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Respect for your food


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But there is nothing as cruel as nature. . .

Good point.

I don't think this is an argument you can make.

And its not an argument I did make. An argument has premises and a conclusion. What I made was a statement of fact (nature is cruel), and a statement of opinion (if I were a pig, I'd rather be shot by a human than eaten alive by a natural predator), not an argument. I didn't conclude or even imply that since nature is cruel, therefore cruelty by humans is acceptable. You read that into what I wrote.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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A few gunshots to the head can be a lot more humane that cutting the throat. If you've seen an animal slaughtered by having its throat cut, you know that this does not bring about instant death, as evidenced by the violent thrashing and squealing and gasping.

Both methods are equally humane or inhumane depending on the skill of the person doing it.

Well, you seemed indignant that this pig was slaughtered by gunshot and that it took a few shots to finish the job. You said it was "stupid cruel," and implied that cutting the throat is quicker. Well, assuming that there were only a few seconds between gunshots, I don't see how that shooting could be more stupid or cruel than slitting a pigs throat and letting it bleed to death in great pain. No matter how skilled the person cutting the animal's throat, death will not come instantly and it will be extremely painful.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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As for the fish, I would have walked up to the kids and given them a talking to.

Yes, definitely. You can't just watch something like that happen. Those kids needed some serious teaching, and the parents weren't bothering with it.

The food industry is so large that it is dizzying. I do not know very much about it, but I have no doubts that none of its slaughtering aspects are very pretty. Slaughter is slaughter, nothing will make it pretty, it isn't supposed to be pretty. I'm not sure what, if anything, can be done about it at this point. But this is no excuse for how I as an individual behave. Perhaps animals are treated inhumanely on an industrial level. This is irrelevant in terms of how I as an individual should treat animals. Drawing comparisons between the two things doesn't seem to have any basis in reality to me. I don't understand the argument of "animals are tortured all the time, why should this one incident bother you?"

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But there is nothing as cruel as nature. . .

Good point.

I don't think this is an argument you can make.

And its not an argument I did make. An argument has premises and a conclusion. What I made was a statement of fact (nature is cruel), and a statement of opinion (if I were a pig, I'd rather be shot by a human than eaten alive by a natural predator), not an argument. I didn't conclude or even imply that since nature is cruel, therefore cruelty by humans is acceptable. You read that into what I wrote.

And into mine

edited to add:

The cruelty was acted by the non-actions of the adults not by the curious child! As someone pointed out at some time most children go through it my brothers was moths and containers and various implements. For my sins mine has happened as an adult! As the human element has slipped in and that straight kill has become a mistake and twice the bang to the head or twice with the knife!

Edited by PassionateChefsDie (log)
Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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But there is nothing as cruel as nature. . .

Good point.

I don't think this is an argument you can make. Nature is not sentient. You (hopefully?) are. That 200,000 people die in a tsunami doesn't make it more acceptable when 200 die in a car bomb.

In context with the whole post it wouldn't get a response like this!

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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But there is nothing as cruel as nature. . .

Good point.

I don't think this is an argument you can make. Nature is not sentient. You (hopefully?) are. That 200,000 people die in a tsunami doesn't make it more acceptable when 200 die in a car bomb.

In context with the whole post it wouldn't get a response like this!

I absolutely agree. Your post was fine -- the quote was completely out of context. Which is why I was responding to the quote and not your original post, dig?

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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so it's ok to "disrespect" the animals you eat as long as it's not in the context of mass production? or as long as it counts as an artisan food? just making sure...

veal today is not simply "calf meat." the calves are restrained, starved, and given various types of hormones to keep them weak and tiny. a very painful existance. does it matter whether you'd choose to be a goose or a calf? no. my only point is that if you argue that animals must be treated humanely and slaughtered respectfully, don't flake out when it comes to your pate.

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so it's ok to "disrespect" the animals you eat as long as it's not in the context of mass production? or as long as it counts as an artisan food? just making sure...

veal today is not simply "calf meat." the calves are restrained, starved, and given various types of hormones to keep them weak and tiny. a very painful existance. does it matter whether you'd choose to be a goose or a calf? no. my only point is that if you argue that animals must be treated humanely and slaughtered respectfully, don't flake out when it comes to your pate.

Have I argued any differently did I sell crated veal, didn't I mention respect. But calves are a by product of the milk industry that was my point.

Edit: I'm personally against crated veal and would try not to serve it, my argument is that most commercial meat involves slaughter with a human element and humans are animals who occasional make mistakes. We dont grow sheep for wool it's for meat! But as long as the consumer isn't willing to pay the extra for the free range, the farmer is trying to make money, it's a business!

As for unethical farmers all I can say. Is I heard about a animal lover keeping sheep, refusing to dock there tales and from the local sheep farmer who had 1000's of sheep free range, he said not docking left more animals with crusty bottoms and a breeding place for flies. So much for animal lovers sometimes the farmers do know best it's in there interest to look after there animals! But until people dip into there pockets a bit deeper the farmer will have to contend with imports from countrys that have no animal right laws.

additional: Have you seen crab trying to get out of the boiling water as it dies? See your partial to your crab cakes! But then you eat that, so dont flake out when it comes to your crab cakes.

Edited by PassionateChefsDie (log)
Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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Ok- so why didn't you say something to the kids?

I know sitting back and getting pissed about it and thinking what rotten children and what rotten parents ect. is easier than going up and saying hey kids - what are you doing to the "poor" fish and giving them the lowdown on how we don't torture animals ect ect. ..... which Im about 100% sure they already know - they just need someone to tell them to cut the crap.

Killing pigs- sometimes even experienced pigkillers screw it up.

I don't think anyone has fun having to shoot a pig 4 times.

It's a quick death - the idea is that you shoot it so it stays still so that you can cut its throat quicker.

I think if you get shot in the head or your throat cut you probably go immediately into shock and don't feel any pain.

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I wonder if the pig was used in its entirety, or if the 'familiar' meats were pulled and the rest, tossed? 

I don't know the status of the non-familiar parts of the pig. By the time we got there, the pig was completely cooked. All I saw was two big foil-wrapped flattish chunks, the two halves of the pig. I don't know where the innards went. The head had already been lopped off, although I later found a thickly carbonized hunk in the firepit that was sort of recognizable as having ears and a snout. To be honest, that was my first inkling that something was wrong and we might be dealing with inexperienced amateurs, because I would have thought that the head would have been useful for something. At the very least, I would have thought the dogs might enjoy gnawing on a smoked pig ear like the ones you see in the pet stores.

Ok- so why didn't you say something to the kids?

I come from an academic environment. On campus, academic freedom is prized more than just about anything else. And because I'm surrounded by this attitude, I hesitate to speak to children about their behavior when the parents are within earshot. My students' parents can't tell me how to teach, but I also don't tell them how to parent. I myself am not a parent, and I certainly don't feel any right to tell other people how to raise their kids. I also was so angered in this case that I wasn't sure I could be reasonable around these kids, so I decided it was better to just leave the scene.

Is youth any excuse for behavior like this? Not in my book. Next time will I speak up? If I'm not again shocked into sickness, you bet I will!

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

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Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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I come from an academic environment. On campus, academic freedom is prized more than just about anything else. And because I'm surrounded by this attitude, I hesitate to speak to children about their behavior when the parents are within earshot. My students' parents can't tell me how to teach, but I also don't tell them how to parent. I myself am not a parent, and I certainly don't feel any right to tell other people how to raise their kids. I also was so angered in this case that I wasn't sure I could be reasonable around these kids, so I decided it was better to just leave the scene.

Not second-guessing what you did, but why do people feel they can't talk to kids but must go through their parents? I know some people feel that way, and some parents do seem to think no one should talk to their kids but I don't get it. Kids are human beings too; why should their parents be the only ones to interact with them?

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I apologise if this post is not directly related to the first post, but this is related to the title 'Respect for your food' in a way....

My 11-yo is having her birthday soon. Being born in the Year of the Dog, I made a doggie-theme cake for her last year. I told her then that this year I'll do a 3-d realistic-looking dog cake for her. I suppose both of us thought it was a great idea. But, now I'm thinking, when it comes to the cake/dog cutting part, will I be planting some sinister seed for the future? I mean, is it OK to be cutting into the adorable 'dog'? Would it teach her to be unkind? I don't know...I didn't take psychology in school. What should I do?

TPcal!

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Tepee, it's been awhile since I was 11, but I'm pretty sure that at that point I was able to draw a distinction between a real animal and a cake in the shape of one. Even a much younger child can tell the difference.

I haven't studied psychology either, but myself, my sister, and all my younger cousins grew up with my aunt's interestingly-shaped cakes - animals and cartoon characters were favorites - and none of us developed any tendencies toward animal cruelty. I say go ahead and make the cake the way you would like!

Edited by Knicke (log)

Nikki Hershberger

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Two oysters met two oysters

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because I would have thought that the head would have been useful for something.

Head cheese. Quebecois recipe. You boil the head and remove the meat to make a potted jellied meat thingy.

As for the cakes made into animals and kids eating them, when I was young, my aunt used to take me to this place where this old guy had people line up and he fed them these wafers, and they drank from this gold cup and she told me it was the flesh and blood of some guy. Now that can disturb a kid.

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Tepee,

Go ahead and make the cake. Even health food stores that carry only vegetarian products sell "animal crackers."

Your daughter is way old enough to distinguish between a real animal and a representation of one. It won't turn her into an animal-abuser.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Tepee, I agree with the comments above: kids know the difference. You won't be teaching them any bad habits. If you're really concerned about it, give the dog a really improbable coloring: pink with green polka dots, or some such.

My mother once baked a dog cake for my sister's birthday party, when my sister was about 4. Mom was really proud of that cake and wanted to be able to show it to Dad when he came home from work, but the party was in the afternoon and he wouldn't be home until evening. She planned to save the head to show Dad. Imagine her annoyance when one little girl attending the party absolutely REFUSED to eat from the dog's hind end! :laugh:

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I used to bite the heads off of animal crackers, and that didn't make me into a dog-kicker when I grew up! :raz:  :wink:

Let's not forget that the ears are the best part of the hollow chocolate Easter bunnies, to be savored, nibble by crunchy nibble! Mmm.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Being poked with a stick is just a walk in a park when compared to being gutted alive or eaten alive by another big fish.

I wouldn't make such a big deal over it.

OK: let's try it on you

:wink:

sorry, couldn't resist

milagai

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I worked for years photographing people who go to the farm dinners...I am quite serious when I say that dozens, if not hundreds, seemed surprised to see food that had dirt on it.

I'm having a little trouble visualizing this, as I usually wash the dirt off my food before serving it to guests. :blink:

Could you be a little more specific? Was there dirt on the food when it was plated? That makes for a gritty meal. Or were there baskets of freshly harvested produce displayed? Or were guests taken on a tour of the farm and surprised to see vegetables growing in dirt?

I'm sorry, but I have this wacky visual image of a hundred people at an Outstanding in the Field dinner staring in dismay at their glazed baby carrots in a clay mole with a sprinkling of vermiculite, served with a fizzy limestone water.

On the fish/boar issue, it sounds like these people really didn't have a clue what they were doing, and I would have run, too. Not just because their behavior toward the animals was callous, uninformed and gross, but because if they don't know how (and when) to properly dispatch their dinner, I'd have serious concerns about their ability to prepare it.

A group of us got grossly and uncomfortably ill after an annual overnight pig roast. Instead of our usual Sunday morning Bloody Mary cleaning up party, we were all drinking Pepto Bismol on ice. You do not want to go there.

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I have a huge problem with this paragraph. You are implying human values on an animal. Pointless, they are not human. Either you eat meat or you don't. If you really don't eat meat (and leather, etc) I highly respect that decision and even your wish to change the minds of others.

However, for those that do eat meat, there can be respect for an animal that you will kill and eat. For example, I can buy my mass produced turkey, raised in tiny cages. Or, I can learn the extremely difficult ways of the wild turkey, learn (HARD!) to imitate their sounds, scout (for weeks, even years) their habitat, learn to shoot well, get up a good-early hours and hunt that aninimal. Hopefully I then kill one (personally always saying a small prayer for it) then prepare it for friends and family. I AM respecting that animal a whole lot more than anyone purchasing commerical meat. I became part of nature's natural predatory cycle. Buying beef at Whole Food is not part of that cycle.

I kinda sympathize, but it would be hard for me to be too outraged without feeling like a complete hypocrite.  I'm sympathetic to the PETA-esque view that you really can't claim to be "respecting" an animal all that much when you rip it out of the water with a hook through the mouth, hang it up to die of suffocation or bash its head against a tree, and then cook and eat its corpse. I'm not sure you can claim to be respecting an animal even as you deprive it of its very existence. In the everyday meaning of the word respect, I wouldn't consider this a respectful act no matter how much was done to avoid unnecessary suffering.

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Not to pick on you, but are you a hunter? You seem to have some preconceived notions,

First, people hunt extensively with arrows today. The deer season is extended for those that use bows and blackpower rifles (sadly tenchnology is blurring the difference, they are quite modern items). Is the chance of a slower kill more likely with a bow? Yes. But the opportunity for a yahoo to take a 200 feet shot at a moving deer is eiminated, as you need to be near your quarry. That takes skill, patience and a closer shot.

Those who criticize hunters with the comment that (duck, deer, etc) can't shoot back are missing the way nature works. When a lion kills a gazelle we don't say that it was unfair becasuse the gazalle can't bite the lion. Man uses his skill (brains, technology {no assault rifles please) agaist the animal. They use their natural protection. For most species its a vastly superior sense of smell, hearing, vision, speed, etc.

Also, hunters never 'catch' anything. Fisherman and trappers catch, hunters kill.

As for their killing the pig ... well, I'm beyond horrified at that.   No. No. No. No.  If you're going to slaughter for a living, learn to do it right before you attempt to do it alone.  It should not be approached as a hobby.

If you're horrifed at a pig getting shot and needing more than one shot, you probably will want to avoid hunting any of your own meat the old-fashioned way, with spears or arrows, the way people always did it before the invention of the gun. :) The pig's demise was probably blissful compared to the way most prey die at the hands of hunters. If you're using arrows or spears certainly there is no gaurantee of a quick, painless death for the prey. Most likely you'll just cause bleeding and the animal will bleed to death over the course of a few minutes. If most hunters waited for a gaurantee of instant death before taking a shot, they'd never catch anything.

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The difference is that the fish eating the other fish is not capable or moral thought. As humans we are (usually) on top of the food chain and always on top of the brain chain to the comparison is irrelevent.

I used to bite the heads off of animal crackers, and that didn't make me into a dog-kicker when I grew up! :raz:  :wink:

Let's not forget that the ears are the best part of the hollow chocolate Easter bunnies, to be savored, nibble by crunchy nibble! Mmm.

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