Lamb, Hummus—an Ethical Eating Experience?

a picture of chunks of lamb marinating in a dish by The Diabetes DietCan you be an ethical carnivore? I asked the question in a post a few weeks ago as I’ve been reading The Ethical Carnivore – My Year Killing to Eat by Louise Gray.

The one-time vegetarian in me wants to feel that the food choices I make cause minimal suffering and don’t impact the environment as negatively as factory farming does. At the same time, I like following an omnivorous diet and think that is the best possible health choice.

So, what to eat?

Eat less meat

I believe in what small-scale producers do. They deserve our support, but their products are expensive and more of an effort to seek out. As many people have discovered before me, the answer is to eat less meat, which is what most people did in years gone by, and buy the best quality you can sourced from farms that treat their animals with respect and dignity.

Chicken, pork and beef are all problematic unless you buy them from farmers’ markets and small co-operatives because of the ways they are farmed before they are killed. The same applies to dairy. As for fish, most of the stuff in supermarkets comes from fish farms and/or is sourced from far-away countries, making it an environmentally unfriendly choice.

Unlike Louise Gray, I can’t bring myself to directly kill anything, hypocritical as that is. But I’m open to eating a lot less meat, trying out plenty of low-carb vegetarian dishes and including more beans and pulses in my diet.

Lamb – the ethical choice

I’m also happy to continue eating lamb, as the production of lamb doesn’t lend itself easily to factory faming. And there are sound arguments for it here. If you want to eat lamb in this country, it can be a challenge sourcing the UK stuff (an irony that appals me as a farmer’s daughter) because most supermarkets import New Zealand lamb.

Nevertheless, if you do find it, lamb lends itself to many delicious dishes, including this one – lamb with home-made hummus. This amount makes enough for two to three dinners.

a pot of hummus made by The Diabetes DietFor truly velvet-y hummus, you should take the skins off the chickpeas. I’ve done it—once—and it makes quite a difference. But it’s a tedious job. Skins-on chickpeas will still make a fabulous-tasting dish.

Lamb with Hummus

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 lamb leg steaks, chopped into equal sized chunks
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • I green chilli, sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • Rapeseed oil
  • 1 tin chick peas, drained
  • 3tbsp tahini
  • Salt and pepper

Mix the chopped meat in a bowl with a tablespoon of the lemon juice, salt and pepper, the sumac, chilli and one of the cloves of crushed garlic. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes, though a couple of hours will benefit the dish.

Blend the garlic, lemon juice and tahini in a food processor so a minute or so to get it as smooth and combined as possible. Add the drained chickpeas and two tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Mix well. Add a tablespoon of water if you feel the mix is too thick. You can also use a hand blender to make the dish.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the meat. Cook over a high heat—the meat will take about five to ten minutes.

Serve with the hummus.

My carb-loving husband made his own flat breads to go with this, but it’s fine just as it is with a salad on the side—perhaps a Greek one to continue the Mediterranean theme.

Allow about 8-10g carbs per serving.



17 thoughts on “Lamb, Hummus—an Ethical Eating Experience?”

  1. I’m really surprised that in the UK you import so much New Zealand lamb. I wonder why all the Australian lamb can’t go to the UK as processed meat rather than live export to countries where animal processing isn’t as humane?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I worked with a bloke many years ago who described himself as an ethical vegan. He happily eats oysters raw because he believes oysters do not have a sophisticated nervous system and are unable to think. Therefore, in this bloke’s mind, oysters are okay to eat as a vegan.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve heard that before, though in the Ethical Carnivore the writer argued that oysters do feel pain as it’s irritation that forces them to create pearls from grit (forgive my limited understanding of biological processes). If you did believe it and loved oysters, marvellous! I don’t mind them, but I’d never pick them at a restaurant.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m a big fan of oysters. I’ve had some amazing oyster meals.
        Yes, I did mention the pearls, but it wasn’t convincing in his mind. It wasn’t something I was going to argue over. I am happy to respect the choices people make when it comes to eating, so long as it is not harmful to their health or the health of their families.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes lamb is pretty ethical as it is largely grazed in places where you can’t grow much else – and someone I know is in the middle of a study showing (so far) increased levels of small mammals in sheep fields.By comparison the fields of wheat and rape are an ecological disaster.

    IMO venison is also pretty ethical, deer can quickly overpopulate an area and cause environmental damage. What better way to control the population that to eat them?

    I also favour our local largely grass-fed beef.

    We also have hares here but I wouldn’t eat them. Rabbits on the other hand where they are common can be cropped, as can be pheasants and partridges.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chris – deer is a good idea, especially if it’s sourced from the Highlands where they do quite a bit of damage to the trees. And rabbit too. It’s astonishing there isn’t more rabbit available to eat in this country, but we tend to be species-ist when it comes to deer and rabbit.


      1. Yes eating Bambi or cute fluffy bunnies offends some people. To a lesser extent the same is true of wild plants, it’s mostly the old folks nowadays that you will see picking nuts or blackberries or even nettles and wild mushrooms (care needed for the last one! Only a relative few toadstools are toxic but a lot more just taste bad)

        Modern diets are based on a very small number of species of both animals and plants. I’m including industrial plants in that.


      2. I know. At the moment the hedgerows near us are sagging under the weight of rosehips. Every year, I google rosehip recipes but have yet to get around to doing anything with them.


      3. Poignant memories of rose hip syrup when I was little, and picking blackberries for mother to make bramble jelly. Both off the menu now.

        One of my aunts had a farm and we used to help pick her Kentish Cob Nuts. Now that’s something I can still do and in fact I have some now that I just bought. Like ordinary hazelnuts with a turbocharger.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, that’s the best recipe I can find for them. An older neighbour remembers gathering them at school for the vitamin C in winter. I’d love to try cob nuts.


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