Giraffe meat, anyone?

Giraffe meat, anyone?

Giraffe meat, anyone

Marius was a young and healthy giraffe in a Copenhagen zoo, only 18 months old. Somehow, the zoo management decided they could no longer keep up with the costs of hosting him, and came up with the idea of killing Marius by feeding the Lions.

I pick up the free newspaper at Copenhagen airport. On the front page, the dreamy eyes of Marius directly look at you, as if to blame everyone as being a part of his murder. The pictures on page four are even more disturbing. Part of Marius’s neck is being devoured by lions while being watched by small children. I shudder and inevitably think of Morrissey’s song: Meat is Murder! 

Marius was a young and healthy giraffe in a Copenhagen zoo, only 18 months old. Somehow, the zoo management decided they could no longer keep up with the costs of hosting him, and came up with the idea of killing Marius. The most feasible solution would be to use the body to feed the lions, saving a few pennies and cutting from the cost of their daily feed. To have kids to watch this act was another bright idea they came up with, now defended by one psychologist as follows: “They need to learn about the shady side of nature.” This win-win solution, however, had a boomerang effect and hit the zoo management with quite a bit of bad publicity. The killing of Marius sent shock waves around the world, causing an uproar. As the international press, led by CNN and the BBC, escalates the outrage, The Copenhagen Post questions the incident, asking, “Was it really necessary?”

Of course, we are no one to question the Copenhagen zoo. We, in Turkey, must be the last ones to criticize Danes for being brutal. This is a country where Kurban Bayramı - The Sacrifice Holiday – is like national massacre day. All the sheep are publicly cut, right in front of children, staining parks, gardens, all of the cityscape in a blood red color. Having a great kebab culture, we happily consume lovable lambs all the time. 

When it comes to eating animals, all animals are cute in fact. Reindeers are lovable too, with all their Christmasy connections, the red nosed Rudolf, and all those reindeer graciously gliding in the Nordic skyline. But Nordic people eat them. Kangaroos are so adorable, but there are some folks eating them Down Under. And the suckling pigs are so lovable. A recent circulated Facebook message reads, “Is your sausage worth this?” of course accompanied by a lovely photo of a pink piggy. 

Apart from our vegan and vegetarian friends, we are all murderers and cold-blooded killers eating meat. Not long ago, writing on the horse meat scandal, when I reminded about our horse-eating ancestors, I was accused by some readers of being ruthlessly brutal. Are we all hypocrites, accusing others of being brutal even if we eat meat? Meat comes from an animal, a living creature, whether it’s lovable or not: Lamb, pig, reindeer, horse, or giraffe alike. 

But what has made the Danes turn so bloody in recent years? That is a question to ask. Last year, the famous MAD symposium was opened with the butchering of a pig. The MAD Symposium, held in a circus tent near Copenhagen, is the new craze in the food world, and everybody “wowed” at that grand opening. It really was considered very cool, receiving a large applause from the trendy foodie crowd. 

Likewise, none of the food critics dared to question the live ants and wriggling live shrimps served at Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant selected as the best in the world for a number of years. Very few foodies declined to eat the live shrimp. it would be so uncool to refuse such a brilliant idea. Only a few had the nerves to question this act and write about it in depreciation.

Conscientious carnivorism seems to be the trend now; actually, Danes are just following the new hype, and as in everything they do, they do it better, just to the bone. Jamie Oliver screened some animal killing in his cooking shows, some hunting and pig slaughter in Italy, for example. Antony Bourdain is notorious for his appetite for such bloody cutting scenes. They paved the way, and the Danes just followed. Just as Danish design, they made it simple, straight forward and dry. Dry to the bone actually!

The Marius case gave me an idea. Our strategy to promote Turkey as a tourism destination must be changed, at least for the campaigns in Denmark. We must add another “S” to the good old classic promotion cliché, sun, sea and sand. Just add “slaughter” and voila, we’ll have a boom in the number of Danes visiting Turkey. All we need is a couple of bloody posters of Kurban Bayramı. 
One other thing: I hope that from now on nobody up there in Denmark dares to blame the Turks for not meeting the Copenhagen Criteria to join the EU. We do meet the criteria of the Copenhagen zoo for sure; we even surpass it, at least when celebrating our bloody Muslim ritual. 

Bite of the week

Recipe of the Week: This week enjoy your sausage, but covered under a blanket of puff pastry in a hypocritical way. Have baby sausages to sound even more brutal. Wrap each with a slice of cheese and puff pastry. Arrange on a baking tray, brush with egg yolk and bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Believe me, it goes perfectly with a Carlsberg!

Fork & Cork of the Week: Seeing parts of Marius eaten by lions is surely disturbing. Get a Nordic remedy, an ice cold Aquavit will cool down your nerves. If you have the nerves, you can have a bite of reindeer sausage to go along with it; a Turkish substitute would be ice cold rakı, drunk straight without ice, and a good sucuk right from your butcher!