Where's the beef?
Traditional Thai dishes that have always been made with the meat of cows or buffalo are now substituting pork or chicken because of a growing reluctance to slaughter these large animals
There are always reasons for choosing the specific meat to be used in making a given Thai dish, and generally they have remained the same over the centuries. Khanom jeen nam ya (fermented rice noodles with a spicy pureed fish-based sauce) must be made with fresh fish _ dried fish, dried shrimp or pork won't do. Tom jeud bai tamlueng (a bland soup that includes the shoots of a morning glory-like vine) has to be made with minced pork, not minced fish or chicken, and kaeng som made with any kind of vegetable calls for fish and nothing else as the protein. Pork and chicken are out.
However, many dishes today that were once made with beef are being made with chicken or pork instead, as there is a growing trend to avoid beef in recent years.
There are a number of reasons why. The most important one is that people see the cow as a big animal that knows it will be killed as it is led to the abattoir. They feel sorry for cattle and feel it is best not to eat them.
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