Monday, 7 March 2016

Meat Is Murder? - Meat Is Life.

06:15:00 Posted by ChristoDGS , , No comments
As I shall be spending a good deal of Monday 7th. at Preston Royal Infirmary for tests and discussion about my CKF (Chronic Kidney Failure), I'm posting this blog contribution early - thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy it.

I shall turn later to the nervy slap-in-the-face to carnivores by those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan, but, as this is a literary blog, I shall begin with "meat" as a metaphor.

I'll encourage you to consider the various regular poetry magazines to which I subscribe, and, in particular the excellent Under The Radar published by Nine Arches Press, based in Rugby, and edited by the insightful Jane Commane.

On Friday I received the latest issue, Issue 16, which contains lively work by 49 writers of whom the evocative Sophia Argyris is one:


Your shirt hanging out to dry, gesticulates
in the wind, waving its empty arms like wings.
Inside I've laid out olives, oatcakes, hummus,
things I love that you will not eat - no cheese,
no bread, no meat.

(c) Sophia Argyris

Of course this has a literal significance in that the author's loved one is absent, and therefore cannot partake of the food she lays out, that absence is signified by the empty flapping shirt, but also by there being "no meat" (no him) in the house.  We have not reverted to being cannibals because our physical presence can be seen as the meat in a relationship.

And, of course, the poems in a regular magazine such as Under The Radar for me constitute the meat of each issue.
If you require a single issue or to subscribe for a year, do check out

Single issue £6.00 or UK annual sub.  £22.00 for four issues (highly recommended).

So to the title Meat Is Murder, this week's theme.

Along with many anthropologists, I believe that how mankind developed to a more advanced state than other great apes came about because by being carnivores, we encouraged our much larger and more complex brains to make us evolve into who we are today.  Of course our bodies require the mass of roughage to aid our digestive systems, and we extract the required vitamins from plants, but, unless our bodies were built to use our carnivorous input, we could not process meats at all.

I am not unusual, I believe, in having been weaned early from a milk diet, a gift from my mother, whose capability to produce the stuff to feed me quit lactation not at all long after I was born, and taught me through experimentation the foods I have come to enjoy, encouraging a balanced diet including cooked fish and meat as well as "my greens".

I do not consider fishing, pork, lamb or beef farming to be murder, though I expect high welfare standards to be maintained.  I love eggs too as they guarantee great nutrition.

The crops we harvest, including the farmed animals, provide us between them with exactly what our bodies are designed to process.  Meat is Life for me, not Murder.

(c) C J Heyworth 07/03/2016