Archive for December 8th, 2008

Porco Dio

Ireland’s pig meat industry is in freefall. What’s the answer?

One small step is to stop taking for granted the religious among us, because if more of us had been like them, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Let me explain. Until about 25 years ago, everyone in Ireland ate fish every Friday as a matter of religious observance. But then the people of a secular-socialist disposition started throwing off at the churches, at religion, at religious believers right through the years of the Celtic Tiger. This led to a massive drop in the proportion of fish in the Irish diet.

As time went on, and people got exponentially richer, they literally pigged out on all sorts of illicit Friday treats, like breakfast rolls and those things that are a bit like sausage rolls only they’ve got frankfurters in them instead and they have a kind of lattice pastry with some sort of sweet mustard inside. Pork consumption rose exponentially, the demand for it fuelled in no small part by a desire to cock a snook at the strictures of the church.

In doing so, we were content to overlook the tremendous value to society of religious believers.

Well, Ireland’s pigs have come home to roost now. The demand for pork, which was kept at modest levels due to eating fish on Friday and fasting on a Saturday night for sodalities in the years preceding the Celtic Tiger, drove the industry that supplies it to questionable sourcing practices in its scramble to satiate public greed.

The age of living high on the hog is over. And those who poked fun at the people who wish to preserve the sanctity of marriage are now left scratching their head at the indisputable fact that children who grow up in religiously observant families are, proportionately speaking, less likely to be made sick by dioxin-filled pork products.

The sweetness of the secular liberal dream has turned irretrievably sour.

Swined and Dined

Three halves of pork being delivered
Image via Wikipedia

And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine

The man on RTE was asking the man from the health agency about the safety of eating pig meat. Having established that someone with normal pig meat consumption habits would probably be safe, he asked something like ‘but what if for whatever reason you had an individual particularly fond of pork products who had engaged in unusually high consumption of pork over the last few months – would that person be at risk?’

Perhaps we should get the government to clarify if eating our own weight in pork monthly might damage our health. We need to be told.

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December 2008
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