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Contemplating the origin of meatballs…

Photo from The Guardian of Mr. Rayner

I just finished reading Jay Rayner’s piece in The Guardian describing his first encounter with the pick and choose (and kill) portion of eating carnivorously and I’m taking it all in.  One quote stuck out:

So do they think the consumer should be forced to face up to the realities of meat eating? Christine is clear-eyed about that. “No, I don’t think anybody should be forced to make the connection between animal and carcass, because that might put them off and that wouldn’t be in people’s interest.”

On one hand, I strongly believe that as Americans (and Brits, I guess,  since this is an article from The Guardian), we are disconnected from our food.  Part of me wants to say that others need to see and learn these processes so we know how valuable life is, even livestock life,  and make suitable choices based on this connection.   It doesn’t come from a slick package – it comes from a big ol’ mooing methane-maker in a field.

The other part of me is saying that is unfair.  As a (predominantly) free will society, I have no right to say anything regarding someone else’s dietary preference.  You ain’t gotta know how to kill a cow.  You can go and buy it from the supermarket.  We both stop judging each other.

But I’m not sure what’s right.  Do I really need to know how my food gets to my table?  I thought I did, so I started reading about it years ago.  But I don’t think it’s right to push this belief on others, or is it?  Thoughts?

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  • Sandra

    I disagree with the person who thinks people shouldn’t be aware of how their meat gets to their table. Everyone should know. It’s not about pushing a point of view, in my opinion. I’m not interested in making people feel guilty or in trying to get them to be vegetarian. My concern is mainly animal welfare. Current farming and slaughtering practices are largely cruel and inhumane. That is a fact. It is unnecessary for them to be so, and I feel that part of the reason they are so bad is that they are hidden from view. With more scrutiny and interest on the public’s part, I think that would make things more safe and humane. And yes, I absolutely do think that chickens, pigs, cows etc. deserve humane treatment. Why wouldn’t they? They feed us. Why don’t we respect this fact? I think part of the reason our society is kinda screwed up is that we don’t value living things, not even each other, really. I think even if you’re raising something to eat it, actually especially if you plan to eat it, you should treat it well from birth to death. And that is in our self interest. And lastly, since when should the world revolve solely around our self interest? There are other life forms on the planet besides us for pete’s sake. So there’s my comment. Thanks.

    • Snacktime

      Sandra you are adorable and earnest and correct. Thanks.

    • Meatball

      One of the comments on The Guardian’s blog brought up a really interesting fact – you simply cannot have the general public milling about a slaughterhouse, or even touring it. It wouldn’t be sanitary.

      I’m not really sure how people can know how/where their food comes from without endangering the health conditions of the food, as well as their own safety. Not to mention, not everyone lives near a facility.

      Maybe video?