Re: eating meat.
I would counter that perhaps the best you can say about many vegetables is also that they contain a few useful minerals etc.
I would also say that the Western pattern is to eat too much food in general.
We’re still living longer than our ancestors, and I would venture, enjoying life more.
Yes, Chinese food is, in terms of quantity, based around rice; but qualitatively the skew is towards meat: if you went up to a typical working Chinese man or woman in the street and asked them what they most enjoyed eating, chances are it would be something featuring chicken, pork or beef.
Indeed, walk around the Chinese street stalls of Singapore or Hong Kong where you can buy a plate of great food for 2 or 3 dollars and you will find the dishes served are recipes that go back to antiquity i.e sauteed or fried Pork or Chicken with rice or noodles and a few token vegetables, cooked with liberal quantities of cooking oil and fat.
These aren’t the dishes of royalty, but simple and tasty peasant dishes based around common farm animals.
A dish like ‘Monk’s Vegetables’ is absolute subsistence food and, given the choice, most Chinese definitely aspire to something more interesting.
As regards Indian or Italian food, again, perhaps I should have phrased it as ’what people enjoy and remember’ rather that ’what people eat the most of...’
Talk to any chef or cook of any culture and 99 to 1 their favourite speciality is a meat dish.
Re: McDonald's animals are well cared-for.
I did say that McDonald’s have no doubt made mistakes as to the treatment of animals, but then so no doubt have the abbatoirs/farms that supplied the meat that our mothers and grandmothers have cooked Sunday roast with, or for that matter the meat that Marco Pierre White has cooked masterpieces with.
So should we take these individuals to court for condoning animal cruelty?
If McDonald’s has made mistakes in the UK regarding the treatment of animals, then you can be sure that it is in their interests to clean up their act, simply as a matter of PR. In fact, in many countries, McD’s obtains their meat from independant suppliers.
Re: McDonald's provides good, cheap food.
McDonald’s food is in fact relatively cheap. If you go into a well-run privately operated ‘burger bar’ you will find that chances are the burgers are of a higher quality, but you will probably also find them to be far more expensive.
Whether or not you think a hamburger in itself is ’good’ food is very much a matter of opinion. Millions of people think it is. A minority no doubt would have us living on salads.
All the same, no informed person would suggest eating burgers every day.
Perhaps some McDonald’s UK practices are leading to problems in poorer countries, but almost all the McDonald’s food served here in Australia comes from Australian produce, and in fact it is a major supporter of our farming industries.
As regards meat in Indian food, I have eaten often in the street markets of Malaysia and Singapore, both of which countries have large Indian populations, both rich and poor.
Almost all the dishes enjoyed by Indians in these countries feature meat of one sort or another.
In these countries a classic dish like goat soup is enjoyed by Indians of all classes, and believe me, it is swimming in fat and at least as ’unhealthy’ as a McDonald’s burger.
70% of food poisoning incidents may be directly traceable to meat, but I have had food poisoning a few times in my life and it was never from a McDonald’s as far as I know.
Mostly it was from seafood such as oysters.
I’m still alive, and most of the incidents lasted no more than a day or so.
If this is the penalty for not being a vegetarian then I’m prepared to pay it.