THE SELFISH SIDE OF CARING
For a nation of so-called foodies, it’s astonishing how often people show more interest in ticking restaurants off their bucket list than in the ingredients on their plate. Many of us don’t want to imagine the animals we eat living and breathing – but if you’re uncomfortable with the reality of meat, should you even be eating it?
I avoid meat unless I know exactly where it’s from. This means that much of the time, I’m vegetarian. When I ran a wild game stall at east London’s Broadway Market, vegetarians would sometimes come up and talk to me. They can get their heads around the ethics of wild meat… Some of them even ended up buying some.
Every time you buy meat, ask questions: how big is the farm? Do the animals forage? What’s the farmer’s name? There are reasons to care about provenance beyond ethics. Your interest acts as quality control. Know what you’re buying and you can get a better sense of your personal preferences – and you’ll receive smarter recommendations. Your butcher can save you the best-tasting, most nutritious parts of the animal, which aren’t always the most expensive bits. (We eat a lot of venison shank at home; it’s very cheap but the flavour is excellent.) They might even throw in a freebie every now and again.