The way to cure a vegetarian is to cook bacon. The smell of sizzling bacon invariably proves irresistible. The sizzle saves having to explain how humans have eaten meat for two million years.
It's the eating of meat that makes us human. The nutrient-dense meat enabled the human brain to grow and the gut to shrink. Our mammalian metabolism could not support a big gut and a big brain. Something had to give.
Our primate cousins have a large gut and a small brain. Their gut serves as a giant fermentation chamber. The bugs inside digest the leaves and shoots to produce the fatty acids all mammals need. Gorillas get the fat they need from the bugs that digest the plants they eat. We get our fat direct from other animals.
Eating animals enabled our metabolism to support a larger brain. In turn, hunting animals put selective pressure on an ever-larger brain. It was no mean feat bringing down the equivalent of a modern-day deer with just a spear.
We are lucky. Evolution has treated us well. Eating bacon and having a big brain sure beats having to chew grass all day.
We get to think and to read and to cut down on the gas.
I suspect Captain Cook bringing pigs to New Zealand did more to end cannibalism among Maori than the preaching of missionaries. Pigs are easier to catch and kill than your neighbours.
I eat bacon most days. I regard it as a heritage thing. The Greenies would have us pay homage to our ecology: I do so by eating bacon. My health has improved out of sight since I dumped low-fat yoghurt, fruit juice and sugar coated-cereals and loaded up instead with bacon and eggs.
My doctor tells me my blood panel is the best it's been. I daren't put her certificate at risk by telling her that I have achieved the turnaround by doing the exact opposite of what the Government and nutritional experts all say.
I favour two million years of successful evolution over politically-appointed, Government-run committees of experts. These committees easily run away from common sense and common experience. They recommend industrially-produced margarine over naturally-made butter. Margarine is engineered gunk. Butter is grass, plus sun, plus a cow. It's our best health food.
I eat only New Zealand bacon. I like to know my pigs lived as pigs, ate as pigs and aren't shot through with chemicals. I reckon these pigs taste better and are healthier.
I especially like the wild pig I buy from the South Island. I jumped at the chance to go out with the boys high in the hills above the Awatere River. The sun was bright, the air was clean and the country wild. As Premium Game's Allan Spencer explained, these pigs don't survive unless they're healthy. No vet gets near them.
The Canadians have been sending cooked bacon to New Zealand for years. Canadian bacon makes it across the sea only because the Canadian Government is silly enough to subsidise it. I don't eat it because I doubt Canadian pigs ever get to live properly as pigs.
But, after years of political, legal and scientific wrangling, our Government has this month allowed uncooked pig meat into New Zealand.
New Zealand and Australia are the only significant pork-producing countries that have escaped the ravages of the pig virus PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome). Australia still bans the importation of raw pig meat.
Experts debate the extent of the risk. But they agree the impact would be devastating. The disease would lead to up to 80 per cent of a farm's piglets dying an agonising death.
The critical entry point is backyard pigs. The likely scenario is they are fed uncooked swill infected with imported raw pig meat and contract the virus. From there, the virus can transmit pig-to-pig through contact, through the air, through birds, insects, machines and people.
The cost of trying to cope with the virus in the US is between $5 and $15 for every pig on an infected farm. No country has got on top of the disease.
I am all for free trade. But there would be no importing of raw pig meat if importers were liable for their virus. The problem is it's going to be our pig farmers and New Zealand taxpayers who cop it.
We have beautiful pigs here. We have great farmers. We have the best bacon.
It's now all at risk. Where are the animal rights activists when you need them?By Rodney Hide