January 12, 2009

Ethical Eating

The conversation started out with where to buy a bus pass. A check cashing place next door to a Vietnamese market. Which has great seafood. Some of them in tanks.

"I can never pick the seafood out of the tank," said someone on my bus. "I feel so bad."

"But you do eat seafood, don't you?" I had to ask.

"Yes. But I can't pick it out of the tank like that."

"So, you're saying that you will eat the fish as long as you don't see it coming out of the tank you just looked at?"


THIS, people, is what I have a problem with.

Those who will whine about how they can't stand to see lobsters in a tank, cows in the pen, or, like most Californians recently, chicken in tiny coup. But they still eat the things from the conditions which they said they don't condone.

People do eat according to what they believe too. Vegans and vegetarians who do it to not harm animals. Some people will eat just about anything else but baby animals i.e. veal or lamb. Folks who only pick free-range meat products because they want to know that the animals have been treated humanely.

And then there's Ted Nugent who only eats what he hunts. I'm against hunting or fishing for fun--if you're out to kill it, it should be because you need it to nourish you, not because you're bored. So I'm good with Uncle Ted there too.

I believe that the sooner the animals I eat get on my plate, the sooner their suffering has come to an end. So I will eat any kind of meat from anywhere. I don't go around whining about how cruel it is that the chicken don't get to spread their wings because I buy generic farmed eggs coming out from one of those farms. If I really have a problem with that, I would be buying free-range.

I respect other people's food ethics. I just don't like people who act out loud that they care about the welfare of the animals but probably have no idea or don't even know where what they're about to eat came from.

Am I a bad person for not caring how the cows die for my burger? Probably.

But hey, at least I'm honest!

Oh and speaking of animal cruelty before coming to your plate. If I could give an award for "Most likely to convert people from eating lamb", Jamie Oliver's "Jamie At Home" cookbook wins that prize.

On his chapter on lambs, on the left hand page discusses the differences between lamb and mutton, and all the different cuts of the meat.

On the right hand side is a picture of the most adorable baby lamb on the planet, staring at you like, "Why do you want to eat me?"

Yeah, dude. Thanks.

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