A couple of decades ago, I was working in a motel that was taken over by a chain. As the chef I ran the kitchen. Once the new management was in I was unofficially demoted. The new managers who I will now refer to as D&M wanted to run the kitchen. I could see a disaster coming with the new menu, an executive decision, no vegetarian main course. When it came to a busy night there was a vegetarian customer in the restaurant. So the waitress ordered stir fry vegies. Not being prepared, this caused a spanner in the works for the kitchen.
The next day the D&M had words to say about the number of complaints. I pointed out that I saw the the problem of the vegetarian customer coming. Her response was that I was not organized. In other words she wanted me to cover up for her incompetency having just essentially demoted me. Furthermore, she said she as open to suggestions, in other words she was happy to take the credit for any good ideas I had. Does anyone else think she had a ridiculous attitude?
I did manage to claw back some of my autonomy and things started to run smoother. She said that if there was any waste, she wanted to know about it. One day I came to work and she had thrown out food, left, right and centre. She would have to have been the most wasteful, un-resourceful person I ever came across in the catering business. I was in the catering business for 24 years. Not wanting to make soup with booster I resigned and dropped out of the rat race. They did find a replacement chef to take my place, but he only stayed a few weeks. He did not want to be micro-managed either. This was the quandary for D&M. Hire someone who knows what they are doing and they wont want to be micro-managed; hire cooks who have limited expertise and run into who lot more problems.
It took the D&M 18 months to make a complete stuff up of everything. One day they were told they had one hour to leave. Replacement managers reversed all the previous executive decisions made by D&M.
D&M wanted to get on the real estate ladder. A couple of years after the were fired the Government was making first home owner grants of $7000. Where I live you could buy a $65,000 house that would rent for $140 a week. At that rate they could have rent it out and had it paid off in seven years. That is what happens when you fill your mind with dogma and not ask questions.
Why eating meat is not wrong.
Domestic animals have had a long standing relationship with mankind. In the book Covenant Of The Wild by Stephen Budiansky ,(HarperCollins 1992) the author theorises that domestic animals made an agreement with mankind that by providing food, water and protection from predators . In return we would eat them and give them a quick death. The latter reason alone does compare quite favourably with herbivores in Africa who when they do die are first of all chased to the point of exhaustion and to be torn to pieces while alive. Nature is an unscrupulous bastard. In a way our technological development has allowed us insulated from nature. This has its good and bad points. However by engaging in factory farming the author suggests we are breaking the pact. I therefore never have endorsed factory farming. Herbivores evolved or were created to be eaten by other animals including man. Some herbivores have several stomaches in order to digest cellulose something as humans we cannot do. Domestic animals eat so we can eat.
Even if herbivores had no predators ? a situation that has been created in the eastern side of the dingo fence for kangaroos if left uncontrolled their numbers continue to grow to the point of eating grass at an unsustainable rate that leaves the kangaroos to die of starvation. Shooting programs are therefore become necessary. Sometimes it is necessary to cruel to be kind.
In nature everything gets recycled aka decomposition. Eating meat is just the first part of the process.
For further reading on why it is not such a good idea read this excellent essay by ex-vegetarian Craig Fitzroy.
Why veganism will not solve world hunger and some other vegan myths dispelled.
The grain issue
One of the most enduring old chestnuts especially among young adults is that world hunger can be solved if western countries stopped eating meat and eat the grain that would otherwise be fed to livestock. The surplus of grain would then be given to undernourished people in the third world. Back in the mid 1970?s on the BBC1?s Nationwide program, Richard Stilgoe did a stint on the idea. What Richard Stilgoe performed was usually quite insightful, but in this particular case he had been completely misled. More recently in The Guardian, George Monbiot wrote an article Why Vegans Were Right All Along . The impression he gives is that all livestock a fed a diet exclusively of grains. This is simply untrue. Free range sheep and cattle are grazed on pasture and if there is a lack of grass due to a lack of rain then supplementary feeds are brought in. Farmers call this ?A la?Carte ?as it is the expensive way feeding livestock. Real journalists succinctly explain the complexities of a situation, not tug at the heartstrings of the readership. It is true that cattle at feedlots are fed a diet exclusively of grains and indeed there are many valid objections to feedlots. Furthermore feedlots are completely unnecessary to production of quality meat. If people want to put an end to feedlots the answer is not go vegan but to eat free range meat, as food producers respond directly to consumer demand.
The Hutchinson Softback Encyclopedia also states under their entry for meat that,
"More than 40% of the world?s grain is now fed to animals."
What they have failed to mention is that not all grains are suitable for human consumption. Growing wheat as a bit of hit and miss business especially on dry land. If rain arrives too late in the season at harvest time the grains start to sprout and cannot be used for human consumption. To feed such grains to livestock is salvaging. Naturally a wheat farmer would prefer to produce a crop of human consumption grade wheat as it commands a higher price. As George Monbiot points out,
"Livestock slaughtered in the autumn, before the grass ran out, would be about to decay."
The use of supplementary animal feed in the cooler parts of the planet during the shortest days of winter therefore allows for a more consistent supply of meat than was previously the case.
The Hutchinson Softback Encyclopedia also goes on to state,
"Meat is wasteful in production (the same area of grazing land would produce far greater food value in cereal crops)."
A classic half-truth. While it is true that more food can be obtained from arable land than if it was used for livestock, such simplistic statements overlook the fact that only 10% of the world?s land is arable. 25% is grazing land. These are average figures so some countries do have higher percentages of arable land such as the UK at 22% and the USA at 18%. For land to be used for growing annuals that is to say most vegetable and some fruits, even in areas of at least reasonable rainfall there has to be access to irrigation water if it fails to rain. Different plants have different growing requirements. Carrots and parsnips require sandy well drained soil. Tomatoes are highly frost sensitive. Potatoes require deep rich soil. While most of Europe and North America has a substantial layer of topsoil some other parts of the world such as Australia the layer of topsoil is patchy to say the least.
The water issue
?A 1998 study in Forbes magazine suggested that it takes 50,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef. David Pimentel of Cornell University believes the figure closer to 100,000 litres of water? 
The glaring flaw in such estimates is that most if not all this water was in the form of rain on pasture. To therefore suggest that for every 1Kg of beef that is not produced, even 50,000 litres is available for growing crops is being highly misleading. Arable land can of course be used for grazing. It is true in places like Australia where many cattle and sheep are raised on arid or semi-arid land sometimes they are finished off on irrigation pasture. This is a humane alternative to feedlots. What is clear is that vocal critics of meat production have absolutely no idea of what happens in agriculture. In any case farms are businesses; so why should farmers have to starve so others can eat? Western countries already have excess food growing capacity. The real reason for hunger in the world is poverty, not because people in the west eat meat. In third world countries higher mortality rates are counterbalanced with higher birth rates.
The health issue
It has been suggested that the consumption of animal fats is responsible for the rise in the first part of the twentieth century of myocardial infarction, the most common form of heart disease. Such a notion is twisted logic as data collected by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) shows the exact opposite, namely as the per capita consumption of traditional animal fats and margarine and new vegetable oils increased in sales, the rates of myocardial infarction started to noticeably increase. If anything eating traditional animal fats protects against myocardial infarction, the relationship is at the very least, inverse. This further borne out with more recent research that showed the ill effects of consuming trans fat found in margarine, hardened vegetable fat and some other convenience foods. As traditional animal fats contain no dangerous trans fat, it is the sensible choice for your shopping list.
There are many other myths associated with veganism but one of the more daft ideas is,
"Meat is highly acidic". 
I have personally tested various meats and fish both raw and cooked using a pH probe. Most tests came out pH neutral. The most acidic meat I tested was a raw piece of rump steak that tested as pH 6.5.Fully charged battery acid could be accurately described as being ?highly acidic? but not raw rump steak. Dr Joe Esposito does a radio show somewhere on the eastern side of the USA. You can download his shows and listen to him preach FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). Naturally there are no references on his website to verify some of his remarkable claims. Making things up achieves nothing.
What vegans fail to tell you is that beef and lamb contain a complete set of proteins and a good source of haem-iron. This is a form of iron that is far more easily utilised by the human body. A diet that includes beef and lamb will supply in a bio-available form zinc, magnesium, copper, potassium and many B vitamins including the elusive B12 .This vitamin cannot be found in a vegan diet and supplements are essential. My advice to undernourished vegans is to go out to a restaurant and order a beef or lamb casserole. Feel free to your close your eyes with pleasure when chewing on tender chunks of meat.
I have not even touched on the non-food uses for animals such as gelatine used in tyre manufacture or lanolin used on the hulls of international shipping to reduce drag by keeping the barnacles off and save millions of litres of fuel a year. As developed nations are technologically locked into the non food use of animals, even the most ardent vegan nazi has to draw the line somewhere.
. George Monbiot: Why vegans were right all along
 Encyclopaedia Britannica 2001
 Research | Compassion in World Farming
 http://www.drjoeesposito.com/Seven Deadly Sins.html
Assistance was also received from the NSW Department of Agriculture and various farmers.
The Great Fallacies of Vegetarianism
Over the centuries, cattle have been of tremendous benefit to mankind.Cattle can be raised on land that is not suitable for cropping.Beef is an extremely nutritious food as it contains a complete set of proteins,B12,haem-iron ( far more easily absorbed and utilised by the human body than vegetarian non-haem iron), zinc and cholesterol - a necessary ingredient of sex hormones!*Beef is an aphrodisiac food?. There are also dairy products such as milk, cream,sour cream, yoghurt,butter and all sorts of cheeses.Paint used to be made from milk.Some organic gardeners in Oz are now sprinkling skimmed milk powder on the garden beds. It keeps the pests away and yields healthier plants.
As meat, beef can served in a number of ways, starting with juicy grilled steaks,the succulent Sunday roast served with gravy and roast vegies,a variety of tender casseroles,lasagne, chilli-con-carne, tacos as well as the ubiquitous hamburgers and meat pies.
Beef bones are good for hearty soups and delicious gourmet gravies .Buttons, some knife and brush handles were made from bones.Fine bone china also requires bones.A large bone is a treat for man's best friend.Blood & bone fertiliser is a good general purpose fertiliser and is preferred by many organic growers.Bonemeal is used to make chicken food.
Good old fashioned steamed puddings used suet.Calves feet are needed to make gelatine.Many memorable desserts require gelatine such as jelly, sherry trifle, bavrois,some mousses and cold souffles.Car tyres also require gelatine in their manufacture.Many pills are in a gelatine capsule. In the old days calves feet were used to make furniture glue. Tallow was used to make candles. It was also used in some whitewashes. Musical instruments used to be made from cattle horns. Without cattle horns and cow manure it would not be possible to make preparation 500 used in bio-dynamic farming.
There are all sorts of uses for cow manure such as soil improvement, potting mix, special compost to grow mushrooms and gap filler for mud brick buildings. Some countries cow manure is used as a fuel.
There is no substitute for leather. For a resilient, supple, strong, material, leather wins hands down. It is essential for quality footwear. It is the only thing the uppers of work boots can be made from. It is an essential material to make saddles for horses and other equestrian artefacts. Even it were possible to buy a saddle made from PVC, it would be an insult to the horse to have such a saddle fitted. In the old days the suspension on old hose drawn stagecoaches were made from leather. Before modern V-belts were invented, drive belts for large industrial machinery used drive belts made from leather. Any blade with a very fine sharp edge such as razor blades or surgical instruments would be finished on a leather strop. Engine gaskets used to be made form leather. Leather aprons as a protective piece of clothing are used in industries such as metal casting. Let us not forget such personal items such as wallets, handbags and belts.
Before mechanisation, horses had the speed but bullock teams had the torque. These were capable of enormous feats of strength. There is still a working bullock team in Australia. To see a bullock train in action is a truly magnificent site. Essentially the petrol engine replaced the horse; the diesel engine replaced the bullock. Anyone know where the word bulldozer comes from? In North America the term for a long distance lorry driver is teamster, from the days when there where bullock teams hauling freight.
There should be a national cattle day with a whole day given in primary schools to teaching school kids about the significance of cattle. There could be ticker-tape parades through city streets with of different breeds of cattle as part of the parade. There could be announcements over a public address system of the different breeds. First we could have the Friesians followed by the Jerseys, then the Herefords, the Aberdeen Angus, the Ayreshires, Scottish Highland, British White, Welsh Blacks, Irish Dexters, White Park and Charolais. Fact sheets could also be given out to members of the public wanting more information. We could have counseling sessions for people who are uncomfortable with the idea of killing animals. Also slaughtering and butchering demonstrations. Instead of environmentally unfriendly confetti spray water on the cattle with a garden hose with a rose fitted the end of it. We should celebrate by eating cheeseburgers (with the buns buttered with butter not that gawdawful margarine) served up with milkshakes made with full cream, organic or better still, bio-dynamic milk.
* If you have been led to believe that cholesterol is some sort of poison that is to be avoided at all costs, consider the following facts.(1) France has a high rate of cholesterol consumption but a low rate of heart disease. Much the same can be said for Spain and Greece.(2)You only have to look in a high school biology text book to find out that cholesterol is an essential ingredient of every cell of not just humans but of every animal.In other words without cholesterol, you would not exist! (3) A cholesterol lowering drug Cerivastatin (R) was withdrawn form worldwide sale after many people had become seriously ill and the 100th person had died from taking the drug. Case proven, cholesterol is not bad for your health.
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