Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What's for dinner?

The other day, I picked up a copy of Asian Geographic at the supermarket magazine rack and leafed through it. It was the 'Love' issue so I wasn't prepared for an article on dog meat. The article picked up on dogs as cosseted pets in Asia and then ran with it the wrong way towards the dinner table.

The pictures of dogs being slaughtered for meat just wrung my heart out. It wasn't so much the idea of eating dogs, but the picture of a skinned dog carcass that would be someone's dinner that got to me.

I suppose a picture of a skinned pig, lamb or cow carcass would have done the same. So it's not just the dog parent in me.

I know nowadays, all the ecological-minded chefs are pushing for rearing your own animals and growing your own produce. Or, if you couldn't do it, then get it from the farmer down the road. In other words, know what you're eating, or know who's producing it.

But how do you eat a filet mignon if you once knew it as Daisy?

Remember Arthur Dent at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where a cow comes up to him, introduces itself, and points out the various choice cuts on its body?

I would still like to put on my blinkers and think of my meat as a chop on a cling-wrapped styrofoam tray, not when it had legs and walked and had a mother.

Scott Adams, a vegetarian, once mused that if the sight of a cow didn't make you salivate, then maybe you're not genetically programmed to eat meat.

Well, the sight of Daisy doesn't make me salivate but a perfectly grilled sirloin does. So maybe this makes me a shallow, unthinking consumer. But quite honestly, if I think anymore beyond the styrofoam tray, I will have a problem with what to eat for dinner.

1 comment:

The Cat's Whiskers said...

I have long struggled with this issue of eating meat which has come from animals that are sentient.

By sentient, I mean animals that are capable of self-awareness, feeling and emotion. Fish, according to an article I read by a mystic (who could see auras and the energy field around living bodies), are not sentient. Nor are reptiles. But most mammals are.

However, what is worse, the karma incurred in killing another creature to nourish oneself, or turning vegetarian and causing dietary harm to your own body?

Because the fact is, some people can be vegetarians, no problem. But for others, becoming vegetarians requires supplementation of Vitamin B and iron (which are normally obtained by eating meat). The website: beyondvegetarianism.com contains a multitude of articles on people who have become vegetarians or vegans and whose health has suffered greatly as a result. The majority of human beings may not yet be sufficently physiologically evolved to be complete vegetarians.

I have no simple answer to this dilemma. I just know that I enjoy meat. But if I had to slaughter the animal to feed myself, I'm not sure if I could do that.

And I certainly couldn't eat a dog, or a cat.