I teach my kids that we harm no animals unless we are feeding ourselves or (less likely) defending ourselves. But we eat the muscles and soft tissue of animals. That’s a daily part of our diet.
I don’t hide from my kids that we participate in the wholesale, clinical slaughter of cows, pigs, fish, chicken and occasionally sheep. This is how we have our proteins available for purchase, neatly packed with blood absorbing inserts, wrapped in tidy leak-proof plastic. I have no shame in informing them that someone else does the dirty work of killing the animal, and then another person slices it up into the parts that we purchase by the pound.
I would slaughter, gut and feather a chicken in front of my kids if only to show them this is where chicken strips come from. Or a turkey for Thanksgiving. Not for shock value, but to guide them that a clucking, thinking animal lost their life for your dinner.
I was perhaps 5 or 6 when my father first taught me to catch a rainbow trout from a fresh water stream and then demonstrated how to knock it out (or kill it) against a stone, then to insert a pocket knife into the anus, slicing up the belly to the gills. Cross slice from below the gills down and remove the intestines, then toss the intestines to the other side of the stream for the wild life to eat.
That’s food. That’s how an animal lands on your plate. Someone is doing that ugly work for you every single day, nearly every single meal.
As much as I appreciate television hosts who are willing to tread into darker waters of humanity, they lose me when they back up, horrified, watching goats, sheep and cows slaughtered in front of the camera in 2nd or 3rd world countries. Seriously? You ate a cheese burger before you departed LAX. You had lamb chops outside of O’Hare. Now you’re horrified?
Self righteous hypocrites.
“Human Up”. You’re an omnivore. Stop pretending that this is some terrible 3rd world ghetto shit that you can’t even handle watching while a local thanks the animal then bleeds, guts and breaks down with a rusty knife, all the while praising their kill for its loss and their benefit, with actual reverence for the sacrifice the animal had no choice in making. Reverence makes these people more respectable than us because they looked into the eyes of their dinner and said thank you before they slit its throat. Meanwhile we got pissy at the register for having to pay an extra $0.10 for a plastic bag to keep the pre-packaged sirloin separate from our fruits and vegetables.
We continue to lose touch with the reality and humanness of what we are. That’s not a good thing.