Tuesday, January 22, 2008

FOOD, ANIMALS AND DIVERSITY

In Britain, there has been so much coverage given to battery cages and the inner workings of the meat industry by celebrity chefs that people are concerned. We have also seen a huge number of animal crises over the last decade from CJD and Mad Cow Disease, to Foot and Mouth, Bird Flu and Blue Tongue. Nutritionists talk about healthy diets - and most of these are primarily vegetarian, even though the label may not be used. Jamie Oliver recently demonstrated this in one of his programmes. So we are almost accepting that food needs to be caring and compassionate. We are also beginning to see the huge damage caused by meat on the environment. We are beginning to appreciate cultural and human diversity. So can you see a connection between these issues - I do. Bio-diversity is the root of human diversity, and if 'we are what we eat' then surely a diverse diet has to be vegetarian? Journalists should not be afraid of talking about these matters and integrating them - because sustainability is about looking at the whole, not just the parts. And fortunately, we have now thousands of excellent vegetarian recipes and cooking guides, and we can always ask a vegetarian friend to guide us or show us - food is the basis of dialogue, so why not embrace it and use it for meeting up and sharing?

I welcome your comments.

2 comments:

Jez said...

Definitely agree. We cannot gobble down our meals without thinking about the wider implications. This is not to over-analyse the possible consequences of our actions but to increase our awareness when we eat and appreciate the meal we are so lucky enough to have.

I think a lot more attention needs to be given to diet. As a people we do not need to be lectured by politicians but embrace those special times of day when we refuel our bodies and minds. Cooking can be an incredibly social thing, encompassing the whole family and more. It should not be overlooked nor should it be rushed through to get on with other activities.

We all need a break in our busy lives.

Sam Gardner said...

Hey vegetarian food can be less respectful for the environment than the odd piece of meat. Just compare sustainable herding of sheep in the highlands with industrial soybean or corn fields. But yes, the important thing is to eat our food mindfully and respect where it comes from.