VEGA News Item

Veggie Might- letter to The Times 25 May 2004 - 25/05/2004
Vega puts The Times right on the vegetarian cuisine
Dear Sir/Madam

Respect and care for animals and the environment being principles dominant in vegetarianism, the introduction to a series of recipes for veggie dishes (The Way We Live Now: You can give up meat without really noticing, T2, 24 May, page 10) is as duplicitous as passing off a bacon-buttie on a Jew or Muslim. The menu includes butter, double cream, cheese and eggs- all in one meal. We notice the complicity this entails in the itensified commercial exploitaiton of the reproductive functions the dairy/beef/veal and poultry systems exploit. BSE originated and has been maintained in the dairy industry: animals reared in closed beef suckler herds, in which the calves run for up to 8 months with their dams, have at least escaped this infliction. Vets reckon that more than 1 in 5 of Britain’s cows are currently lame and 1 in 3 are mastitic. Fancy names such as organic and freedom mean little in these contexts. Free range is an alien and barren environment for birds still manifesting the behavioral instincts of the jungle fowl from which they are derived.

Today’s “tantalizing” offering (25 May)- a fruit and veg tagine, is much better- it offers an insight into the portfolio of the best on all counts from the world’s cuisines, in which the interests of vegetarians tastefully and thriftily combine with nutritionists’ and doctors’ in devising health-sustaining meals and lifestyles reducing the needs for hefty subsidies, cruelty to animals, and statin-pushing. We hope the rest of the series joins in exploration of these possibilities.

Good wishes

Alan Long
Hon Research Adviser, VEGA

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