Eating Pets, Butchering Pigs and Vegan Absolutism — Part 2: It’s an Eating Dog World

A Story About Meat

Gavin Wren
Brain Food Magazine
6 min readJun 20, 2018


Continued from Part 1— ‘Spiking Vegetarians’ — found here

Have you ever been asked what your ‘death row’ meal would be? If you were to be strapped into old sparky tomorrow, what would be your choice of dinner tonight? At this point I’d like to introduce the hero, or perhaps villain, of the story, and my death row meal — Steak tartare.

Raw meat and fish are manna from heaven, some of my favourite foods are eaten raw, such as oysters, sashimi and steak tartare. Consuming flesh raw puts heightened demands on the quality and freshness of the meat and increases the personal connection with the source of the food, it feels a more visceral, primal form of consumption when no heat has been involved.

Steak tartare is an opulent dish, eaten perhaps once a year, on the rare occasion that I find myself in a restaurant that serves it. It stands as my favourite dish in the world, because it’s simple, exquisite and ultimately unsatisfying, a small portion served in a little mound with a glossy, bulbous yolk perched atop. It’s impossible to eat too much because the portions are small and it’s a rich, intense meal; the quality of the food defies over-consumption.

Whereas ice cream, pizza and hamburgers provide compulsive eating, resulting in a corpulent, greasy persona begging for mercy, unable to look a “waffer theen meeent” in the eye like Mr Creosote from Monty Python, a single portion of steak tartare is never enough, I always want more.

Steak tartare is also the reason I didn’t go ‘full veggie’.

The incidental nature of my quasi-vegetarianism meant that eating less meat was not a conscious choice, it was the path of least resistance. It’s said there’s two types of vegetarian, people choose a meat-free diet for either moral reasons or health reasons, however this misses out a significant third position, convenience.

On a domestic level, being vegetarian is much easier than eating meat.

Eating meat or fish on a daily basis whilst co-habiting with an active vegetarian requires more shopping, meal planning and cooking…