Air New Zealand has been lambasted for serving Business Class passengers a burger without meat in it, which is obviously an assault on the NZ economy. Here The Spinoff’s leading New Zealander, Madeleine Chapman, recounts the day in the life of a true patriot
Every night, before I slide beneath my All Blacks™ duvet cover, I retrieve a sheepskin pouch from my rimu bedside table, open it, extract a piece of medium rare New Zealand beef steak, and take a bite. I do this because I am a patriot.
It’s not that hard to be patriotic when it comes to food, and yet Air New Zealand has failed. They’ve succumbed to the pressures of fringe activist group known as Vegetarians, or People Who Don’t Want To Eat Meat This One Time, and introduced a vegan “Impossible Burger” to not one but two flights in their schedule.
“We’re confident vegetarians, flexitarians and dedicated meat lovers alike will enjoy the delicious taste of the Impossible Burger, but for those who want to stay with the tried and true it will sit alongside our regular selection of menu items,” said an Air New Zealand press release in a blatant attempt to downplay this national incident.
NZ First primary industry spokesman Mark Patterson has spoken for patriots around the country in criticising the promotion of fraudulent cow flesh. “The national carrier should be showcasing our premium quality grass-fed New Zealand red meat, not promoting a product that has the potential to pose an existential threat to New Zealand’s second biggest export earner,” Patterson said.
The impact has been so strong that it’s travelled back in time and led to meat being named New Zealand’s third biggest export earner last year, behind dairy and tourism.
While our beloved country’s national carrier attempts to singlehandedly bring down the economy, we, the people, are not entirely powerless. Former primary industry spokesman Nathan Guy suggested that Air New Zealand “should be pushing our premium products and helping sell NZ to the world”.
I’ll be pushing our premium products through the art of consumption and living a patriotic New Zealand life. Here is my planner for today. You can either follow it to the letter, or admit to yourself that you hate your country.
0600 I wake to the sounds of Mt Eden fauna. I live in Mt Eden in order to be close to Eden Park and the All Blacks.
0700 For breakfast I drink a glass of full-fat milk, expressed from a New Zealand cow, and eat a full block of Kāpiti brie cheese.
0800 On my walk to work I pause for a moment of silence outside Eden Park and vow to fight any charity event wanting to be held there.
0900 My boss Duncan Greive walks by my desk. He’s a vegetarian and has not eaten New Zealand meat in years. I punch him in the face for my country.
1200 For lunch I walk to the local fish and chip shop and order the fish of the day, a meat patty and kūmara fries. I pay $6.50 for two squirts of Wattie’s tomato sauce.
1500 I’ve hit the 3pm slump and need a pick-me-up. Another nameless vegetarian in the office offers me a vegan snack. I throw it on the ground and open a block of Whittaker’s chocolate, pausing only to wonder when they will introduce a special block with chunks of beef.
1700 As I’m leaving the office, I overhear my colleagues saying that thanks to Air New Zealand, they’ve forgotten beef even exists. I call the police.
1730 I fly to Wellington on an Air New Zealand flight. I accept the complimentary cheese and crackers but don’t eat the crackers. I give the child proffering a basket of lollies a death stare and denounce her as a traitor.
1830 For dinner I place two rump steaks on the footpath and let the setting sun cook them for 90 seconds. If your steak’s not still bleeding when you eat it, you’re doing a disservice to your fellow countrymen.
1900 For dessert I eat a pavlova with kiwifruit and meat. I’m allergic to egg whites and kiwifruit but I eat them anyway because I love my country.
2000 An hour is put aside to make overseas calls. I find a directory and call random citizens around the world to tell them about New Zealand beef and lamb.
2100 I bathe in milk like Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. I haven’t seen the movie because it wasn’t made here but I saw a picture once by accident.
2115 I dry myself with the skin of a possum and brush my teeth with a silver fern.
In the whole day, I do not think about vegetarians or vegans once. In fact, I forget they exist. But now, with Air New Zealand and their despicable unKiwi burger, vegans are being pandered to. They may have to fly to Los Angeles and be in Business Class before October, but they’re being pandered to. Not catered, pandered. Think of the other passengers whose menu will be unchanged. Think of the cows who might miss out on being killed for food. Think of Mark Patterson and Nathan Guy, desperately fighting the good fight. Think of all this and realise there’s only one solution: we need to jail all the vegans.
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The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.