“More than 20,000 people put their name to a petition to support the launch of ‘Veganuary’ – an initiative to encourage meat eaters to try and go the whole month of January without eating any animal products.”
– Veganuary Telegraph, Saturday 2 January
Though I own a meat company, I have added my name to the list. I’m also a fan of the campaigns to reduce meat consumption like ‘Meat Free Monday’.
Why would I want this?
The reason is that once we reduce the amount of meat we eat, we upgrade. This isn’t wishful thinking on behalf of a high end meat company – this is what happens. Better meat, less often. Mainly for two reasons – price and experience.
For experience, we’re starting to have a lot of customers say, “I’d rather go without if I can’t have your meat” – the biggest compliment. Once you know good meat – you’ve asked the questions, found a supplier you trust and have tasted it – you’d rather go without than go back to a cheaper/lesser product.
And for price, rather than good meat being ‘twice the price’, it’s actually that cheap meat is ‘half the price’ – same thing? No. Good meat is the real price. Everything else is a lesser product – Aston Martin to a Fiat is the example I always use and cover a lot in my new book. Both are ‘cars’, but you’d be offended if I tried to sell them to you as the same product.
So for Veganuary, it’s not going to be the people who have found good meat that are going to be inspired to give up meat, it’ll be the people looking for something better, even if they haven’t yet found where they’ll start. To compare, I’m not doing Dry January (the booze free month challenge). The reason for this is that I don’t drink an awful lot of alcohol – perhaps once a week. I don’t drink more because I really like good quality alcohol; that glass of Pouilly Fuissé wine that tastes so crisp and clean and you know you’re not going to have a headache before the end of the glass and you’ll still function in the morning even if, go on, you have another one. At £7.50 a glass though, I can’t afford to drink the good stuff often and I’d rather not have any booze if I can’t have the good stuff… so I don’t drink that often and I won’t feel much of a challenge to give it up (or satisfaction if I succeed) for January.
Same with meat.
We don’t need to eat as much meat as we’ll be led to believe by a commoditised market. We don’t need to have bacon for breakfast, a cheap chicken sandwich for lunch and supermarket steak for supper – not to mention the growth market in jerky and other ‘meat snacks’ for in between just in case three meat based meals isn’t enough! Really good meat in four or five meals a week is plenty of protein. Good meat will give you an abundance of iron and minerals too, as well as the satisfaction of the incredible taste experience that will make you look at the Tesco Express chicken sandwich and think, “Nah, I think I’ll just go without meat for this meal if I can’t have the good stuff”… Just like I would look at a glass of Blossom Hill red wine or a cheap, watery coffee when I love a flat white with the double ristretto from fresh ground beans and perfectly aerated whole milk.
I truly believe that once we start saying, ‘I’d rather not have it than have the cheap version’ we’ll realise we’re not actually spending more overall; we’re enjoying the meat we choose to have more; and our bodies are becoming much healthier again (see my piece on the recent WHO meat report). Reset the parameters of what we think we need and find out what we really want, what we really enjoy. Then trade up… or ‘trade back’, more specifically. Trade back to what meat used to be before it was intensified and exploited. Keep your really hard earned, net salary for the good stuff you deserve.
For more information on Veganuary, check out their website.
For more information on how we at Muddy Boots source our meat, and why we call it “good meat”, check out the Our Meat page.
Are you taking part in Veganuary? Do you have any questions or anything to share on this? Let us know! You can chat with us in the comments section (link at the top of this post!), or with Miranda on Twitter. If this post interested you, we also recommend the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. It covers a lot along this train of thought, and paints a very broad, informed picture of how we as humans eat meat, and how this has changed over time. We reference it CONSTANTLY in the shop and love when customers join in the conversation.