12/05/2013

Beef Fillet Steak


Fillet Steak
Fuck all this fish! Some days, only a steak will do ...

Fillet steak, completely naturally reared, killed with captive bolt and absolutely gorgeous! I do miss meat.

I have been somewhat quiet about my move away from meat. You might well have noticed that I eat a lot of fish and maybe the lack of meat slipped by.

Well, there's a reason ...

Where I live, there is so much religious meat that is passed into the food chain unlabelled that I cannot ... almost ever ... tell whether the meat I am eating has been well slaughtered.

Well slaughtered? Yes! Rendered senseless, quickly, efficiently and irreversibly, prior to bleeding.

I don't apologise for bringing this right into your face. We are primal and paleo eaters and invest a lot of time and effort into ensuring that the meat we eat has been well reared - outdoor reared, naturally fed and free of anti-biotics and other modern intervention.

What about beyond that? What about how that animal is killed?

Humane slaughter might well be an oxymoron, because in the end the animal is dead, is food and is going to sustain our lives. Let's take a leaf out of our ancestors' book and consider that beast - we're going to hunt it down, kill it and now we're going to eat it.

No. We're not ...

We're going to let a slaughterman do it. Out of sight, out of mind and out of reach of our conscience. I'm not going to challenge you too hard, because that is not for everyone, but I would encourage you to look at some slaughterhouse videos and consider the plight of the animal that you are about to eat.

Slaughter is not pretty.

Slaughtering an animal should be done with reverence. It should be done quickly, efficiently and, I think, quietly.

Some months ago, I watched the video contained in Don Matesz' post: Human Slaughter ... a cow is killed, so be warned. I watched this video and yes, it affected me, but not in the way that Don intended, but it stopped me in my tracks.

The video is actually a very good example of how to slaughter an animal well - she is killed quickly, one bolt, done fast. Her rolling eyes, lolling tongue and her "what did you just do to me" expression is the reason you might be tearful, but actually, these are all signs that she has been rendered senseless. Irreversibly rendered senseless and without any way back. That is the key - she will not come round in a few minutes.

What struck me was to consider how the meat that I ate was killed and whether it was killed well.

I looked into it ...

... and I concluded that most often I could not tell how the animal was killed, particularly whether the animal was religiously slaughtered, without first rendering fully and irreversibly senseless. The animal might come round prior to slaughter, might not fully and painfully aware of the slaughter. Slaughter, not kill.

That turned me away from eating meat ...

If I could kill the animal myself, I could eat it. If I knew the death of the animal was done quickly and efficiently, by captive bolt, great! If the animal was shot - game, for example. Great! These are animals I could eat.

Religious meat? No thanks!*

Granted, some, perhaps most religious meat is killed in exactly the same way as non-religious meat, albeit with a rolling tape of prayers running, but some is not. The RSPCA have some really good information on this which you can look into yourself:

http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/farm/slaughter/factfile

Since, in the majority of cases without the full and proper information, I could not tell whether the meat I got was religious or otherwise ... I gave it up.

Thankfully, here in the UK we can get meat clearly labelled with both farm and slaughterhouse. Supermarket meat is not yet doing this routinely, but much of the meat I see at our local Farm Shops does. If not, the butcher there can look it up - you'll get the codes for the slaughterhouse, but little more information around methods of slaughter.

Contact those slaughterhouses and ask what their methods of slaughter are. They're all coded and you can look them up here:

http://www.tracingpaper.org.uk/foodtracer/abattoirs/

All meat can be traced through the whole system so the information is there. Learn your farmer and slaughterhouse codes ... keep a list of known good farmers and abattoirs in your wallet and ask to see the codes for any meat you might buy. UK only, of course. YMMV.

Meanwhile, if I can't tell ...

I'll stick to fish. Baltic and North Atlantic, naturally.

Oh, did I say? I loved this steak, so thank you to the farmer, the slaughterman and most importantly, the cow. You know I don't mean that lightly.

Best put that meat with good things: onion, mushroom, asparagus and potato.

* One for the '70s kids there. Remember 'Nuclear Power? No thanks!' slogans from the CND?

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