Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Take away my meat and you're the main course.

You're a vegetarian? How fascinating. Do stay for lunch.

Righteous Kerry has a swift one-liner on her blog. The NHS is to force vegetarianism on all patients. For the benefit of their health? No, because the NHS is now an organisation dedicated to combating global warming.

I remember when the NHS used to be dedicated to combating disease. Ah, the old days.

Kerry sounds pleased. She's a vegetable, you see. Oh wait, I mean vegetarian. I often get those confused, it's my age and diet to blame. Vegetarians are often pleased to hear pronouncements that we should all be like them. Without exception, these pronouncements come from vegetarians who fail to realise something important.

1. Most of us are omnivores. We eat meat and vegetation.

2. We prefer to eat herbivorous creatures because they taste better and are unlikely to have eaten something diseased.

3. Food is about to become very scarce.

4. Vegetarians are herbivores.

Well, that's the thinly-veiled threat out of the way. Although I think the RSPCA had better be careful what they do for a while. They demand that people treat their pets better than their children, and many do. Give it six months and people won't be phoning for advice on animal care. They'll be phoning for recipes.

Six months after that, vegetarians...

Although will there be any? With agriculture wasting its time and space on biofuels, vegetable foods might run out before the meat does. You can grow cows on grassland where no crops can be planted. There are sheep that live on seaweed in the northern isles. Vegetarians might soon find they have to choose between principles and lunch.

Back to the NHS. I don't know what it stands for now but the H used to mean 'health'. I see inside hospitals as part of my work. My advice? Don't go there. Don't even visit. They are no longer about health, they are about cutting costs and political point-scoring. The staff do their best but they do it despite government 'help', not because of it.

Dr David Pencheon, director of the NHS sustainable development unit, said the amount of NHS emissions meant it had to act to make cuts, and the changes would save money, which could be spent on better services for patients.

Uh... one of those services is feeding them while they're in there, surely?

I have spent most of my life working with intestinal bacteria, which is why I always get a seat to myself on the bus. There are billions of them in your gut and they develop according to what you eat. If you make a radical and sudden change to your diet, they'll go nuts and the world will drop out of your bottom until they adapt to the new diet. You will then be open to all kinds of gut infections, including Clostridium difficile. What a sensible thing for a health service to do. Take you in when you're sick and take your mind off it by handing you something else to worry about.

Changing diet should be gradual, or you get the same effect as traveller's diarrhoea. When these people get out of hospital, assuming they do, they'll go back to their old diet and experience the same thing again. If you know anyone who experiences this, please, please don't let them go back to the hospital.

As for the Notional Health Service, they are now far more concerned with emissions from chimneys than with any kind of emissions from patients. They could, of course, cut back on that massive, heated admin block populated by steak-eating Lexus drivers, but that's not going to happen.

On Tuesday, Pencheon and the NHS chief executive, David Nicholson, will publish the strategy - Saving Carbon, Improving Health - which will set targets to cut the organisation's carbon footprint, and proposals to meet them. It follows a government pledge last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The plans cover all aspects of patients' care, from building design to transport, waste, food, water and energy use.

All aspects other than admin then. Cuts in transport, waste, food, water and energy use, and no doubt more administrators to make sure the targets are met. Why not just shoot us in the ambulance on the way in? Think of the money you'd save and we wouldn't have to live on leaves and roots while we try to recover from the diseases you have in store for us. Everyone's a winner.

"If you're going to get me radical I say the default place for health is in the home, and the person who delivers it is yourself: that's the ultimate low-carbon health service," he said.

As far as I can see, it's the only safe option. No MRSA, no C. difficile, no ESBL Escherichia coli (oh, haven't heard of that one? It's been around since 1979). No sudden enforced dietary change, no nurses who don't understand that bacteria are not visible, and most of all, no admin insisting you fart less or they'll cut your food intake to compensate.

What's futile about this is that the greenhouse gases emitted by animals are emitted because they eat vegetation. If we cut out the animals and eat the vegetation ourselves, we emit the same gases. The gut bacteria do it as a consequence of what they get, which depends on what you eat. It's the bacteria, not animal they're in. It's not going to help in real life, it'll just look good on paper.

"Unless we all take effective action now, millions of people around the world will suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the climate changes," it says.

Only if that climate change is proved to be man-made. Which it most certainly has not been. The best evidence for it, the hockey-stick graph, has been demonstrated to be fraudulent. Besides, it's a matter for climate scientists, not the NHS.

"As one of the world's largest organisations, the NHS has a national and international imperative to act in order to make a real difference and to set an important example."

No. The NHS has one reason to exist, and one only. If you're not going to do what you're paid to do, disband and shut down. The NHS is not there to forward the aims of the EU, the government, or of any aspect of science that is not directly related to the treatment and cure of patients.

If the NHS wants to promote a political agenda, they can do it without my support and most definitely without my money.

And vegetarians, listen up. You can stop me eating cows, sheep, rabbits, pigeons or chickens. You will not stop me eating meat.

You have been warned.


Mitch said...

I like the way that all these government departments are moving away from what they are supposed to do.
The NHS fighting global warming
schools collecting info on parents
councils doing anything except cleaning the streets and emptying the bins.

They might as well refer to them using numbers,The NHS can become No1 ministry.

Rob Farrington said...

Oh God, these people really are insane.

How can anyone be so divorced from reality, and yet still be able to function in normal society?

Did some kind people in white coats manage to get through to them for long enough to convince them that it was a bad idea to strip naked and lick people's windows? I mean, what?!?

Islander said...

I'm a humanitarian too.

The Penguin said...

NHS targets - Doctor Shipman was exceeding them, and look waht happened to him!

Gareth said...

The path of least offence is vegetarianism. No non-halal meat to be offered to muslims. No halal meat to irk animal rights people. Less carbon emission to raise the ire of the anti-human movement. Even if this means patients will continue to leave hostpital suffering from malnutrition.

Intruder said...

Two minds on this - eating veg food is very healthy for you.

As the N-Health-S I agree with you that they should concentrate on Health, and - frankly - people just aren't aware of how unhealthy meat is. Or rather, the fact that meat is slow to digest and stagnates, and essentially is a major cause of cancer.

But like all facts, we should all be given the choice to listen, read, ignore, choose... rather than be hectored, bullied, pushed into someone else's agenda.

I know what I know and I choose to eat meat, preferably burnt, which is about as bad as you can get. One day I may choose not to.

But in the same way I expect, say, the MPs to act on the principles they espouse, I think I expect the NHS to act on health principles irrespective of cost(cuts) or pandering to the preferences (burnt pork please) of everyone.

JD said...

Climate change? Give me a break!

K. McEgan. said...

As we can see Dr Lecters cell is bare.Chilton took away his rendering of Florenze "The Duomo seen from the Belvedere". "All that detail from memory,Doctor?" "Memory,Special Agent Starling is what I have instead of a view".

6000 said...

As a fellow microbiologist, I fully agree that these silly rules being chucked at the NHS are detracting from real patient care.

By all mean, the NHS should be helping us to eat healthily. That should be part of their mandate. But that doesn't include forcing us to go against our natural diet of meat & veg.

Dave said...

The Government now believes that it owns your body as payment for you using the NHS.

As it's now their body, not yours, they feel within their rights as your owner to prescribe what you should eat etc and to proscribe things (eg smoking)that they believe harms their property that you are dwelling in (the body that was formerly yours)

Are we still allowed to tell them to Fuck Off?

Chalcedon said...

Bravo. Well said. The UK alone only generates 2% of all world wide CO2 output. What the NHS or the UK does is irrelevant on a global scale. If these fuckwits think they will make any measurable difference at all, they are totally mistaken. Idiots.

electro-kevin said...

Will they be forcing prisoners to give up meat ? Not likely !

Anyway - what about the effect of brussel sprouts on the environment ?

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously expecting me to believe that if some 'minority' patient pitches up and demands Halal meat then those Common Purpose drones who 'run' our NHS will tell them to sod off ?

Yeah right ! And pigs (or some other ehtnically sensitive meat of your choice) might fly...

What utter bollocks.

Antipholus Papps said...

When Gandhi was ill, even he drank some nourishing beef tea!

DWMF said...


In general terms, this phenomenom is called Scope Creep, whereby clueless penpushers think they're thinking outside the box - outside reality more like.

Anonymous said...

Damn, that was funny!

Leg-iron said...

Anon, 14:25: As Gareth pointed out above, when there's no meat option, the question of halal/kosher or any other meat requirement is irrelevant. There won't be a halal option, nor will there be a problem with non-halal food because there won't be any meat.

It's nothing to do with health or religious preferences. Nothing to do with global warming either. It's all to do with spending less on patients or medical staff and more on administrators. As always.

mikey said...

Dear NHS chief David Nicholson, you are a stupid fucking cunt and here's why:


Anna Raccoon said...

That's ruined one of the only decent scams going in the NHS.
Used to be that if you booked into a NHS establishment you instantly declared yourself a vegetarian - result? One chef cooked for you and the other 5 people on 'special diets', whilst the other poor sap boiled the hell out of a lump of gristle for the other 1200 inmates........

Cromwell said...

If they all want to behave like arogant kings, then they can all have their heads removed.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain


Related Posts with Thumbnails