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  1. #1
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    Burns Night and the Wild Scottish Haggis

    Tonight is Burns Night - the anniversary of the national poet of Scotland. A major part of part of a Burns Supper is eating Haggis. This post is a plea to those who while enjoying their traditional delicacy may overlook the now almost extinct Wild Haggis.

    The Haggis is a Scottish delicacy commonly consumed at Burns Night Suppers on 25th January. However, many of those Haggis are reared on farms and factory prepared to deliver a low cost product for the supermarkets. In the last 20 years or so the Wild Scottish Haggis population has been decimated due to lack of husbandry and care. The Wild Haggis is known for its strong game taste compared to it's intensively farmed cousin. This taste and texture is in part due to it having to subsist on the cold mountain slopes throughout Scotland. The Wild Haggis is also more muscular than the farmed animal. As a result of the differences in the breeds, the Wild Haggis is traditionally hunted on the eve of the Glorious Twelfth (the start of the Grouse season) to allow plenty of preparation during the autumn.

    Animals captured during the hunt are seasoned through the autumn and early winter. Experts in the field agree that the seasoned Wild Haggis is of exceptional quality, but due to the manual labour involved in the hunt and preparation time it is considerably more expensive. As a result, the hunt is no longer commercially viable and the Wild Haggis is being neglected, leading to a population crash. Last year may well have been the last opportunity you had to see a true Wild Haggis hunt in action.

    The spectacle of the Wild Haggis Hunt is one to savour. Due to the habitat of the Wild Haggis (the precipitous mountain slopes), the Wild Haggis has developed a peculiar deformity. One leg is always shorter than the other. The hunt takes advantage of this peculiar anomaly. The hunt consists of three groups: the Beaters, the Scarers and the Catchers. The Beaters run round the mountain clockwise, chasing the Wild Haggis who show a fantastic turn of speed using their habitat-developed legs to the full extent. Then all of a sudden, the Scarers jump out of the heather. The startled Haggis turns in fright, but owing to now being unbalanced with the short leg on the down slope of the mountain, they topple over and roll down the slope to be easily caught by the Catchers.

    As a show of respect to one of Scotland's rarest wild animals, the hunt traditionally releases the first catch of the day to run wild on the mountain once more.

    There are in fact two distinct breeds of Wild Haggis in Scotland. The Lowland and the Highland Haggis. Curiously enough, both breeds have developed one leg shorter than the other, but owing to the slightly less severe nature of the lowland hills, the Lowland Haggis has its right leg shorter while the Highland Haggis has its left leg shorter. This has led to breed separation as a male Lowland Haggis would fall over of he attempted to mate with a female Highland Haggis. In turn, this too has led the population pressure as the two breeds have become increasing isolated.

    So, please, if enjoying your haggis tonight, please spare a thought for the Wild Haggis and all those whose livelihoods are threatened by their demise.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

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    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    I was smiling when I started reading that because I knew what was coming!

    Different slant on the normal one though with the highland and lowland variations of the species!

  4. #4
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    There have been very similar concerns expressed about the spaghetti trees in southern Switzerland ever since a Panorama report on BBC television in 1957.

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I have always suspected my X wife was a Wild Haggis.....
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John259 View Post
    There have been very similar concerns expressed about the spaghetti trees in southern Switzerland ever since a Panorama report on BBC television in 1957.
    Worse still, spaghetti is often cooked using Di-Hydrogen Monoxide (DHMO).

    Although DHMO is abundant and easy to locate - especially here in Scotland - it is also a well documented toxin.

    Some known facts about DHMO:

    • is called "hydroxyl acid", the substance is the major component of acid rain.
    • contributes to the "greenhouse effect".
    • may cause severe burns.
    • is fatal if inhaled. Many thousands of deaths around the globe each year can be directly attributed to DHMO inhalation.
    • contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
    • accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
    • may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of car braking systems.
    • individuals become dependent on DHMO: it's removal from such individuals results in certain death.


    Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
    • as an industrial solvent and coolant.
    • in nuclear power plants.
    • as a fire retardant.
    • in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
    • as an additive in all "junk-foods" and many other food products.
    • as a major ingredient in many cosmetics.


    So there you go, not only are the spaghetti trees endangered, but we continue to pollute their produce with a known toxin. Perhaps there should be a petition to ban this dangerous chemical?



    / 'twas a good supper last night
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Tinto Tech For This Useful Post:

    John259 (2013-01-26)

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    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    Well Tinto, your entire diatribe on this product seems all wet to me!
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

  9. #8
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    I felt the message was important enough not to water it down at all.

    ...and I'm still trying to rid the vision of your X from my mind...standing there on the mountain, one leg shorter than the other.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  10. #9
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I always admired your thoroughness...

    Yes Tinto, it's a vision that still wakes me at night!
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

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