I was puzzled a few years ago when a friend of mine was horrified I ate venison, how could I eat a Bambi she complained, shocked at the thought and clearly upset. As she had just a few moments before been telling me a wonderful roast lamb dinner she had enjoyed that weekend, I was confused. Did she not like lambs as well, I think they’re lovely but it doesn’t stop me eating them. And I am pretty sure my venison was not a Bambi they do not cull fawns. It wasn’t something worth the argument, I did point out that she had enjoyed the lamb and left it at that.
I do not know exactly what I have eaten over the years on my travels. Many times there was enough language in common to enquire and other times I believed it was better not to know.
Although I am a meat eater in general, for many years now I have tried to check the origins and living conditions of the meat I eat. I don’t personally have any problems with meat eating but I do hate cruelty and unnecessary suffering. So if people want to eat horse, cat or dog within their cultures as long as they treat them well and appreciate the food, that is there business. If insects and bugs or certain organs are on the menu well, don't tell me and let me experience them.
I am almost certain I have eaten horse, it is or was a common enough meat in Europe when I was travelling. Almost certain also that I have eaten dog when travelling through countries that have the animal on their menu. I have know I have eaten kangaroo, crocodile and insects. I’m not too sure about other game animal. Now has rat ever been on my plate? who knows:)Would I have eaten it if I had known, would I have eaten of the others for that matter if I had known. This is a question unanswerable in hindsight. I knew when I set off to roam I would be confronted with the unknown as far as what was on my plate.
I didn’t taste ostrich, as far as I know, until I returned home to the UK and now having discovered an ostrich farm near by it is on my menu quite frequently along with venison. I have had goat often on my travels and still buy it now I am back home. With the wide range of cultural differences in the UK most of these meats are now readily available.
Once when I was convalescing at a friends station in Australia her mother would dish me up sheep's brains on toast for my breakfast every day and, after an initial hesitation, I found them delicious, as I did with the barbecued lambs tails dished up by the stock men while we out dealing with the sheep. I wasn’t keen on the bugs I ate but they didn’t actually repel me.
In those dirty unhygienic kitchens I mentioned in K I didn't enquire as to what I was eating, choosing basically on how well cooked they appeared to be! So I suspect animals we would consider pets and also those we wold consider vermin. After all if one thinks about it, other cultures think our love of pork and shell fish gross and unclean.
We all have our ways:)
What else? who knows I have travelled in many countries who do not necessarily keep farmyard animals as we do. Who have learnt over the centuries that food is food and why be picky about it. None of it made me ill.
Apart from the meat of unknown origin, their were eggs that had never seen a chicken and vegetables never grown in our garden back home. Unknown and not easily forgotten fruits which made me doubt my sanity at times:) some were delicious, some were interesting and some downright terrible but they served as an essential part of the travel experience.
The dysentery I went down with was caused, almost certainly, by the plates and glasses our food and drink was served on being washed in the lake water, a lake which had dead and decaying animals in it and into which every loo on every houseboat on the lake was flushed. Even my stiff upper lipped British digestion couldn’t withstand the onslaught of evil germs.
There maybe many other animals I have eaten in my life, I will never know. I do know that compared to some other cultures we have concentrated our dietary habits on a very slender choice of foodstuffs. That nay prove to be okay in the future but I rather think those nations who can eat a wider range of food will do better if our chips fall down - just saying:)
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