Every morning on BBC Radio 4 there is more news about the horsemeat scandal. Apparently some unscrupulous providers of frozen beef have been mixing horse meat into their product. Much of this goes to nursing hones, schools and other institutions. Now, with apologies to horse lovers, there is nothing nutritionally wrong with horse meat. Once on a trip to Italy, we stopped in Verona, the site of the doomed romance of Romeo and Juliet. I got out of the car and right in front of my horrified eyes was a butcher shop featuring horse meat, the hanging sign over the door depicting a painting of handsome horse’s head. Various cuts of meat were displayed in the shop window. It looked like any other sort of red meat, but I knew it was horse, not beef. I wonder if that’d what the Capulets were serving it the ball.
Verona is a lovely city with sidewalks of marble, but I shall always associate it with carnivores who eat horsemeat. At least they now what they are eating, but the people in England who are the ultimate animal lovers, did not know that they were eating the creatures they love to ride to hounds over the beautiful English countryside. Well, actually they had no choice, since it was sold as beef. I don’t know where the neat has come from, whether it was from healthy stock. There have been no contaminants found, but it is just not cricket to disguise foodstuffs. Next thing you know, we’ll e having other creatures mixed in with our ground beef. Enough to turn one into a vegan or vegetarian. Almost.