l 1


salads. A fresh and enjoyable choice

of healthy nourishing food and specialist diets can be catered for. I Evergreen wholeioods 136 Nithsdale Road 422 1303. Mon—Sat 9am—6pm. Supplies the Southside

with a complete range of health

foods including vegan. gluten-free and sugar-free produce. essential

‘I oils. herbal teas and a range of ' seaweed (ifyou fancy that kind of


I Here‘s Health 73 St Vincent Street 221 7865. Mon—Sat 8.45am—5. 15pm. The full range ofhealth food produce and some delicious snacks at lunchtime. such as vegetable pasties and vegetarian sausage rolls. I Pure Necessities 713 Great Western Road 339 2669. Mon—Fri 9.30am—7.30pm. Sat 9.30am-6.30pm. Sun 12.30—530pm Stocks include special products for candida diets including wheat-free. gluten-free and sugar-free items.


I Nature’s Gate 83 Clerk Street 668 2067. Mon—Sat 9am—8pm. Sun 12—4pm. Scotland‘s only Persian vegetarian restaurant which uses organically grown food whenever possible. It is also the only'specialist supplier of macrobiotic foods which can be obtained from the adjoining shop.

I Seeds 53 West Nicolson Street 667 8673. Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. ()ne of the trendiest eateries in town featuring some interesting dishes such as cream ofchestnut soup and cashew and vegetable flan. Basically vegan. but there is dairy milk and yoghurt on request. Also an invaluable source of information for flats. classes. talks etc. through its noticeboard.

I Helios Fountain 7 (irassmarket 229

7884. Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. Not only

a cafe but also a shop selling everything from hand-crafted jewellery to candles. The restaurant is renowned for its cakes. but also has fabulously tasty soups and hot dishes. I Henderson’s Salad Table94 Hanover Street 225 2131. Mon—Sat 8am—1 1pm. Also Henderson‘s Farm Shop. 92 Hanover Street. 225 6694. A range of twenty salads each day plus five or six hot dishes. all in the beautiful decor which attracts a fresh batch of students each year. Normal people have been known to eat there too. I Kalpna 2/3 St Patrick's Square 667 9890. Wonderful beer. amazing main courses and ice-cream that tastes like. well. iced cream. The only complaint is that it can get a little crowded in the evening and. if you don't book. expect a long wait for a table. I Real Foods 37 Broughton Street 557 1911 and 8 Brougham Street 228 1201. Mon—Fri 9am—5.55pm (except Wed). Wed and Sat 9am—5.30pm. Not only a great shop for ‘health foods‘. also the cheapest place in town to buy muesli. flour and even chocolate.

68 The List 13— 26 September 1991

Sue Wilson chews the fat with Nick Fiddcs, author of a new book on meat.

According to the dictionary. meat is 'the flesh of animals used as food‘. According to Nick Fiddes. it’s a lot more than that. He argues that meat is as much a concept as a substance. which ‘tangibly represents human control ofthe natural world.‘ In his new book. Meals/1 Natural Symbol. Fiddes develops the idea that meat‘s pre-emincnt importance in the human diet. across most of the world. throughout most of history. stems from our age-old desire to distinguish ourselves from (other) animals. Meat is a widely available. highly tangible representation of the ways in which we separate nature (them) from culture (us) and put ourselves in charge.

My view is that as a society we eattoo much meat, which is unhealthy in ecological terms.

All this might seem like giving excessive significance to a type of food. albeit a more emotive one than most. But then you start to think about it the still prevalent (though utterly false. nutritionally) notion that you can't have a ‘proper' meal without meat. the widespread associations between red-blooded meat and red-blooded manhood.

«I i}.

5 ’2


story. the beefburger as symbol of the American Way. . . while rainforests make way for cattle ranches.

‘Writing the book has probably made me less likely to become entirely vegetarian.‘ says Fiddes. "Though it‘s also made me less likely to eat a lot of meat it just doesn’t hold the same power for me any more. My view is that as a society we eat too much meat. which is unhealthy in ecological terms. But I wasn‘t setting out to do a hatchet job on the meat industry. or to write a vegetarian polemic; I steer clear of the moral issues - that‘s for individuals or philosophers to decide. What l‘m doing is raising questions. pointing out that there is a system of values. an ideology. which underlies meat-eating'

‘Underlies‘ is the crucial word. For although. as a society. we still prize meat. particularly red meat. as the quintessential foodstuff. our feelings about it are often uncomfortably ambivalent. We don‘t like to be too sharply reminded that our food was once alive. or ofour physical closeness to animals it tends to disrupt our tidy dividing lines. Hence our commonplace disgust at heads, feet. eyes. guts; hence the increasing trend away from whole carcases in blood-soaked butchers‘ and towards tidy. sanitised. cuts or ready-meals in pristine supermarket packages.

‘Basically. I set out to find as many examples as 1 could of meat being mentioned. or discussed. or referred to. and look at the ways it was talked references to the ‘meaty’ bits ofa

The e argument


about.’ says Fiddes. ‘Very little in the book actually came from my own ideas 1 just pulled together a lot of existing ideas in a way that hadn't been done before.‘ And there are certainly plenty of ideas ~ historical trends in meat-eating in relation to the development of the conceptual nature/culture divide. the sexual use of meat terminology (positive for men. negative for women. women being seen as closer to nature). our instinctive. deep-rooted rejection of cannibalism (again. eating each other would blur distinctions. as would eating pets. treated as honorary human beings. or chimpanzees. who look like us).

lthink it’s almost inevitable

that meat, as a symbol of our power over nature, is going to suffer in public estimation.’

In an impressively balanced and accessible book. a huge variety of evidence is marshalled to back up Fiddes‘ central contention about humankind‘s relationship with the natural world. a relationship he sees as changing fast. ‘Once the values which are implicit in eating meat become explicit. once people realise the implications. it becomes less socially acceptable it‘s like hunting, or wearing furs. or eating veal. as symbols of wealth and power. As environmental concerns keep moving up the agenda. 1 think it‘s almost inevitable that meat. as a