These dishes are so mouthwatering, they’re bound to convert even the most steadfast vegetarians.
Lately, the news has been filled with reports on more and more people adopting vegetarian diets. Medical authorities are boasting about the benefits of vegetarian diets, and more veggie restaurants are opening due to the latest diet trends.
As someone who has travelled around the world, I’ve never been just another sheep who follows the herd—although I do enjoy eating them.
I just don’t see what all the fuss is about with this whole “animal rights” thing. Below, I’ve listed ten delicious meat dishes from around the world. A few readers may get squeamish, but this appetizing list is bound to have those of you with sophisticated, worldly tastes putting down your forks and reaching for your knives and passports.
1) Prairie Oysters
Don’t let the rhetoric behind the naming fool you; prairie oysters aren’t magical pearl-containing delicacies of the beautiful Western plains. They’re something much better.
Prairie oysters are a delectable byproduct of farmers’ need to control their stock by castrating male calves. You see, simply keeping them separate from females is much too inconvenient. After all, they’re all going to be killed in the end.
Protein is protein regardless of its source, right? (IIFYM!) So why let the balls go to waste, when you can “harvest” them, along with the rest of the calf veal?
2) Pork Bung
While prairie oysters may be an acquired cowboy taste, pork (pig flesh), is much more mainstream. But at what point does pork stop being “pork” and start to be perceived as a pig’s body part?
For most people, it’s probably when we start consuming the pig’s rectum and large intestine, as is done in Southeast Asia and Mexico. Not me though. I’m an adventurous eater.
This famous Scottish dish also allows for nothing to go to waste. Being frugal is a virtue, so why stop at lamb legs when you can dice up vital organs like the sheep’s liver, lungs, and heart, and encase them in what was once the sheep’s stomach?
It may sound heartless (at least metaphorically), but remember: our right to eat disgusting things trumps an animal’s right to live.
4) Foie Gras
This French luxury food item is more brutal than it is gross. Foie gras, which is French for “fatty liver,” comes from a duck that has been force-fed copious amounts of fat with tubes that are over a foot long—more than it would eat naturally in the wild or voluntarily eat domestically—before its organ is harvested. I’ll admit I may have felt a tinge of guilt while I sat down for this one, but once I took a bite of all that mouthwatering animal fat, I knew it was totally worth it. (For me I mean. Not the duck.)
Some of you may note that products of diseased animals are often recalled in mad cow scares, but in this case, it is the diseased organ itself that is sought after by fine diners like myself. I am so cultured.
5) Frog Legs
France is also known for this dish, but it is enjoyed in other European nations and parts of Asia as well.
This particular cuisine has a telling history. In the twelfth century, French monks ate frog legs to cut back on their meat consumption (frogs are aquatics and therefore their flesh doesn’t count, duh) due to concerns from the church that they were getting too fat. Resources were tight, so peasants also adopted the trend.
France is now a wealthy nation, but their predilection for small servings and animals of the reptilia and even gastropoda classes endures—for which the Brits have been known to poke fun at them. I don’t see why.
6) Black Pudding
The British may jealously mock the French, but their own cuisine is equally savoury. Like prairie oysters, black pudding is another food with a euphemistic name, so don’t be fooled by mental images of a rich chocolate mousse. Think of something much more enticing.
Black pudding is made from ample amounts of fresh pig’s blood along with pig fat. Even so, a British publication recently insinuated that the delicacy deserves superfood status. That may be a stretch, but it sure is yummy.
7) Steak Tartare
This artery-clogger consists of raw, chopped cow or horse flesh, often topped off with a raw egg yolk. Indulging in this death wisher may seem crazy, but we willingly consume the parts of diseased ducks and potentially deadly poisoned fish (French and Japanese high cuisine, respectively), so why not?
With the frequent mad cow and salmonella cases we often hear about in the news, why not take a fun risk and live life on the edge? If something goes wrong, the USDA has our back. I’m such a free spirit.
8) Dog Meat
When I attended the annual Chinese dog meat festival, some of my non-travelling friends had a particularly hard time with this one. “But but…dogs are cute and smart!” So are cows, and in some cultures, it’s taboo to eat them as well. It’s really all relative, and since I’m not parochial, I experience literally zero psychological triggers when I chow down on something that once looked surprisingly like my old family pet.9) Bushmeat
One thing I will admit I dislike about North American meat consumption is the prevalence of factory farming. Not because I think it’s cruel or any pansy reason like that, but because I’m not a fan of all the hormones and cancer-causing agents in the meat. What we really need to do is not stop eating meat, but rather hunt wild game or “bushmeat.” (By the way, bushmeat is totally Paleo.) In Cameroon, where most meat consumed is bushmeat, gorillas and other primates are considered favourites. Some African scientists warn that eating apes could cause the spread of HIV-like viruses, but AIDS is better than cancer, and if a lot of people eat meat, it must be good for us because we’re the smartest, most civilized animals on the planet.
Although our genetically similar primate relatives are frugivorous, we know better. That’s why we eat them.
Since I love eating primates and other endangered species, when I visited Iceland, I thought I’d give shark meat a try. I had actually tried it once before, but the Chinese method of simply de-finning wild sharks and leaving them to flap around and eventually die in the ocean, all for a bowl of boring old soup, just didn’t do it for me and my intrepid palate anymore. I decided to take things up a notch with buried, rotten, fermented, and dried shark flesh.
The softies over at World Atlas describe the dish as “a full-on assault on the nostrils from a putrid smell that is reminiscent of rotten cheese mixed with ammonia.” That didn’t deter me, and I thought it tasted amazing.
You see, what we consider delicious is often not objective, but is based on our emotions around food due to social conditioning. Worldly critical thinkers like myself see past all that. But that doesn’t mean I’m about to indulge vegetarians in their weirdo hippie “ethics.” Sure, some people call me disgusting, and I call them wusses. Vegetarian cuisine is so drab, and even the Western diet of cows, pigs, and chickens gets monotonous. I say, if you’re going to be an avid meat eater, then all animals should literally be fair game!
Welcome back to the dark side, animal rights enthusiasts. See how you’ve been missing out?