The Chicken, the Pig and Me

Cookbooks, I really do love them. And TV shows about cooking. I like them too mostly. My wonderful crazy foodie neighbours advocate the virtues of Matthew Evans, food critic turned farmer in Tassie. And having watched the neighbours excitedly buy and prepare food from his book, The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book, I decided to flick onto his TV program to see what all the fuss was about. I made myself comfortable on the sofa and tuned into SBS. I was just in time to see them putting a chicken head first down into a cone shaped object. Out came the glinting knife ready to slit its throat. I couldn’t get hold of the remote control fast enough. I screwed my eyes shut and was fumbling for any button that would whisk me away from seeing or hearing the death throes of this chicken.

After telling my neighbours about the chicken they told me that, really, isn’t that what it’s all about? That is real life. Where did I think the chicken on my plate came from? Well, I know that, but it’s not something I think about, purposefully of course! They encouraged me to give the program another go, so when Tuesday evening came I switched it on again. There was Matthew happily patting his enormous rotund pig, saying how fond he was of it. Then he proceeded to usher it up the ramp ready for it’s trip to the slaughterhouse.

That was it. I looked at Baxter (who was thrilled to see a pig for the first time) and thought I just can’t face it. I’m done.

Rohan Anderson is the next cookbook author in my neighbours’ sights. Whole Larder Love is the name of his book. I understand it’s all about ‘real’ food and not just meat, but rather living off the land. Apparently ‘Rohan is a forthright, direct, muscular, hairy-faced man who owns a gun or two and carries a Blood Bag at all times.’

I hope he doesn’t have a TV program.


2 responses to “The Chicken, the Pig and Me

  1. It’s an interesting concept. As a meat-eater, I do enjoy not knowing the gritty details of what happens before I buy my meat (I am not as squeamish as others though, I can handle whole fish and seeing raw meat etc). However, as an eco-conscious individual I also think we probably need to know this. If we as a society stop thinking of meat as something that is just *there* then we might be able to take more steps towards sustainability. It has definitely lead to me reducing my meat consumption.

  2. Once upon a time we all knew exactly where our food came from and we accepted it willingly as we reared the beasts ourselves and nurtured our veg lovingly. Now many children have not idea where their food came from and limited respect for the sacrifices made to raise or grow it. I am all for turning back the clock a little so that we all respect the food on our plate and I suspect that when we do, we will make wise choices about where our food comes from – and the bonus will be, IT WILL TASTE SO MUCH BETTER. So long live Matthew and Rohan and their mission to help us love what we eat!

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