Lamb Reigns Supreme, How would U.S. society / culture be different today?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Musadutoe, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Musadutoe Well-Known Member

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    There are a number of reasons that beef production and in turn consumption far exceeds lamb consumption in the United States. Some of the reasons have been lost to history or misconstrued. Long story short, there has been contention between lamb (meat) / sheep (wool) production and the cattle industry since the before the Revolutionary War.

    A major drawdown in lamb production was after WW2 when the U.S. military returned home and was further cemented with a change in state policies regarding grazing. With that being said, with a POD of 1945 and the U.S. servicemen coming home and not having an adversion to lamb what, what would be the most significant impacts to U.S. culture?
     
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  2. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Don’t sheep graze grass down to its nubs?
     
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  3. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    If the meat is known by the name of the animal(unlike with beef), you're probably not gonna see it become a vaguely macho synonym for various desired objects.

    Even if someone gets the same idea to use the same advertising catch-phrase as IOTL, I don't imagine you'd see two hard-drinking businessmen negotiating a deal at a bar, and one says "Okay, you're sittin' here givin' me a lot of candy-assed sweet talk, but I don't see and solid proposals on the table. Where's the lamb?"

    I guess he could say "Where's the mutton?" Somehow, that doesn't sound quite as rugged, but maybe that's just because we haven't been conditioned that way.
     
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  4. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    "Girl, did you see that latest lambcake centrefold in Cosmopolitan? Total six-pack."
     
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  5. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    Question:

    Why were the soldiers averse to lamb?
     
  6. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    Ethical vegetarianism might get a bit of a boost in this scenario, since people will probably be more susceptible to seeing cute, cuddly lambs sent to the slaughter, as opposed to dumb, lumbering bovine, who are rarely anthropomorphized in any appealing way.
     
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  7. Musadutoe Well-Known Member

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    To the nub....they graze closer to the ground then cattle, but have less impact because of their lighter weight. Modern grazing management policies can and have mitigated both issues for sheep and cattle.

    @overoceans All good points. The first thought that came to mind was the use of the word "Young Ram" which I am sure would generate it's own degree of innuendos of masculinity.

    K-Rations, eating cold congealed lamb meat and supposedly the British rations using sheep was even worse.
     
  8. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I’m seeing that both animals can cause a lot of damage.
     
  9. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Other than having enough pasture land to rotate, I’d like to know what these modern methods are.
     
  10. b0ned0me Well-Known Member

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    The last few years we have had sheep on our pasture, this year we have Herefords. Both of them eat the grass down very close, but the cattle are willing to eat some of the coarser growth the sheep scorned and they trample soft spots into a ruin. So they graze differently but equally, I think. For marginal land I think you would need to pay close attention to matching stock vs the vulnerability of the terrain, and mismanagement would ruin things quickly with either (or probably any) animal.
     
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  11. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    Worthy is the Lamb that was slain....
    Use Handel in a marketing campaign?
    ;) : p :)
     
  12. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about the implications for Christological symbolism of a lamb-centric N. American diet.

    I think it could do considerably more damage than the beef hegemony has done to stuff like the Golden Calf of Exodus, since the Lamb Of God is way more central to the Christian narrative. On the other hand, people manage to drink tubloads of wine without thinking about the blood of Christ, so maybe we'd be safe.
     
  13. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Part of the issue is that eating lamb kind of goes hand in hand with raising them for their wool - and America has never really been a big wool producing country early on, not with King Cotton certainly. Case in point, most sheepdogs are not American breeds for a reason - American dogs are nearly all hounds, retrievers or terriers, and our herding breeds were meant for cattle. Hell, even today, outside of the Rockies, you're more likely to see folks raising alpacas for wool than sheep. It's still kind of a cottage industry.

    It's not like with goats, where we mainly used them for milk and cheeses, and for some reason, didn't really start eating them too til ethnic restaurants made it trendy.

    You want Americans eating lamb meat? Gotta make them raise sheep for wool too.
     
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  14. Roches Well-Known Member

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    I assume it was the taste, texture, and method of preparation. I’ve had lamb, which I didn’t particularly like, but never mutton. But I distinctly remember my grandfather describing mutton as part of the rations he was issued by the Canadian army in WW2. The way he said “mmmuTTON” made it clear that it was not delicious — it was tough and had a flavour nobody liked. Geese and even swans from the ponds of Normandy were also tough, but were considered much better.

    I’ve been reading the Goebbels diaries, and he mentioned a plan (in March 1945) to increase the sheep flock and reduce taxes on mutton. I think the plan shows nothing better than how much wool he’d pulled over his eyes, considering it was impossible to feed the rapidly diminishing Reich. But it also implies cheap mutton was a food of last resort, and if starving Germans weren’t clamouring for mutton boiled for six hours served with ersatz sauerkraut, GIs weren’t looking forward to eating mutton... ever again.

    La Vache qu Rit, the Laughing Cow, isn’t much anthropomorphized, but she’s cute, and her mild, soft cheese taught the Vietnamese to enjoy le fromage. And America had Borden’s Elmer and Elsie. Still has, on bottles of Elmer’s Horse-Free, Gluten-Free Non-GMO Glue. They were anthropomorphic — a vintage ad archive has similar bovines from companies other than Borden, and penguins hawking Kool cigarettes, but few sheep. I do see your point, but Madison Avenue couldn’t, evidently, use cute cartoon lambs to sell meat even when they were telling people, via penguins, not to smoke Chesterfields even though nine out of ten doctors recommended them.
     
  15. Pesterfield Well-Known Member

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    Have abolitionists push wool to fight against slave produced cotton?
     
  16. b0ned0me Well-Known Member

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    Yeah mutton can taste like eating a woollen cardigan smeared in hand cream, but can also be nice. Lamb is usually nice provided it’s good quality and prepared carefully which will never happen in institutional food prep. However these comments only apply to Anglo-Saxon style “cooking”.

    Get somebody from south or east of the Med to cook you a sheep, OMFG so delicious tastiest meat ever. I’d rather have good lamb kebab than a good beefsteak any day.
     
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  17. Musadutoe Well-Known Member

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    All great responses and very much appreciated.

    Only one point of clarification. It is Lamb, not Mutton which would be the final meat delivered. Lamb when cooked right is amazing, Mutton.....that is another discussion.
     
  18. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Agreed that the way the Brits cool lamb its awful... took the Greeks and Arabs coming to US before we found more edible recipes for lamb.
     
  19. Nicola Well-Known Member

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    lamb under a year at slaughter , Hoggatt 1 -2 years at slaughter, mutton 2 +
     
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  20. Loki-L Well-Known Member

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    If the point of divergence is after WWII, there would still have been cowboys and all that stuff.

    An earlier departure might have made for a much greater effect on the nation and its culture.