A butcher shop called "Dripping" has opened in London this week which aims to sell ethically produced meats to vegetarians and other overly sensitive eaters. Ex-banker Cedric Smythe-Giles says that he decided to create the shop to satisfy the demands of people who believe that animals and plants should not suffer in the food industry, but who also love the taste of meat.
Cedric's brother Tarquin - a former nurse - owns a farm in Surrey where he raises pigs. Once a fortnight the animals are taken to the local blood donor van to give a couple of pints of blood each. The fluid is not for transfusion though - except on occasions where the NHS is short and asks for an extra batch. Instead, it is sent to the butcher shop where it is made into "ethical black pudding". The price is not cheap - at £30 a slice it is the most expensive black pudding in the world. But customers are not turned off by the cost. "You can't put a price on being ethical," said one hippy customer.
But black pudding is not the only product available at Dripping. Sometimes one of the pigs on the farm falls ill and requires an operation such as a heart transplant. When that happens, their old organs do not go to waste. They are gathered together and made into "ethical haggis". Last week one of the pigs, Harriettetta, was suffering from gout and required a new liver. Thankfully another pig from the neighbourhood had died of natural causes in a motorcycle accident that day and was able to donate a liver to Harriettetta. Her old one was gently removed and included in a delicious porcine version of the Scottish giblet dish, which is usually made from sheep.
Another pig, Rodney, was hugely overweight and having health problems. To improve his quality of life, Smythe-Giles performed liposuction on the animal. The removed fat was then made into gourmet pork scratchings for the butcher shop, selling at an incredible £3 per bite.
Tarquin Smythe-Giles said they were hoping to expand their operation. "We can't believe how successful it's been. These pigs are a real cash cow. As it turns out, middle class vegetarians are really rich and will fork out for any old crap if you put the word 'ethical' on the label."
He added, "We're currently looking at expanding into the bushmeat market, but obviously only using animals who have died of natural causes in zoos. I got a call from Dorking Zoo yesterday that one of their gorillas is coming down with syphilis, so I've already started preparing recipes to cook it. Now that's ethical."