Food ethics – killing stuff


I’ve been percolating on this post for a while and really it’s a multi-part rant of sorts so you may want to just click on by but I’m just gonna come out with it. I read a lot of blogs during my lunchtime trawl of the new real estate listings (still slim pickins I’m afraid) and I’m adding a new one to my blogroll as she writes really well and not only that, I agree with everything she writes about and basically is what I aspire my little place to become one day. If you only read a couple of her posts please make it the 2013 posts as they echo my mind at the moment.

From her July 2013 post:

“Our worlds are becoming so monotone. We have taken away the need to feel icy winds on a cold day, to eat the bitter leaves of a plant, to feel the resistance to our teeth from an unprocessed grain, to have the scratch of wool clothing against our skin, the ache of a worked muscle, the pang of hunger in our bellies waiting to be sated, or the need to relate intimately to death.”

“Our lives are so sterile that we have taken away all of the bitter things that make the sweet parts taste better, the cold that makes the fireside delicious. I think, to some degree, we need to have scratchy, bitter, chewy and painful things to be able to properly feel comfort and joy. I have had the luxury of choosing to connect with the life and death of these animals. I made the choice to pat them, to care if they had dry straw in their beds and a cool wallow on a hot day, and tomorrow I’ll cook them a warm pot of scraps for their last breakfast, scratch their fur one last time, look away as they are shot and hold a bowl under their necks to catch the blood when they are stuck, probably with tears streaming down my cheeks.”

“So many people tell you not to name an animal you are planning to eat. I would argue otherwise. The more distance we put between ourselves and the animals who provide us with meat, eggs or milk, the more we lose sight of the fact that they are sentient beings deserving of respect and compassion. It is this distance that allows us to perpetrate cruelty in the name of economics.”

Couldn’t agree with her more. I want to keep my own chooks, pigs and maybe cows and I’ve thought about their dispatch because I cringe at killing anything even bugs (I’m the type that will catch spiders and put them outside). I thought about maybe sending them off to an abattoir but after reading this post I think I would be happy to participate as she did but the actual killing part I would have to look away while I’m giving thanks to the animal for its life and sustenance. And strangely, I think I could kill a chicken but pigs and cows would be more difficult for me and I’d have to get someone else to do it. Not entirely sure why I feel that way because they all have their own lil personalities but it’s something I think I could cope with where as with pigs and cows I can’t. Maybe because they’re larger… no idea.

I have this odd habit of naming things, I name everything (my car, my ipod, my laptop included) so I would name the animals on my farm and I like her take on this subject and she makes a good point – slaughtering at home means no stressful transport and no strange holding pens, no stress to the animal which I think would be reflected in the quality of the meat. It’s the hippyness in me that likes the idea of them just going about their daily business in the sunshine not realising what is about to happen and then peacefully being dispatched. Well as peacefully as possible when it comes to slaughter, you know what I mean.

It’s the giant disconnect between producer and supermarket that makes me angry. (Not to mention the ethics of food growing both plant and animal but I’ll get to that in rant part 2 I think)  Jamie Oliver did a series on school lunches and I remember a segment where he brought in a box of veggies into class and the majority of the class had NO IDEA what most of the veggies were. And it’s not as if he’d brought in a bunch of exotic veggies either. That sort of scenario scares the shit out of me, where a kid can easily identify a burger or chicken nugget but has no idea what a carrot is.

I’m going to pick up on this topic in my next post as it’s getting rather long (and I’ve gotta get back to work dammit). Food ethics rant to be continued….

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