Vegetarian and religious groups the world over have renounced the companies producing vegetarian bacon slices after it emerged that the products are derived from pork. The companies concerned say that they chemically remove everything in the product which could be construed as bacon, leaving behind a material that 'cannot be considered to include any substantial animal content'.
The producers say that the process is similar to the production of alcohol-free beer, which is made in exactly the same way as normal beer, but then the alcohol is removed. By doing this the drink tastes like beer, but is suitable for people who, for whatever reason, do not wish to consume alcohol.
Fake bacon, or Facon as it is becoming known, has been a huge benefit to those who love the taste of bacon but avoid meat, or specifically pork, on nutritional, religious or animal welfare grounds. In recent years many vegetarian converts have said that it is the one foodstuff that saves them from relapsing. However, once it became known that Facon actually starts off as a type of bacon, there was uproar. When vegetarians complained that the animal origins of Facon meant animals had been harmed, they were told that the initial material came from pigs that donated it when they died of natural causes after a long and luxurious life. This, understandably, was greeted with scepticism and created an even greater outcry.
But the producers are unrepentant. They say that if EU directives show that Facon does not contain sufficient pork for it to be called bacon, then vegetarians should be happy with that. One even went on to suggest that if Jewish people are concerned about the porcine origins of Facon, they should be comforted by the fact that Facon donor pigs are genetically modified to chew the cud, thus making them eligible for consumption anyway.