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  • Writer's picturegfmeade7

GAME OF BONES


It is only when you visit other countries that the concept of which meat or fish gets eaten and hunted for food or sport becomes so diverse. Traditionally we simply had to kill for our food to stay alive and in some places this is still the norm but since farming of animals for human consumption became widespread  the hunting for enjoyment or competition went beyond the aristocrats and royals for anyone to practice. There are also the moral and ethical aspects to consider around culling, animal conservation, hunting outside of breeding times, retaining natural stock levels and destruction of habitats.

     It is a topic that is only going to increase in our climate crisis debate especially with a new generation of westerners simply not prepared to accept hunting for the sake of it. We have come a long way from when whales were harpooned or the more entitled shot down the big five and had them stuffed to be displayed back home in their castles. There are still serious issues like the skin trade and the belief in animal parts used medicinally or religiously. Our blinkered views in the rich pampered west are alien to a lot of the world.


The black market animal trade still thrives as some countries still have a culture steeped in some dubious tradition long before modern science has put their ancient theories to the disproven test. The amount of species on the critical list for extinction increases every day and in the food world we now have to ask some hard questions. Do we really need to accept a live monkey being decapitated at the table for its raw brains to be eaten?


Where will the future balance lie between sustainability of nature and our need to feed ourselves? We are certainly programmed by millions of years of being carnivores and it just cannot be eliminated from our DNA in a flash. I recall cooking a specially requested plush buffet of only oven roasted poultry and game birds for a rich Middle Eastern party visiting Ireland and they insisted on no garnishes, cutlery or staff but at the end of their traditional style feast there was just a mountain of cleaned bones on the platters without a scrap of flesh. Ask anyone when they get the waft of meat grilling on a neighbour’s barbeque each summer. Our tummies get that caveman rumble when we process those yummy smells.


Then there is the jungle or ocean itself where the big predator at the top of the food chain will eat their way down and with each link in the pecking order consuming the smaller creature below it. How far removed must we get from this system considering we were once part of the chain?


Are we going to interrupt nature and start feeding all the wild animals processed food because we cannot accept to have the smaller animals killed and torn apart for food by the bigger ones? Is your cat suddenly going to refrain from tossing a mouse in the air? Each country is going to have a different view on how we treat our animals and provide food for their people. We in the more advanced west have no idea how the so called third world works and therefore have no right to question it either.

The sheer scale of underdevelopment and poverty that one meets is an eye opener to our opinionated and righteous western world. The fact that the west pillaged and plundered the third world to become richer and advanced in the first place should be the starting point in any debate. So when it comes to how they wish to eat then we just have to stand back and reflect on where we would be if it were not for the centuries of exploitation inflicted by our first world long after we too were hunter gatherers.

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