If you’re squeamish, stop reading right now! I’m about to tell you why I vowed to never eat meat again.
If you’re squeamish, stop reading right now! I’m about to tell you why I vowed to never eat meat again. The other day, neighbour Jan and I were discussing my veteran ram, which was well past his potency date. “Like you,” Jan smirked. “Slaughter it! All it’s doing is eating what’s left of our drought-depleted grazing.” Listening to our conversation, my old ram gave me a terrified stare. “But he’s served me well, siring umpteen lambs,” I responded. “Surely putting him on pension is the kindest thing to do?” “We’re not running a retirement village for geriatric sheep,” Jan snapped, turning to stockman Jaantjies. “Slag hom!” he instructed. I should have turned my back and walked away, but, glued to the spot in horror, I watched as the ram’s throat was slit. I’ll spare you the sound effects as its life drained away …
Fruit and vegetables, nuts and cereals, eggs and cheese became my vegetarian staples overnight. Rivers of blood still flow through my dreams. Meat counters at the supermarket are avoided like the plague. Wifey Dear tries valiantly to look up recipes that contain no meat, but most, I’m discovering, offer unpalatable substitutes.
But ever since our caveman days, meat has been part of our diet and on discovering fire, dinner time opened up a whole new world for our ancestors.
And Jan is a carnivore of note – a true meat and potatoes man. Six lamb chops and a metre of boerewors is his staple diet, so in no way could he understand my sudden aversion to meat. “It’s our source of protein Townie and without it, you’ll die, regardless of the millions of vitamin pills you’re taking every day.” Undeterred I persevered for weeks on my vegetarian mush. “Come for dinner tonight,” Jan invited some time later. Dishes of strange looking concoctions surrounded my plate. “For you, Townie! That’s a vegetable bake and that one’s pasta with a cheese sauce,” said Jan’s wife Hettie proudly and then proceeded to ladle piles of chops, wors and potatoes onto Jan’s plate.
As I looked at the meaty fare, a trickle of saliva ran down my chin. I could almost taste the succulent chops. And the aroma – mmmm! “Perhaps just a tiny piece of wors,” I ventured. They watched as I cut a small piece and took a tentative bite. No revulsion, just sheer bliss as the succulent flavours invaded my palate. “Could I have a chop, too?” I asked. “Welcome back!” cheered Jan. Like Doc Martin in the TV soapy, it was actually the sight of blood that made my stomach turn. Still does. But I’m firmly back in the land of the carnivores – just as long as I don’t have to cook meat or eat it raw. – Derek Christopher |fw