vegetarian


thanksgiving_turkey_2

My “liberal” credentials might take a bit of a beating here. But, what the hell, I am African… I can’t pull punches just to make people feel better about themselves. I have some beef with what we eat…

You know I don’t like Palin. She an empty head with lots of background noise. I’m not even going to go into that. Just have a look at a few of the things I’ve written about her to know I am not a fan. See the letter I wrote to Sarah, or how six degrees of separation makes her anti-American and not a maverick, or what I want in a Vice President. Oh, there are many more. But those will give you a sense of my dislike of the lipstick pig.

And here I am defending her. Dammit. I thought about it for a while… But I know I have to. It’s about meat you see. And I am a meatarian. Ooh… Not everyone likes that part of me. Mmm. A few nice tjops and a boerewors on the open fire… Mouth watering sh*t I tell you. Anyway. Go have a look at my views on eating meat. Unpopular? Maybe. Do I care? Hum… Sorry… Was that a question? I eat meat. Live with it.

What am I talking about? I am talking about the “turkey incident”. You know, the one with Sarah “Empty Head” Palin talking to the media while a guy is busy cutting the throat of a turkey in the background to drain the blood. And of course, kill the bird. Here is a link to that just in case you haven’t seen it yet. Do what I did… Turn off the sound and just watch the guy in the background. I really have no reason to hear her voice. She sounds just like a bunch of turkeys in any case. And about as predictable. Have you ever stood with a bunch of turkeys and made the turkey “kulu-kulu-kulu” sound? Yep, they all react the same way by singing it all back to you in unison. Just like Sarah and her gang of bigots. You push the button and she’ll sing it back… So predictable. Anyway… Here is the video.

It was all over the news. People were up in arms about her being so stupid to stand in front of the cameras while the guy is killing the bird in the background. How could she? Is she that stupid? Hum… Yes, this “bird” is that stupid but it has nothing to do with the bird in the background. I really don’t get what the fuss was about?

Are you shocked about the killing of the bird? WTF? How did you think that turkey got on your plate over Thanksgiving? Do you think they were massaged till they died a peaceful death? Or that they died of some natural cause?

Yep. They did die of a natural cause. Natural for a turkey in any case. They got slaughtered. And nicely packaged for your convenience. Ready to place your order for a 16 pound turkey and pick it up at Roche Brothers the day before Thanksgiving. And then you stick it in the oven for a few hours and… Wallah! Turkey time!

(Oh, we had a chicken on steroids for Thanksgiving. Eight pounds – the smallest one you could order. Hey, the butcher frowned at our un-American size turkey – even after we explained we are four very normal size people. Two kids and two grown ups. But that maple syrup did the trick. Nice and juicy! Thanks babe.)

Back to reality… The meat you eat were once little calves and chicks and little piggies and little baa baa white sheep. Yes, they were cute once. But now they are dinner. Or maybe just mashed up into a burger or something. Get used to it. The things we call meat were once alive. Now they are nicely done (medium rare as the chef said) and on our dinner plates. Live with it.

More importantly, own it.

I find it amazing that people were shocked at the video. I just can’t understand how people can think that food comes nicely packaged without any consequences. Meat doesn’t grow on trees. Their natural state isn’t wrapped in plastic and in cold storage. They don’t grow up from little 1 ounce steaks into the half-pounder you slap on the grill.

I don’t have a problem with what I eat. I slaughtered a few sheep in my time. And cattle for that matter. Plucked a few chickens. Even helped a turkey or two from their kulu-kulu state into my plate. That’s life. I am from Africa and had to go to the farm when there was a break from school. I’m glad I did it.

And I am happy that I slaughtered the sheep and cows and chickens and rabbits and deer or whatever else came my way from the farm or when we went hunting. We ate what we killed. It wasn’t for fun. It was for food and to control the numbers. Too many wild animals and the semi-desert area would turn into a desert area if we didn’t cull the animals and control the numbers. Like I said, it wasn’t for fun.

But I am still glad I knew what I ate. And I am glad that I could take ownership of what I ate. From the farm to my plate. I knew the animals and knew what they were for. We always looked after them and fed them. Gave them space to live and kept them healthy. But they weren’t there to be played with. We respected them and treated them well. And then we will slaughter them in the best and quickets way we can. Always with respect and acknowledgement that we owe them as much as what we own them. Because we knew that in the end we will eat them. And live.

My only problem now is that I don’t know where my meat comes from. I know about the force-feeding of turkeys and the steroids for juicy steaks and the transporting of sheep. I don’t like it. I don’t. But I have to make a choice. I either eat it and know what might have happened along the way or I should shut the f*ck up and go eat some celery.

Oh I try to be organic when I can afford it and when I can get it. I make sure I have as much information as possible. But I am not going to live in the clouds and think that there are no consequences. I know that there are some major sh*t going on in the US when it comes to the stuff they call meat. Those large commercial farms are not a pretty sight. But that happens when you want your steaks and you want your burgers. It’s as horrid as you can imagine and then some. Sh*t happens when we want to eat meat.

Know what you eat. Live with it. Don’t try and think you are all “eco-activist” by getting worked up about the turkey getting slaughtered. Those horrid pictures… That’s life. That’s how you get your food. Know it. Live with it. And then eat it.

I do. I’m not going to bullsh*t myself. I might be a disgusting bastard and barbaric African for eating meat, but I am not going to be a hypocrite. I know it. I live with it. And I eat it.

Don’t think your all organic green salad is that much better. Farming soya is killing the Amazon forest. And it tastes like crap. (No thanks, I’ve tried it many, many times in different ways. It always tastes shite.) What makes a plant so much worse than a cow? Just because it doesn’t have whiskers and a heartbeat?

It’s so stupid. People trying to humanize the animals we eat. Cows with glasses on? Yeah, it is funny… But it is also a piece of steak away from being on my plate. Chicken Little? Wait till he grows up. Babe? Mmm, wonder what the farmer did with him when he got old? Sorry, these animals don’t live the lives we are told on the telly or read in those nice bedtime stories. Those are stories, not life. I laugh at the stories of animals done so beautifully by Pixar and the Disney gang and I love Back To The Barnyard. But I also know that calling the main cow Otis doesn’t mean he won’t be eaten when the time comes.

You like cats or dogs? Guess what… The stuff you feed them? Used to be the crap left over after they cut the choice meat for us. Or the fish heads left over after we got our frozen bits cut into nice cubes. We eat meat. Or some of us do. And we should know what we eat and not be disgusted by how we get it. That is bigotry. Or at least hypocritical.

Thank God we don’t hear the broccoli scream as you snap the stem, dry freeze it before it is stuffed in a plastic bag and then dropped in boiled water or nuked by the microwave. Oh, those poor, poor broccoli. And the cute little peas. What did they ever do to you? Or do you wait for the carrot to die a natural death?

No. I am not going to eat roadkill. I know what I eat. Or at least as much as what I can know. I am not going to flinch when I see a picture of a dead animal getting slaughtered and packaged. I am going to look at it and then slap it on the grill.

I know it. I see it. I own it. I live with it. And I eat it.

Do you?

meat

You’ll walk into them on the streets of the world. Some might even be friends of yours. But they are out there. Everywhere. And they lie each and every day. You ask them a question. And they lie. Lie through their teeth. Oh, they’ll tell you it’s the truth. And you’ll believe them. Because it sounds so convincing. But I know their little secret. And I am telling.

Make no mistake. This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about race. This isn’t about the old South Africa or the new South Africa. It’s not about the flag. The anthem. Or even Madiba. This is something much more fundamental than that. It goes to the core of who we are. All of us. It’s what makes us South African. Oh, we will tell you it’s about being so proud of being South African. How we are one. Or not. How great we are. How unique we are. But that’s not it. Not even close.

Ask them what do they miss. What do they miss from South Africa. What do they really miss about home. No wait. That’s too wide and open. Too many things for them to lie about. Be a bit more specific. Here’s a few questions you can ask and the answers they will give you. I’ll give you the real answer behind the answer. Our little dirty secret.

Ask them what do they miss about South African sport. You’ll get a few answers. The men will narrow their eyes and go into a trance. The memories. You can see the memories in their expression. A little smile will develop. Maybe even a little chuckle. And then they’ll say, “Cricket”.

But it isn’t cricket. That’s just a game lasting five days and still no result guaranteed. Baseball minus the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens steroid specials. Real men swing the willow. At Newlands. But that’s not it. That’s not what they miss. Not really.

They miss the boerewors rolls fresh of the skottel. Sitting under the Oaks and the boys having a boerie braai. The smell and smoke hanging thick in the air. You can hardly see the guys playing out on the field. But who cares. You don’t watch them in any case. It’s not as if Gary Kisten will all of a sudden become Kuiper and start hitting the ball all over the park. No. Gary is a boerie man and knows that the best way to get it right is take your time and stick to the basics. Oh, you might get some fancy dude with chipolatas or pure beef sausages. But that’s as unorthodox as Gogga bowling – like a frog in a blender. No. what they miss isn’t the cricket. What they miss is a boerie with Mrs Ball’s chutney. That’s what they really miss.

They might say they miss, “Rugby“. And they’ll say it with a deep voice and fire in their eyes. They’ll straighten up and tell you that rugby is a man’s game. A real man’s game. Not this American football made for wusses – part wimp and part pussy. With the pads and the protective gear. Haha. Silly boys. Can’t handle the punishment hey? No. That’s not what they really miss though. Not even a nice day at Newlands with the boytjies. Not even close.

What they really want is biltong and vodka injected oranges. Biltong. That nice prime beef dried to perfection with a bit of spicing. Just a little. And you slice it with your pocketknife. Into thin little slices while watching the manne play with the oval ball in the park. Jumping up and pointing your piece of biltong at the stupid ref who always favours the other side. The ref. Always on the side of the Blou Bulle – and us Province guys always suffer. But the biltong will only last for the first half. Because the second half needs something stronger. Some nice juicy cold vodka injected oranges. Lots of vodka. And you go through your bag of oranges as quickly as possible. Because the last few is meant for the ref. They make nice projectiles to chuck at the dude in yellow out there. Only problem is that by the time you decide to start chucking the oranges you struggle to focus on the dude on the field. And it’s much easier to hit the guy in light blue jersey just a few rows in front of you. The Blou Bulle dude. It makes a nice little splashing sound as it hits him just behind his bak ore. A scuffle ensue…

Or maybe the guy will say he really misses watching soccer. Most likely Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates. Yes, being an Amakhosi or The Happy People supporter is like having piles in South Africa. Every second asshole has got one. The mighty ones taking on one another. Families divided. But play they must. Of course it has to be at the FNB. 80,000 packed shoulder to shoulder on plastic bucket seats. But no. That’s not where they sit and watch. They are in the townships. All over the country. Back in Khayamandi in my hometown. The fires are burning and the televisions and radios blaring – all tuned in on the soccer. The big game. But that’s not really what they miss.

No. What they miss is the Castle Lager. Back in the shebeen with the boys. Drinking a quart. It slides down your throat. The nectar of God. The gift from Charles Glass. Man. Genius. Castle Lager. Not the wimpy water they call Bud over in the US. Or XXXX in Australia. No. Real beer. Real lager. Somewhat dry. Somewhat bitter. Never sweet. Aaah. Castle Lager. That’s what they miss.

But it’s not just sport. Ask them about the people. Ask them about their home. Ask them about the sea. And the mountain. And summer. And winter. Their family. They’ll just tell you more lies.

Oh, they miss the smell of the sea. The smell of the Indian Ocean or the Atlantic when they wake up. The rolling of the waves. The golden beaches of Durban. Or the white sands of Cape Town. But it’s all bull. They don’t really like the sticky, salty water. Or the sand always getting in your clothes – places where you really don’t want them to be. That’s not what they miss.

They miss the fish. Especially snoek. The debates that go on about the best way to braai a snoek – with some appelkoos jam or just a bit of lemon juice and butter. But always brushes regularly. And slice it open and braai the skin side first. Oh, the taste and smell of snoek on the braai. And then the snoek sammies the next day. That’s what they miss. Not the sea and the waves and the smells. It’s the snoek.

And it’s not the people. The smiling faces and loud talking. The fun-in-the-sun people. The moaning and the bitching. The languages and accents. The stories and jokes. The Rainbow Nation. A bit of everything. Land of plenty. Land of diversity. Land of people. Real people. And the bear hugs and waving in the streets. The firm handshakes and kisses hello. The greeting of people you don’t know but see on the streets. The wit and jokes. No. That’s not what they miss.

They miss the Simbachips and Coke and Sparletta flavours. You can find it in any store. Our streets food. Not made on the streets. Just made for the streets. Simba with the variety to match our people. Simba. Mmmm. Simba flavours. Chakalaka. Chutney. Smoked Beef. Mexican Chilli. Salt and Vinegar. And don’t forget the Nik Naks. Mmm. Simba. It Roarrswith flavour. So true. And they want their Coke made with cane sugar. Real coke. And Iron Brew. And Sparletta Sparberry and Creme Soda and Pine-Nut. The flavours of our nation. Something for everyone. And don’t forget the Stoney. Never forget the Stoney. That’s what they miss.

And it’s not the mountains they miss. Our beautiful Table Mountain. They’ll tell you they miss the mountain. Our mother mountain. And the tablecloth that goes with that. The little cloud hanging over the mountain. Ready for us to admire and stare at. The long walks on the slopes of the mountain. Walking along her beautiful curves and drinking from her stream. The picknicks on the slopes. But that’s not what we miss. No. Not at all.

What we miss is eating our Marmite sammies when we sit at our picnics. Nice thick slices of homemade bread with a thick layer of Flora or Rama. And an even thicker layer of Marmite. Good gooey Marmite. The real black gold. And not that stuff the Aussies use – Vegemite. That’s for vegetables. We want our Marmite to go with our picnic. Maybe one with Pecks– but that is really for a toastie breakfast or late night snack. And we want our Safari dried fruits when we walk the slopes. But not just any Safari dried fruits. No. It must be the squares. The sugar covered squares. I like the red ones. That’s what we really miss.

And we’ll tell you it’s all about our family. How we miss our family. Our family in our homes. Our blood. And our sisters and brothers. Mothers and fathers. And cousins and nephews. And neighbours and friends. Our family. The big family. The loud family. Getting together and sharing stories. Kids running around and climbing trees. And the laughing and hugging. An ou boethere and naai man there. The voices of our family. The love of our family. Bah! That’s not what we miss. No.

What we miss is the fire burning and the tjops on the braai. Not the family. They will eat our tjops. We’ll give them the putu and the potjie. Because we can make lots of that. Lots and lots. But the tjops. Those dear, dear tjops. With a splash of Marina braai salt. That we can’t share. Too valuable. It was made with love just for our arteries.

And we want our bobotie in winter and cheap ice-lollies in summer. And our Top Deck and Flake when we watch television. Our beskuit with crap coffee. Our koe(k)sisters with tea. Our LiquiFruit juice with breakfast. Next to our vetkoeke. Or pannekoeke.

See the lies we tell? We act all respectable. We make as if we are so sharp. With our cute, foreign accents. But we are shallow people. For us home is all about our food.

We are easy to seduce. Show us a piece of biltong and we will sell our souls. Give us a boerie and we’ll be loyal to the end. Promise us a packet of Simba and we are yours forever. But be warned. Never threaten our food. Take away our braai and the world will burn. Threaten our snoek and you will drown in your own pain. Dip our biskuit and we will unleash hell.

We are shallow people. We live for our food. And survive on the memories of smells and taste. We love our food. More than we love life itself. We are silly, silly people. Food makes us who we are. And we love our food.

And everything that goes with it.

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Do you find this helpful? The deep analysis? Haha! Here we go.

1. British Airways going all British

Okay. That is enough. No more PC please. I draw the line right here. I was okay with the “we don’t want to our children to compete” stupidity in the schools when I was there. Yes, my child couldn’t compete in sport because they did not want there to be winners and losers. Failure was out – now called deferred success. Puh-lease! I think it was because she was going to kick some Pom butt. And on and on they went with their stupid ideas of the state controlling everything. But they have stepped over the line now. Now they won’t serve meat on British Airways flights anymore because some people have religious issues with beef (of course pork is out the window as well). Hang on a bloody moment here. You serve me tofu and soya and I’ll show you a place where the sun don’t shine. I have serious religious and cultural problems with eating anything but meat. It’s in my blood and in my bones. I am African. We eat meat. I find it offensive that you will pander to others but ignore my religious requirements. You have the option of ordering specific food before you board your flight AND you offer two types of meals. Let them phone you and make arrangement. Don’t you remember? We don’t have phones in Africa… And there is a serious consequence for all others as well – the non-meat eating… hum… humans. Can you imagine what they are going to serve us now? Crap fish and chips or rubber eggs. I am changing to Air Namibia next time I fly to South Africa – they serve biltong bites. Really. I have standards. Squash me into a box in the middle seat. Make me wait in line for an hour or two. Provide me with bad service at ticketing. Strip search me in public. But take my meat away? Tell me, do you still serve salad – or what do you call it again? Hum, oh yes – chicken? BA – Beef Away.

2. Honey, I am right behind you 

So the Prius will bring out a new version in 2010. And the Volt will also hopefully make its debut. And now VW says they will bring their super fuel efficient 1L concept to the roads as well. 1L is metric for 1 liter per 100 km, or 1 gallon going a full 230 miles. Cool isn’t it? Huh… No… Not even close. Volkswagen is German for Nation Wagon. Say what? You can’t even fit the bloody dog in there – never mind a nation. Seating for two only. Could be romantic hey? Huh… No… The passenger sits behind the driver. I can now truly be a backseat driver. Thanks VW, but if this is your answer to fuel efficiency then at least give it a few skates for wheels to use in winter. This way we can us it as a toboggan when the snow and ice comes.

3. Doctor Watson I presume?

Those bloody Nigerians. So here we are. With Idang Alibi going on about how Dr Watson was right when he said Africans are more stupid than the whities. Or rather, that black people are, in his humble opinion, not as intelligent as white people. Nothing humble about that mate. He goes on and on about how they are more stupid because of the failed Africans states. And that all other states are just fine. Guess what? I got angry. So here is more longer than usual response.

He talks as if every African state is a failed state. And that all others are just fine. Just fine. Well sorry – the world isn’t black and white (no pun intended). So, North Korea is just fine I take it? And Bangladesh? And most of the old Soviet states? And Latin America that have loads of European blood running through their veins? It’s easy and intellectually lazy to do that. For every Lagos there is a Laos. Also, he forgets to mention those African states who are not failing and are stable and growing. Senegal anyone? Or Mozambique now that the Cold War affect is over. And Botswana that has a huge HIV/Aids problem but still manages to outgrow the majority of countries in the world. Too easy and lazy of him to write a piece of crap that shows his own intellect. Sorry brother, I am not you and neither are most of us thank you. Go back to university and go and study how to be a journalist. Africa do have a series of failed states. But it isn’t a black thing. There are too many other failed states to tell us it isn’t a “black thing”. And don’t forget Zambia. One of the least corrupt and violent countries in the world – and acknowledged as such. Had mostly good governments. Except before “Ma” and after Kenneth Kaunda – Chiluba didn’t play nice. But he wasn’t really Zambian. And never been in a war – inside or outside its borders. More Swiss than the Swiss. And still one of the poorest countries in the world. Why? Because this isn’t some “American Dream” where those who work hard will come out on top. Whether you are an individual or a country, the one thing we have learned over the last 100 years is that those who are poor will remain poor and with limited opportunities no matter where they live. Yes, you have exceptions, but the American Dream doesn’t work for most people. No matter how hard they work. The bridge between poor and rich is increasing each and every day. Whether you live in America or you are a country in Africa. Even with the high growth rates – how long do you think Mozambique and Botswana must grow before it will reach the “upper status”? Do the math – it doesn’t work. No matter how hard you try. And there is no lottery for states either. And neither can you win a bucket of common sense either.

4.  Heartland no brainchild

Like all good scientists Heartland took the brave step of publishing the names of all those scientists who support their claim that Climate Change is no biggie. I think they should have just kept their list and tell us they have 500 names and leave it at that. It is turning out to be as accurate as the WMD statements. And like President Bush supporters, the scientists on the list decided to take the rat route off the ship. It seems as if the 500 aren’t 500 at all. You see, many of the scientist on the list actually believe in Climate Change. Oops. Look guys, how can we trust you with real science if you can’t even count properly? Climate Change isn’t social science you know – it is real science. Get the social science bit right and then we can talk. It seems as if you count with your heart instead of your head. Good for Bush, but no good for science.

5. Hillary and Bob – BGFF

Nooo link needed here – It’s about Hillary C and Bob Mugabe. If you don’t know anything about them then… I don’t know – do a google search. And no BGFF does not stand for Best Guy/Girl Friends Forever. It means Bye Go Finally F-off. It’s time they both go. Hillary keeps on losing supporters faster than Bob is losing his marbles. And that says a lot. But Hillary is a bit like Bob here. Refusing to accept it is all over. The other guy won – just accept it and live with it. So I have a little plan. Why don’t you two go to on a nice little island retreat for two. Just you two lovebirds. Maybe Bikini Atoll or Christmas Island. Bikini because we should pay A Toll to see either of you in one. And Christmas Island because Hillary needs a few presents to make up for the money she blew at 3 am. Bob won’t have a problem with the radioactivity – he might just grow a brain. We all live in hope.

That’s all folks. Bye-bye all. Have a great weekend and see you on the other side. I promise to be lighter and brighter next time. It will be a fun week – I promise.

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