I once stayed on a farm in the interior of Argentina, in the province of Mendoza. A place lost in the desert, close to the Andes mountain range, where the only pastime was horse riding.
All lunches and dinners consisted of barbecue, bread, tomatoes and wine; At breakfast, the menu was bread, dulce de leche and coffee. I don’t complain about this diet, on the contrary. Then I learned that two travel agents from the city of Mendoza would arrive the next morning. One of them was vegetarian.
I asked the farmer if he was prepared to receive guests who don’t eat meat. He thought for a second, smiled and, without ceremony, replied that he had bread and tomatoes for vegetarians.
And so it was, when the vegetarian guest arrived.
I was thinking about how hard life must be for a vegetarian in Argentina. The streets of Buenos Aires, without any exaggeration, smell of meat and coal.
And now Argentines are stopping eating their asado, not because they feel sorry for the cows. You simply can’t afford meat anymore. We go through this in Brazil, but our diet is more varied. We hold the wave well with other foods.
I’ve always been told that Argentines tolerate almost any trouble – the country, after all, lives in a permanent crisis – as long as they don’t mess with their barbecue. Government after government artificially held down the price of beef, fearing an uncontrollable popular revolt.
Now crazy Milei paid to see it and ruined the social pact parrillero Argentine, the Pax Argentina.
Obviously, Argentina’s free fall is much more serious than a rationing of chorizo steak. Milei tightens the garrote at the limit of fatal strangulation. One commentator even suggested, live on TV, that people skip one meal a day until the worst is over.
The barbecue example, however, is symbolically destructive. It hurts the souls of Argentines.
For now there is no sign of civil war. Monitoring the coming months.
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