If I happen to find a piece of crisp, unctuous, melting, seared foie gras in my gob then I am as happy as a little milk-fed lamb. Gambolling around on the Sussex Downs with the sun on his prepubescent wooly back. Without any prior knowledge of the minty-vinegary-ness of his soon to be demise. Which I would imagine is quite happy. The Sussex Downs are terrific for a gambol.
Because I love Foie Gras. In any form. But particularly cut into centimetre thick slices and seared in a hot pan. With some bread, fried in the fat. And eaten with something sweet and sharp- mostarda is phenomenal here.
If you gave me a glass of 2001 Chateau d’Yquem to wash down my fatty, fruity feast I would lie at your feet making purring noises and smiling like a fool.
And I know it’s bad.
To eat foie gras.
But I can’t make myself care.
And it’s not just Foie Gras. There are lots of things I don’t really care about.
I’m fairly uncomplicated. I like cricket in the sunshine. I like a pint in the pub or a grilled mackerel on the beach. Give me a strong coffee, a newspaper and a seat outside a cafe and I am literally at my happiest. If I won the lottery, my life would barely change. I hate trendy bars, restaurant openings and cocktail parties- they are utter anathema to me. I am content is the thing. And maybe this is why I just don’t care about so many things.
I don’t understand protesters, or perhaps more pertinently empathise with them. Of course I don’t. I am a white middle class male with a relatively comfortable income – my parents call each other ‘Darling’ after forty years of happy marriage. What could I possibly feel so strongly about that I would make a banner, take a day off work and go and shout at a building. My life is a comparative doddle. And I don’t feel guilty about that or feel the need to adopt a cause.
I am an atheist because every other option is just crazy. I am a capitalist because I like doing a job, getting paid for it and buying stuff and I am a carnivore because meat tastes nice and I have the teeth and digestive tract to take the job on. Simples. Oh and I er voted Lib Dem to get a Tory Prime Minister.
If I leave the lights on, if I drive my car or get on an aeroplane, if I occasionally eat a late night chicken kebab that isn’t made of sherry fed, shiatsu doing, bedtime story-read chickens, then I’m sorry. But I don’t care.
I’m not anti-protest because that would be a protest- I love Hugh and his chicken battle with Tesco, Jamie and his school dinners. Brian Haw and his anti war crusade. I respect anyone who feels strongly enough about anything to protest about it. Even if I vaguely disagree with their cause. Because I just cannot summon it up- the will to join them or even oppose them, I really can’t. I am missing the gene.
I don’t think I am selfish. I might be lazy. But I am generous and quite nice and would drop everything if someone I loved needed me. And I do some jobs for charity and feel bad when I see earthquakes in China. I don’t want tigers to all die because they are the most beautiful thing, animate or inanimate on this planet. Thank God that there is a black President. It’s brilliant that AA Gill has been so roundly savaged for his jaw droppingly pathetic comments about Clare Balding. So Rosa Parks, Peter Tatchell, all of those delightfully comely suffragette fillys- I salute and respect you- the world is a better place because of your passion and drive.
……am I going to on a march? Sabotage a hunt? Murder a pro-abortion doctor? Or stop eating Foie Gras? No I’m afraid that I’m not. If you need a hug or a tenner or a nice slow cooked beef stew, I’m your man. But I just can’t help thinking that when it comes to life and living, some of us doth protest just a bit too much.