Fluffy carbs + meat = yay.
That’s just math, ya’ll.
I am not having many issues about eating animals. I GET that some people become vegetarians because they don’t want to eat things that they consider friends. They have a dog, say, and they know that pigs are as smart and funny and as weirdly individual as dogs, and somehow this overcomes the smell of bacon. I admire you, vegans and vegetarians, but I cannot be one of you. I am a more base and basic creature. The smell of bacon wins.
And yet I have very intense relationships with quite a few individual animals. Mango, for example. I would never, never, never eat Mango. And if YOU ate Mango I would be so deeply displeased with you, I cannot even tell you.
I also have a particular wild fondness for a red, red cardinal named William who came to my window feeder all summer long. It was a brave thing to do because the feeder sits just above my desk; I could reach out one hand at any time and with very little strain touch the glass the feeder clings to.
I sat right there, considering bird murder as far as William knew. And yet he came, so righteously beautiful and noble, because his fledglings were getting larger and they needed the food. I especially admired him because he never let Mrs. William come to the feeder. He would never risk his kidlets facing a full (and therefore unfed and fatal) orphan-hood.
He would come, fill his beak, and fly to where Mrs. William waited on my fence, two yards away. She would pick the seeds out of his beak into hers, then take them back to the nest to feed the fledglings.
He had to be VERY brave, really, because Mango spends his afternoons in the cat-version of a Barcalounger under that window. We call the feeder Cat-TV, and Mango bleats carnivorously and watches Sometimes he watches so avidly that he leaps at the birds, scrabbling at the glass and scattering them.
William is noble and brave and loves his family. Mango, a piece of my family, dearly wants to eat William. And if Mango ate William, I would be sad, but I would also shrug because I look at his teeth, and I see Mango is an animal expressly designed to eat other animals.
So am I.
I can’t speak to the claw, but Nature is quite often red in tooth because she had some marinara with her murdered, fried up, and utterly delicious squid. My red teeth are constructed to eat a varied diet. I am like bears and ostriches and mice. So are you. And yet, if you have ethical qualms about the meatier parts of eating, I say more power to you. Me? Qualmless.
Nor do I have a moral one. If eating animals was an abomination, God wouldn’t have made lions. Go talk to a lion about being a vegan. Perhaps he will consider the moral implications of eating other beings with hearts and wills and family connections as he leisurely picks his teeth with your rib bone.
But I have gray matter and a modicum of empathy. Just because I am good with eating them doesn’t mean I am good with MEAN-NESS pre-the-eating. That line is SO FINE, I don’t want to think about it too much.
It doesn’t help that food labels are so repulsively tricky and dishonest. We might as well stamp I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMAN on our “free range” eggs, because “free range” can mean so so so so many things.
And yeah, I hit my local farmer’s market —when I remember and have time and the budget for it. But I don’t have the money or time or facility for organization that CONSISTENTLY eating ethically requires.
BOOK IDEA: Someone write a proposal for a non-fic called THE LAZY MILDLY CONCERNED WANNABE ETHICAL-ISH EATER WHO DOES NOT HAVE A TRUST FUND where you guilt me into committing to feeding my family as kindly as I can, given my budget.
That may mean LESS meat and more beans, which, fine. But find me some meat, please. You should also keep a running database of who is actually DOING IT RIGHT and who is just a smarmy repulsive labeling genius tricking me into eating tortured piglets who came out of sows in those repulsive birthing cages.
Make a website to go with the book and keep a running database. Make a PHONE AP! Make guidelines to get on or even be allowed to advertise on the site. Keep a list of restaurants in every area who are committed to using local ethically sourced products. I WOULD JOIN THAT. I WOULD BUY THAT.
In other words? DO THE WORK FOR ME, AND I SWEAR I WILL BE ETHICAL.
A lot of people would buy that and join that. I think thousands and thousands would do it if someone did the work.
You would be such a squidzillionaire YOU personally would be able to afford to eat only cows that had been raised INSIDE an Elizabeth Arden day spa, each of their numbered days a festival of hugs and hot stone hoof massages, being fed on organic spring mix with hand laved corn-shaving and Vidalia relish with a titillating spruce of mint.
Or does such a book/website/app/database EXIST? Already? And I am just too poor a googler to find it? Would you use such a resource? Do you care about this at all, or do you just eat it and shut up, or are you a vegan who thinks I should strive to have a stronger moral compass than your average lion. CHIME IN. I want to know.
In the meantime, I need a chest freezer and half of one of Kira’s nun-raised cows.