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It's No Great Surprise That Cheap Meat Is Actually CHEAT Meat!
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It's No Great Surprise That Cheap Meat Is Actually CHEAT Meat!

It seems like a strange thing to say, but I believe this current horse-meat scandal that has gripped Britain for the last few months could well be a blessing in a very good disguise! For those who haven't  yet heard about this, the news first broke in January of this year that many processed meat products that were allegedly “beef” were in fact horse-meat! It first came to light when the supermarket Tesco did random tests on some of their "beef" burgers, and they were found to contain horse, not cow. Then a company called Findus, who make ready-meals came under fire, because their meals (lasagnas, etc.) were tested too, and found to contain “up to 100%” horse-meat. 

The scale of the contamination has been spreading day by day, with more and more products and companies being implicated. And it seems it is not just horses that people have been unwittingly eating. It is now suspected that even donkey, do,g and rat meat have been used in a lot of these products, as this recent news report shows.

These recent revelations have really just shown the true nature of how meat is sourced as cheaply as possible, with corruption and contamination issues being seemingly only the tip of the iceberg. This is what the demand for cheap meat has led to. There are all too many unscrupulous practitioners today who can buy horse or donkey-meat (for example), much more cheaply, and pass it off as beef.  Who is going to know the difference? No one did, until random DNA tests were done on certain “beef” products.

I can’t say I am exactly surprised, that anyone who works in the meat industry does not follow  usual business ethics! It is really no more than you would expect from people who callously treat other living and sentient creatures as mere disposable commodities. If they don’t care about the lives or the feelings of the animals, why would they care about the sensibilities of the consumers who buy their products?

It is quite curious though, that most people (here in Britain at any rate) will happily eat cow or pig, for example, but are horrified at the idea of eating a horse! Why should that be? I presume it is just cultural conditioning, the idea that it is okay to eat certain animals, but not others. It is not just that aspect though, that has sickened the public. It is also the fraud and deceptive practices that are some of the most shocking aspects. People really do expect to be able to make an informed choice about what they are eating and not be cheated like this.

Naturally, in light of this information, it is a great relief to me that I have not eaten meat in about twenty years. It is also clear that if you are a carnivore, you really don’t know what you are eating these days! A friend of mine commented that some processed meats could contain parts of murdered humans, for all we know, and that it would be the perfect murder! (I often wonder if that will be the next scandal to hit the news headlines!)  If one good thing has come out of all this though, it is that by all accounts sales of vegetarian products, e.g. meat substitutes, have sky-rocketed here in the UK over the last couple of months.

The health food chain Holland and Barrett, for example have reported a 48% increase in sales of  meat alternatives in the last quarter, and the UK Vegetarian Society has received a record number of new requests for information. Quorn, the company which makes all sorts of vegetarian products, has even reported having to take on more staff due to the increase in demand for their foods, so this is having a beneficial (knock-on wood) effect on the job market as well! Supermarkets as well such as Asda have reported seeing a large increase in sales in their vegetarian products as well. 

This new trend  is a measure of how this fraud has sent shockwaves through the British public. Beef prices are apparently set to increase even more in the future, so with a bit of luck, this nouveau-vegetarian phase will go from strength to strength! This is what I meant about the scandal being a blessing in a very good disguise. These completely unprincipled meat-cheaters have really done animals and the vegetarians a favour, if they are putting so many people off meat!





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  1. SnakeWitch
    I am now curious to check and see if this happens in Canada, too. Probably. Voted.
    1. Veganara
      Thanks Annie. Yes, more than likely. Apparently a lot of the meat passed off as "beef" in the UK has been coming from horses bred in the US, so not too far for them to go to cheat the Canadians, huh?
  2. No Name
    Just another reason to stop buying meat and eating pre-packaged frozen food. You have no idea what is inside of them. I would rather eat all fresh veggies grown in the garden and fresh fruit grown on the trees. This way I know what I am getting when I want something to eat. I know this is not the first time horses were used for meat. I can not recall the exact year but I do recall I heard on TV the scandal with Jack in the Box serving horse meat to their clients. Have you ever seen one of their tacos. When young I had a friend that worked in one of these places. They said all their tacos came frozen to them premade. She said when she opened them up she did not know what the filling was. She said it did not look like refried beans and it sure did not look like meat. I have never wanted to try to eat this type of food ever. Growing up here eating all fresh veggies and fruits was wonderful. But when we had to go and visit our grandparents they thought it was such a treat to take us to eat at some fast food joint. The would claim we did not have them here on the islands and we would just love them. Finally after complaining and not eating the food they purchased my Mom made them stop to do this one. She said her children would not eat this type of food and to please stop wasting money on this one. To this day I am not one to buy a lot of food in cans. I still want all my food fresh when I cook it and eat it. I do like to buy frozen foods. Just ones that are very vegan are fine. but here on the islands these are hard to find. I was lucky when I found the Vegan chicken here one time when I shopped. It was funny when my grandma cooked some meat and put it on our plates when we were young the red blood came out of it. We all looked at each other and asked Grandma are you a vampire show us your teeth. We can not eat blood like you do. Can you please just give us some more fruit instead of the meat you want us to eat. My parents were angry with us and told us if we do not like what is on our plates just to set it aside and not eat it. Do not make people feel bad for what they eat and how they cook. So I guess if people want to eat meat they will have to test all this before buying it. Thank you for this information it was very informative. Voted.
  3. kristo
    This makes me wonder if some veggie products also contain a surprise ingredient! I have heard of Quorn, and that it is a popular vegan option in the UK, however it has become illegal in N.America for causing skin irritations !?
    1. Veganara
      Good point Kristo! Yes, it's true, when buying food you really have to take so much on trust, don't you? You never really know what happens to anything in the production process! I suppose it is only if you grow all your own food that you can be really sure. I didn't know that about Quorn, that it has become illegal in N America for causing skin irritations! I wonder why that is? Nothing like that has been reported over here. Most of their products are vegetarian rather than vegan though. I had heard that they do a vegan burger in America which is not yet available in UK but which vegans are trying to get imported. Food-tampering has become so widespread now, it is a real worry. Remember that link I shared on Facebook about concrete-filled walnuts in China recently?!
  4. Buster509
    I think this happens everywhere under the sun these days. It all stems from greed, and I'm happy to be free of it all. I'm also very pleased that many other folks are turning to healthier plant-based diets. Thanks for your informative blog. Voted, too.
  5. No Name
    This is very amazing. The canned meats from the UK have arrived here on the islands of Tahiti and they were sent back to the UK. They were horse meat instead of what was on the label. The label said that the contents was corned beef but when tested showed it was horse meat. All was returned to the UK from our islands. This is quite a distance to ship hourse meat half way around the world. Thanks for this post it is very good.
    1. Veganara
      Really?? Thank you for that comment Naya, that is most interesting. As you say, it is a long distance to ship horse-meat,isn't it? So it is going on in all parts of the world now, by the looks of it!


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