|Co-owners Tara Longo, left and Mario Fiorucci, right, and head butcher Sebastian Cortez at Toronto's, The Healthy Butcher. Their business has picked up due to a resurgence in meat eating. Photo Peter J. Thompson/National Post
Rediscovering the joy of meat
The new carnivore is ethical, environmentally-friendly and will eat the whole animal
|Have some large animal advocacy organizations unwittingly become consultants to the animal-using industry?
National Post by Allison Hanes Apr 2008 4/11/2008
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At The Healthy Butcher, on Toronto's trendy Queen St. W., sausage-making classes fill up faster than casings getting stuffed with spiced ground meat, and the participants are as keen as the man who recently wrote co-owner Mario Fiorucci after attending the course to say he had purchased his own meat grinder and was now churning out his own sausages at home.
That his customers are so enthusiastic about getting their hands bloody has surprised even Mr. Fiorucci, who opened the butcher shop with his wife Tara Longo, both of them former vegetarians.
It is just one example of a recent revival of the joys of carnivorous eating.
There are new cookbooks--Carnivore Chic in Canada and The Shameless Carnivore in the U.S.--that celebrate the personal and cultural love affair with meat. Butcher shops are the new shopping grounds of a hip, elite and socially conscious clientele.
Perhaps more significant, even some vegetarians are abandoning the moral high ground to emerge from their meatless exile.
"I do think something fundamental has shifted in our culture," said Susan Bourette, the Toronto-based author of Carnivore Chic: From Pasture to Plate, the Search for the Perfect Meat, who said that a lot of the shift began, ironically, with the vegeterian movement.
It is not that eating meat ever fell out of favour, she said, but it definitely went out of fashion for a spell with all the fuss about what the industrial food complex was doing to the environment, waistlines and health.
Now meat is in again, she said--and people are consuming it, albeit more discriminatingly, guilt free and with a renewed gusto.
In his new book, The Shameless Carnivore: A Manifesto for Meat Lovers, Scott Gold tried 31 different meats in as many days--including bull's penis and squirrel (which he shot himself).
Although he delights in goading vegetarians in his book and on his blog--gushing about eating guinea pig, whiskers and all, and raving about the richness of rabbit--Mr. Gold credits them with helping bring foodies back to more authentic, healthy and responsible dining.
"Vegetarianism I suppose became equated with being more emotionally or morally evolved, but now the tide is really turning," said Mr. Gold. "If you try grass-fed, locally, humanely raised meat, it's not only significantly better for your health, it's better for the animal. It's not just good for the environment, but also, ultimately, once again, it all comes down to taste.