I have never been a keen follower of Delia Smith, though many, including my sister, are fans of her cooking. Some years ago she did a programme about vegetarian cookery and included anchovies among her ingredients. Then, as the debate heated up about intensively farmed animals, the cruelty involved and the health risks, she stuck her oar in to say that poorer families could only afford intensively farmed chicken, and my opinion of her sank to rock bottom. Poorer families would be better off eating healthier alternatives to this type of meat. Why Delia should think it is everyone’s right to eat chicken no matter how barbarously the meat is produced did not impress me.
Her slightly inebriated exhortations to her beloved Norwich City football team warmed my feelings towards her a little, but when I saw she had a piece in today’s Guardian about the tactics being used by our politicians over Brexit/Bremain, I didn’t expect much. So I was surprised, reading this, to find myself largely in agreement with her.
I have done a pretty good job reading the paper today. I am feeling fairly brain dead à la Natalie Bennett after eight demanding days at work on the trot. I thought I was physically tired too, but it’s my head that needs a rest, so it was good to put my feet up, open the newspaper and work my way through the sections and then cast them into the recycling bag.
I have added some hoops to my growbag to support the canes which in turn support the courgette and tomato plants. I am going to have to have an amazingly good crop to cover the cost of the hoops, but as the years go by and they continue in use, that price should be offset.
Back to the subject of meat, and I am distressed that a Halal butcher’s has opened by the bus stop. I don’t like butchers’ shops in any location, but in a place where it is difficult to avoid makes me unhappy. I wonder if there are any vegetarian only towns in Britain. I know some of you reading this are meat-eaters, and in theory, so long as the animals are humanely raised and killed, I don’t have a problem with that, but I am repulsed by meat, and I don’t understand why anyone would want to eat it. The campaign to stop the dog meat eating festival has my full support. Dog meat and festival seem like an oxymoron.
On Instagram, where I administer MasterB’s account, there are endless pictures of fluffy kittems and cuddly puppies. Bizarrely popular are the pictures of cats with their tongues sticking out, and pets of all types so dressed up in outfits they obviously can’t move. To my mind, dressing up your pet is borderline abuse. Then, among all these pictures, suddenly there are pictures of horror. Pictures which would not be amiss in a mediaeval scene of torment, the sort of stuff you find in the more extreme Spanish catholic churches. Animals being beaten and mutilated, hung and burned. The adrenalin this torture produces is supposed to improve the flavour of the meat, for these animals, mainly but not exclusively dogs, are to be eaten.
The pictures aren’t taken by someone who gets a kick from these scenes, but to bear witness. Marc Ching is a remarkable man, a man of formidable dedication and bravery, whose heart breaks at the suffering inflicted on these sentient animals during their brief lives and their drawn out deaths. He is a hero for our time, for any time.
I should quite understand if you would flinch from seeing any of his pictures, but you may want to offer him financial support, and salute him as he rescues as many of these animals as he can, tends those who have gone beyond rescuing, so in their last moments they know kindness and compassion.