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.

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11 Responses to “Porco Dio”


  1. 1 Marian Quinn December 8, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Yes, I regularly had pangs of guilt on Fridays at the Deli counter after ordering my filled bap with mayonaisse, cheese and bacon. Alas, I didn’t listen to my conscience and now I can only pray that the molecules with the long half-lives have not got too much of a foothold in my fatty tissues.
    But there may be hope: I heard some expert yesterday on the wireless saying that eating a good feed of beef can help to flush out the bad fat cells.

  2. 2 Longman Oz December 8, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Ah, sure, I had always felt that eating pork wasn’t quite kosher anyway. Plus we get to run down that dwindling cod stock even faster now! Happy days.

  3. 3 Hugh Green December 9, 2008 at 8:10 am

    I for one am looking forward to eating more baps with roast beef. I am very partial to them, though beef just doesn’t look all that appetising in the deli counter by comparison with the perky pinkish of the pork products, so a lot of the time I give them a miss.

    As for fish, I think cod is vastly over-rated. For me, there is nothing better than a nice fillet of hake, done in the oven with a bit of butter.

  4. 4 Marian Quinn December 9, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I hope there will be no health scare about mustard.

  5. 5 coc December 9, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Apparently mustard gas is quite bad for you, so I’d avoid the mustard just in case.

  6. 6 Hugh Green December 9, 2008 at 10:00 am

    You beat me to that one, coc.

  7. 7 Longman Oz December 9, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    <i.I hope there will be no health scare about mustard.

    The colonel is normally fine. Just try and avoid being left alone with him in the billiard room if he is holding a length of lead piping in his hands.

  8. 8 Hugh Green December 9, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I see that they have now found traces of dioxins in beef. Lamb baps with mustard anyone?

  9. 9 ParkaDude February 17, 2009 at 9:30 am

    You know what does the italian translation of your post title mean, don’t you?

    Nice post, anyway.

  10. 10 Hugh Green February 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks ParkaDude, yes, I do. I learned it from a Neapolitan work colleague.

  11. 11 ParkaDude February 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Ahahahahah! So what else? Well done 🙂


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