The article on the environmental problems associated with meat production made me think about life in my small village near Quepos. The piggery not far from my house shovels its considerable amount of pig excrement into a ditch that, when it rains, flushes into the nearby Naranjo river. When it comes time to butcher, this is done in front of the other pigs, with earth shattering screaming heard throughout the village. Unwanted meat waste is then flung into the field in the hope that the buzzards will take it, meanwhile creating a stink from hell.
The villagers seem to accept all this as normal enough, but it seems to bear little relation to the nicely presented piece of pork most of us see in the supermarket. I haven’t seen it, but I don’t think I would find the processes of the big industrial meat packing operations any more reassuring.
I have been a vegetarian for many years, and have yet to meet a Costa Rican who is one. In fact, when this comes out, I often get looks of confusion and concern. Perhaps a low meat diet is still seen as a sign of poverty.
Meat production probably will soar with its associated problems. But in the meantime, if anyone wants to join my vegetarian club of one, let me know!