Isn't that just the way it always happens!!
Years ago, almost 20 years ago, I gave up eating red meat.
I left home and started shopping for myself and discovered meat came in little black trays with plastic over the top.
When I was a kid, one day, every week, my father would jump over a fence, jump on a sheeps back and cut its throat. Then I'd stand around with my sisters and my brother and the dogs and we'd watch him skin it and then hang it in the "meat room" for a few days until we cut it up and ate it.
One of the dogs would get the head and the chooks would get the stomach bag. Usually after I'd jumped on it a few times to try and break it.
Believe me, they're tough. But if it breaks, the smell is eye watering. But the chooks love it.
So anyway, we'd all stand around with little bowls or tupperware containers, waiting to collect the offal that we'd take up to the kitchen. I mean it was nothing to open the fridge and find a tupperware in there with a label on it saying – Emjays Brains.
And look, when I say the meat room, what I mean is a hot tin shed with gauze walls. My mother always told me not to take too much notice of the use by date of lamb at the shops. Basically if its not green, it's ok. Dad would hang them by the back legs in this shed to let it…..ripen?…..mature?…..flavour? whatever you want to call it.
So when I left home and started buying meat, I started wondering how many hands the meat had passed through before it reached my plate. And what conditions had the animals lived in before they ended up on that tray.
So then more recently I started thinking, well if I don't eat meat for that reason I shouldn't eat chicken either. Because they live in atrocious conditions before they are killed. So I try to only eat organic chicken. Because I like to think my chickens were happy and running free before I ate them.
So I thought, well I need to eat more fish. But the problem is, I don't like fish. Unless its salmon, or ocean trout. And these days, with the prices they are, you just about need to trade one of your children in for a nice piece of either. So today I was standing at the deli and I saw they had a fish called orange roughy, and I thought, I'll give that a go. So I bought some home and cooked it for dinner and it was beautiful. It was about the nicest white fish I'd ever had. And I decided there and then that I could live on orange roughy. I could eat it every day.
So then I went and researched it.
As you do.
And I discover that the Australian Marine Conservation Society has just listed it on the endangered species list due to overfishing. (Which is why mine came from New Zealand I guess). And that even there it has been over fished and the stock is severely depleted. And the Australian Marine Conservation Society has a notice out saying DON'T BUY OCEAN ROUGHY. And because I suffer from severe environmental guilt about everything, I'll never be able to eat it again. And not only because of that, but because I read that they can live to 125 years old. And I just can't stand the thought that some little fish has been swimming about happily for 120 years then all of a sudden he gets caught up in a net and ends up tossed in flour and on my plate.
And isn't that just always the bloody way.