Thursday, January 24, 2013

Surprise: Meat is a Dead Animal

One of my friends posted this article on Facebook today and once again I was reminded of something that people often don't want to remember:

Meat is dead animal. 

Plain and simple, if you are eating meat, you are eating a dead animal.  I was a vegetarian for the majority of my life and at the moment I'm not, so this isn't some sort of weird guilt trip I'm trying to put on people because I'm preaching about vegetarianism.  Just hear me out.

Somehow in the last ~hundred years  the distance between "us" and the raising, slaughtering, and processing of meat has grown greater.  If you had lived on a farm, you would have known that the cute little chickens that ran around your property were the same chickens you ate.  You'd know your meat had come from the body of an animal that was slaughtered, cleaned up, cooked, and served to you on your plate.  You may say "I'd totally be a vegetarian if that was the case!" but no, probably you wouldn't have been.  It would have been the norm for you.  Nowadays, that meat just seems to appear at the grocery store where you can keep it's origin out of your mind.

When you go to KFC, or McDonald's, or hell, the nicest and most expensive restaurant in the world, and you order meat, you are ordering the cooked body of a dead animal.  For some reason or another, over time certain parts of a dead animal have been perceived as less gruesome. A breast, thigh, or drumstick seem completely fine to eat, but an organ, brain, or leg is often perceived to be horrifying.  At the end of the day, there's seriously no difference.

So here we have people going to KFC and ordering dead animal and then getting upset and horrified when they are given just that... dead animal. Sure, it's a part of the animal you weren't anticipating, but at the end of the day, that's really all you ordered in the first place.

If you are given a piece of a human finger or shards of glass, well, that's quite a different story.

Here's a pro tip:

If you are like the vast majority of meat eaters and you'd prefer to not be given a brain, head, leg, or other part that looks too much like the actual animal you are eating or looks "like death" you should probably steer away from factory farming.  Get your meat from a place that offers local, free-range, organic meat and you'll probably decrease your odds of getting mystery parts.

Finally, I'll leave you with this video of Jamie Oliver showing kids what's in a processed chicken nugget and then being horrified that *spoiler alert* the kids still want to eat the nuggets anyway knowing there are bones in them.   People were mortified about this, but I wasn't.  If you are going to kill an animal, you may as well use all the animal's parts.  Various cultures have recognized this for centuries and it's really only until recently that our own culture has rejected this notion publicly, but clearly it's happening in the background, we just don't want to face the reality that we are eating dead animals.



 
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I've adopted the same commenting policy as seen here at Off Beat Mama (http://offbeatmama.com/about/comments). I won't post comments if they strike me as attacking, judgmental, rude, or unproductive. In general if you are willing to put your name to something, I'll post it, but remember to keep your words sweet, because someday you may have to eat them.