I have just enjoyed Clapshot, an Orcadian dish, this time it was served with vegetarian Haggis. We Scots have known about vegetarian Haggis for many years, but the secret has been well kept, until now. I suppose it is inevitable. We cannot be sure, but we think the leak originated with the EU. Although it might have been the FDA, as American tourists were recently seen in an area where they might have identified Haggis morphing into their vegetable state. It was claimed by Tobacco Control, who are ever watchful, that Haggis might be smoking (their word not mine) e cigarettes when no one is looking. There is no actual evidence for this, but Tobacco Control have reminded us that when you have the financial backing of the pharmaceutical industry, that does not matter. MEP’s have now added measures to the Tobacco Directives Protocol to have Haggis regulated. It is expected that the FDA will follow suite with similar measures in the US. The E U Commission has consulted widely amongst itself, and has agreed that regulation is necessary to stamp out this evil. Again the FDA is expected to follow suite.
What has not been publicised is that Haggis, after a lifetime of e cigarette smoking save and store the nicotine, then, in the vegetable state, also produce large quantities of different flavoured liquids, most, but not all of which, contain the nicotine. The extraction of this liquid is a very straightforward process. You simply place the Haggis in a liquidiser, add some propylene glycol and switch it on. Linda Mac McAvan expressed her horror at this process. The following was reported in last week’s Daily Mail, where she said, “This is disgusting. These poor little animals! What cruelty!” It was pointed out to her that, at the time, the Haggis were in their vegetable state, but she simply rebuffed this and told reporters not to split hairs.
There are however real problems and this is the reason behind the efforts of the EU Commission to control, even exterminate this threat. They claim that e cigarette smoking Haggises are a bad example – just recently, two haggises (Or haggie), in Edinburgh Zoo, were seen smoking an e cigarette. This was, according to zoo officials, likely to cause disruption. “It is not in the public interest for Haggis to be seen to be doing this,” they said. “Just last week we had to send in zookeepers with electric prods and lollypops to break up mobs of rioting three and four year olds demanding to be given cigarettes just like the Haggises had. “The Haggises we have here are the only two in captivity and are celebrities, and should really know better” – One is expecting a baby soon. Which one is pregnant we do not know, but there again, that is the nature of the Haggis.
It is this nature which is causing such problems in the EU. You see, they do not know how to classify them. First, they tried to say they were nicotine containing plants which were being harvested and processed for their nicotine containing juices. This was dismissed by the European Parliament who pointed out that Haggis only create these juices when they were in their animal state. Now, an attempt is being made to push through very similar legislation under the animal cruelty regulations.
The hunting and killing of Haggis is not cruel. It is well known, even in the US, that animal Haggis have the left legs longer than the right. They can often be spotted at dawn, grazing in the pastures below the mountains. (A group of Haggises are traditionally called ‘a parliament of haggises.) When disturbed, the parliament takes off at great speed running, clockwise, round and up the mountain. The different lengths of their legs give them a great advantage. They are almost impossible to catch once they are on the mountain side. However, the Scottish Haggis hunters, who have been commissioned to do this task, and unsurprisingly collectively known a Commission, are ‘canny’ individuals. Long before dawn they climb to the top of the mountain and wait. Meanwhile, just as the sun is rising, the wives at the bottom of the mountain, jump up, and orchestrated by the local minister, start banging saucepan lids, and playing the bagpipes, while rushing towards them. The Haggises, startled, take off for the mountain at incredible speed. Now, because they have no necks they cannot look backwards, and obviously, because the legs on one side are shorter than the other, they cannot turn around. It has been known for them to attempt this, but all that happens is that they lose balance and topple down the mountainside. But this is rare. Almost always, they run and keep on running. The Commission meanwhile makes its way down the mountain in an anti-clockwise direction. Now, you have maybe wondered why Scotsmen wear kilts and what on earth they wear underneath them – I really cannot tell you, although, if they could speak, I am sure the Haggises could. You see the Haggises running clockwise up the mountain meet the Commission running anti-clockwise down the mountain. The Commission is always above the Haggises, who are very small anyway. When they meet, the Haggises stop running and stare straight up this Commission of Haggis Hunter’s kilts. Why, I cannot say, but they stop dead in their tracks and swoon and collapse – they are out cold. It is said, with a beatific smile on their little faces, but this cannot be proven as the hunters cut off their heads before returning home. And so, is the killing of Haggis cruel? We do not know as yet. More research is needed, but the EU are clinging to their claim that it is cruel and if they say it is cruel, then it must be cruel – They have reached this decision after, once again, wide consultations with themselves. We should note at this point, the sheer irony of the similarity in the titles of the clans’ people and haggis hunting tradition, and the major bodies of the EU. This, of course is purely coincidental and, let’s face it, the haggis hunt bears no resemblance whatsoever to the functioning of European Government.
And so, confusion reigns. The EU and The FDA continue to regulate something before they have worked out what it actually is. Now there is a further complication – artificial haggis. I know it sounds ridiculous but it seems that fear of regulation has driven some into creating a mix of herbs and spices, onions and oatmeal, placing it in an edible membrane resembling the body shape of a haggis and selling it as such.
I just do not know – Where will it all end?