Monday, 30 March 2009
Double Dead Meat
It turned out that I'd been eating in a vegetarian restaurant all along. I often went to the Chaa Tea World in the Robinson's Mall. I usually had their vegetable paella and a huge glass of their refreshingly rehydrating iced fruit teas. Although it was a specialist tea place (the coffee part of the menu was always marked "unavailable" as if to stress the point), they didn't seem to sell much tea. The bulk of their revenue looked like it came from the traditional over-the-counter buffet style food which could be eaten there or taken away. There was usually a queue at the takeaway window which sold the usual meaty stuff.
However, all was not as it seemed...
One time Flor brought over some food from the buffet window. It seems that it was all vegetarian. They used tofu and TSP(Textured Soya Protein). I found it a little hard to believe. Some of the 'meat' looked so meaty, complete with fatty bits hanging on it. I don't particularly like TSP. It just doesn't taste like food although they included some in the paella which I didn't mind. I don't have complete confidence in my ability to tell the difference between meat and non-meat. Some types of mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes can taste very meaty but the "non-food" taste of the TSP is apparent.
Chaa's Tea World didn't advertise itself as vegetarian. I wondered why not. And I wondered if the people queuing at the window knew that they were buying mock meat. Was this vegetarianism by stealth?
Perhaps the people at the window didn't know it was mock meat. However, they were being sold the idea of meat and this was obviously good enough. It's more or less a theme of my 'Reflections' blog to explore how the idea of something is often more important to us than the clear reality.
The idea of meat is a powerful one. Flor mentioned another example of it to do with the phenomenon of "double-dead" meat which had been in the news recently. It seems that market traders had been selling double-dead meat which is meat that has gone seriously off. It makes people ill but because it's sold cheaply there are people who will buy it even, it seems, in the full knowledge of what they are buying.
The idea of meat seems to be so embedded that some people would rather ignore the risk of making themselves sick than consider an alternative diet.
This enslavement to ideas is indicative of our off-centre reality.