THE SELF­ISH SIDE OF CAR­ING

Men's Health (UK) - - Ethical Eating - By Andy Waugh, co-founder of Mac & Wild restau­rants

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.

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