoral farming because of that is to give too much credence to social media and the intelligence of the life forms that inhabit it.
The fuss is down to the menu addition of a meat-free burger, and it has got a lot of people outraged and offended. It’s been a handy platform for the odd MP to rage and froth at the mouth at how the airline is single-handedly plotting the downfall of the meat-eater and caving in to the political machinations of vegan activists. Poppycock!
It’s a burger for people who don’t want to eat meat but still want something that looks and tastes like it.
Their reasons for doing so are their own but just because they accept the new menu choice does not mean a Masonic conspiracy or the rise of the Illuminati.
For those outraged citizens to condemn the airline for not supporting New Zealand industry is to ignore that New Zealand industry also produces meat-free food, dairy-free milk and wool-free clothing and carpet.
Granted, Air NZ has partnered with Impossible Foods, a Californian factory that produces the burgers, but to suggest that the giant Kiwi beef industry could be in strife because of it is just silly.
One could also argue that the “national carrier” should also only use aircraft manufactured in New Zealand and only employ staff who can produce a New Zealand passport and pass a Kiwi Rugby Quiz.
Of course, neither of those things is going to happen.
To then focus on a single menu item as a symbol of the collapse of all that is good, sacred and Kiwi is to take outrage too far. The public offence reeks of overacting and a bad melodramatic script.
How many of us got the warm fuzzies when we heard politicians — first, last term’s National MPs, now the current coalition crop — talk lovingly about “affordable” housing?
Now, of course, we know they didn’t mean “affordable” at all. To even consider that $650,000 in Auckland and $500,000 in the rest of the country constitutes “affordable” is to live in a fantasy world financed by dreams. Dreams only for the well-to-do.
There is no housing hope for those on moderate or low incomes, and yet, weren’t they the people the Government was supposed to target and imbue with optimism?
All the MPs have done is reaffirm what we knew all along — their salaries and benefits have placed them in ivory towers and adjusted the outcomes of their original plans. To suggest that $500,000 is an affordable home is a joke, but we’re having trouble getting the punchline.
The price of homes in Whanganui is already rising as people from wealthier parts of the country cross our pastoral borders to take advantage of lower prices and healthier lifestyle. This, of course, in direct contrast to an insulting piece recently shown on television.
Naturally, there are those who come here merely as landlords, buying property as investment. Perhaps they don’t come here at all, but send an agent instead, increasing their property portfolio from the plate glass safety of an Auckland high-rise.
Either way, that combined with the new concept of “affordable” is pushing our house prices up and preventing many people from being able to buy a home to live in.
But fear not! Good citizens of New Zealand can, if they earn more than twice the average wage, that is, qualify to buy an “affordable” home, thanks to a Government run by a party that has forgotten its roots and why it was formed in the first place.
Under the new definition of “affordable”, and its subsequent re-evaluation of the poverty line, a large chunk of the country’s population is forever locked out of the housing market and forced to rely on the goodwill of those with the money and the houses.