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mikelbarnz

Jamie Oliver uproar?

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I dunno...piglets are pretty cute.  Do we eat piglets?

We do! Suckling pig. I've seen them whole, roasted on a spit, and I can't eat them, although I adore pork. They remind me of babies with those smiley faces.

My local paper had a front page section article once, about the life of a halal lamb, from birth to purchase, complete with pictures. They had even named it, Charlie or something.

Many people experience a disconnect between the food on the styrofoam and where it originally comes from. I don't really understand the point of showing it on TV though, beyond the publicity and ratings. We've all seen gazelles being eaten alive by lions on the nature channels, so why the fuss about a lamb?

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I'm going to ahead and say something that's probably been said and put it simply:

You should be able to kill anything that you are going to eat. It may not be easy, it may not be pretty, but you if you aren't willing to kill it yourself then you don't deserve to eat it.

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I missed the episode, but like most people on this thread, I think it was perfectly fine to show the slaughter of the animal, and like Clarissa Dickson Wright, I would have no problem if this had aired at an earlier time.

How many children watch cookery programmes anyway? Way too few is the answer, and JO with his young teen appeal has managed to attract a younger market segment than usual. But his young audience, I am sure, are at the seriously eeoooow save the world stage, so of course they’ll be “shocked”… but certainly not ruined for life. Good, they’re well able for it, and it’s high time that the positive side of the meat story was presented, and even if it means revealing the very natural food chain truth, it still plays out well against battery raised chickens.

My children are 4 and 5 years old and I would be perfectly happy for them to watch it. Of course they would feel a bit squeamish (as I would), but that’s missing the point. But then again, they will happily disect a lobster shell and pull out its eyes, so maybe they've got the point already.

As an aside, Gordon Ramsay in “The F Word” is making a point of raising turkeys for Christmas in his back garden so that his kids (and the viewers of course), get a true understanding of where their food comes from. The kids were even involved in a conversation about the possibility of having one of the turkeys put down because of illness

If you’re beyond “pukka” and all that, JO can be a bit grating, but I really think that his heart is in the right place, and I don’t doubt his sincerity. He was so young when he hit the big time that we have to allow for some irritating mistakes. Showing where your food comes from is not one of them.

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Kids are fascinated by the whole process, actually. As an adult, I am still squeamish about the killing moment. I'll never get over it easily, even though I was raised with goat, pig and cow butchery.

The butcher from Trodahl's Market would come out to our farm and after dispatching a chosen docile cow, the men would use pulleys anchored on a mulberry tree by the barn to hoist it up, gut it and cut out the sides. Then they would stand around with a cold beer discussing the various cuts while my siblings and I poked at the stomachs. The butcher would take the meat (and, fortunately, most everything else) back to the store, cut it to order, wrap it, and call us when it was ready.

I am an accomplished trout and salmon fisherperson, with a cover article on salmon fishing to my credit. I have gutted and cleaned my own fish from the age of nine, while cheerfully dismembering live crawdads and periwinkles for bait. I have killed, scalded, plucked and dressed my own ducks.

And I'm fine. Really. :unsure:

But when it came time for my SO and I to actually prepare fresh lobster, well that was a whole new experience. We picked the live lobsters up at the market. Their claws were rubber-banded and they were tucked into a small cardboard box with breathing holes. They were scampering and scratching, trying to escape. As we walked through the market, Dan tossed the box to me and I tossed it back to him. "No way, am I carrying this!"

When it came time to dispatch them, we both stood around making "eeww" faces. We didn't know where to stab them, or what to do. We'd heard they scream if you drop them in boiling water. So, not knowing what else to do, we dropped them in, slammed the lid closed and ran from the room.

So I agree with Corinna and Beets and other posters here. While it may not be comfortable, the act is part of eating. Certainly no one wants to force a child into this experience, but generally kids are pretty curious and willing to learn about it.


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For those who did not see the program, I think maybe the "gore" is being over-stated slightly. What I saw was one of the finest, most honest bits of TV in a long time.

They showed Jamie being given a knife but unwilling to do the deed. One of the family took his hand and pressed it down on the sheeps neck. The camera then focused on the obvious mental torture Jamie was going through and then cut back (pun intentional) to a dead sheep with a small amount of blood on the grass.

The scene then shifted to the sheep hanging by its legs and the men cutting off the fleece/skin. It showed a kids paddling pool with the entrails and a kid standing by looking a bit peeved by this use of his toy.

Our kids did not see it - they are all in bed by 8.30. The eldest, 6, would probably have found it interesting (but would be bored by the overall program due to the lack of characters from Recess) and would have shouted "grossss" over the paddling pool scene. I'm sure he would have asked about the killing of the sheep, but only in an inquisitive way.

I'm 100% on the side of "knowlege is power" as far as kids are concerned. Whilst I don't made a big deal about where meat comes from, I always explain what I'm buying when I'm in the butcher with them. That is a sausage, sausages are made from pigs, oink oink, etc. Usually causes a laugh.

Last weekends visit to the fishmonger was even better with my 3 year old passing comment on every fish on display "what's the ugly dead one called dad?" "monkfish, son". He happily stood watching as the fish were gutted and filletted and didn't blink.

So in summary, kids love gore; the sheep killing would have been the same as a Halloween episode of the Simpsons to most kids.

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After 56 years, I have come to the conclusion that what separates mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom is an incredible capacity for self loathing.

That and a fondness for bacon.

How true....how true.....

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To clarify:  i felt that only the post using the word "nitwit" crossed the line

into vegetarian bashing.

Others:  not you, so you may return to your regular lunacy.

:biggrin:

Milagai

Look at it this way, a person is so clueless that the only reason they decide to become a vegetarian (note: they'll probably still eat fish :wacko: !) is that JO slaughtered a lamb on TV! If I was a strict vegetarian I would not want them to be one. why? Because they are "nitwits" :smile: .

Right on the money -- and thank you, FoodMan.

I'm not bashing vegetarians. But yeah, I do bash nitwits -- sorry. But it's not as if I'm bigoted or nuthen -- hey, some of my best friends are vegetarians! (Okay, I done told a lie right there: some of my closest friends were vegetarians). I mean, fer Pete's sakes, I eat vegetables every day -- I ain't prejudiced. :smile:

Friend of mine grew up with animals bred for human consumption, and his parents named the animals -- which might not seem like a good idea, but well... The beasts were given names like Pork Chops, Ribeye, Chasseur and Coqauvin, that kinda stuff. It sounded a little morbid to me the first I heard of it, but I think it makes sense. There's something inherently hypocritical about a meat-eater who is unaware -- and refuses to be made aware -- of the fact that an animal had to die, to provide the good stuff on their plate.

I don't think vegetarians are nitwits. I think meat eaters who suddenly become vegetarians when they realize that their ham sandwich could not have reached fruition without the death of a live, breathing animal, are nitwits.

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To clarify:  i felt that only the post using the word "nitwit" crossed the line

into vegetarian bashing.

Others:  not you, so you may return to your regular lunacy.

:biggrin:

Milagai

Look at it this way, a person is so clueless that the only reason they decide to become a vegetarian (note: they'll probably still eat fish :wacko: !) is that JO slaughtered a lamb on TV! If I was a strict vegetarian I would not want them to be one. why? Because they are "nitwits" :smile: .

Right on the money -- and thank you, FoodMan.

I'm not bashing vegetarians. But yeah, I do bash nitwits -- sorry. But it's not as if I'm bigoted or nuthen -- hey, some of my best friends are vegetarians! (Okay, I done told a lie right there: some of my closest friends were vegetarians). I mean, fer Pete's sakes, I eat vegetables every day -- I ain't prejudiced. :smile:

Friend of mine grew up with animals bred for human consumption, and his parents named the animals -- which might not seem like a good idea, but well... The beasts were given names like Pork Chops, Ribeye, Chasseur and Coqauvin, that kinda stuff. It sounded a little morbid to me the first I heard of it, but I think it makes sense. There's something inherently hypocritical about a meat-eater who is unaware -- and refuses to be made aware -- of the fact that an animal had to die, to provide the good stuff on their plate.

I don't think vegetarians are nitwits. I think meat eaters who suddenly become vegetarians when they realize that their ham sandwich could not have reached fruition without the death of a live, breathing animal, are nitwits.

quoting something someone else said on some other thread

(can i get more vague than that?):

when in a hole, stop digging!

it does not matter *why* people become vegetarians or

whether they were raised that way or changed in mid-bite in mid-life....

so many people are raised without any knowledge of food;

scarcely know that potatoes grow in the ground (e.g. inner city

kids who have scarcely seen a veg in their lives; leave alone

actually raising a pig to slaughter).

so when people DO come to a realization of what their food

involves, why do you see it as "nitwittedness" if they react

strongly? would you prefer apathy?

and if the new found knowledge leads some to swear off meat,

then why is that an inferior pathway to being vegetarian?

i hate to keep digging at this topic, i am only questioning certain

threads of the argument....

milagai

edited to add: i should really stop reading this thread.....

then i won't feel impelled to keep on at it...

:hmmm:


Edited by Milagai (log)

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quoting something someone else said on some other thread

(can i get more vague than that?):

when in a hole, stop digging!

it does not matter *why* people become vegetarians or

whether they were raised that way or changed in mid-bite in mid-life....

so many people are raised without any knowledge of food;

scarcely know that potatoes grow in the ground (e.g. inner city

kids who have scarcely seen a veg in their lives; leave alone

actually raising a pig to slaughter).

so when people DO come to a realization of what their food

involves, why do you see it as "nitwittedness" if they react

strongly?  would you prefer apathy? 

and if the new found knowledge leads some to swear off meat,

then why is that an inferior pathway to being vegetarian? 

i hate to keep digging at this topic, i am only questioning certain

threads of the argument....

milagai

edited to add:  i should really stop reading this thread.....   

then i won't feel impelled to keep on at it...

:hmmm:

I have been lurking for a while on this thread and now feel compelled to provide a response (not necessarily my feelings) to Milagai's remarks. BTW, for the record, I am a meat eater and feel that the show was a good thing...and this leads me to my remarks:

Why I think this show was a good thing was because it is certainly true that a generation of children know very little about where food comes (I am getting to the vegetarian part...soon). Why should they know? Well, I am assuming that most of us are enthusiastic cooks or eaters, otherwise we wouldnt be part of eGullet. Kids may not necessarily be either, yet. But eating is something they will do every day for the rest of their lives, and one day they may start cooking too.

Consumption to stay alive and maintain health is one thing, and eating for pleasure another. Luckily, the two can be combined with a certain knowledge about dietary requirements and an understanding of food nutrition. Once we get onto the subject of food nutrition, then we enter the realms of organic versus inorganic farming, GM foods, and intensive versus extensive animal husbandry and generally where food comes and how it ends up being healthy or unhealthy (incidentally this is where the discussion of pre-packaged ,'ready-meals' etc also comes, but thats a separate topic.). From here on, an understanding is required of how effectively (healthily/nutriciously/or for optimum or preferred taste or a combinaiton thereof) these foods can be prepared.

So why see a lamb being slaughtered? I would argue that children need to know from the beginning where their food comes from. This has been said before. Why am I saying it now...well, an understanding of the morals of animal husbandry is not beyond children, and understanding the appreciation of the 'sacrifice' of the animal is not beyond them either. Therefore, treating that food with respect will start at a younger age, and the tendency to gluttony that is a current affliction of both our nations may stop. Well, it might help it stop if little Jonny realises that every time he orders KFC (etc etc) a chicken was sacrificed for it.

Learning how good food, meat and vegetables, are made, will help this generation of children look after their health a lot better than they currently are. The relationship of chips/fries/crisps to potatooes escaping young ppl today is worrying.

WARNING, small, non offensive point about religion follows...

Right, now, about the impulse vegetarianism. I believe in an omnivorous diet, from an evolutionary point of view and a religious point of view. I am a Hindu, and in our ancient scriptures, the Vedas, it is explained wonderfully how certain ppl, with certain types of constitution, or living in certain areas, or doing certain types of work, will benefit from different combinations of meat/veg and spices (this of course being an Indian specialty!). As such, when someone see a show like JO's, and suddenly realises where his or her bacon butties have been coming from and immediately gives up meat, it demonstrates a compulsiveness that at the very least is uninformed and at its worst, could result in them adopting an unhealthy diet.

So my arguement is, that if you enjoyed meat before watching the show, but are put off by it after watching the show, and want to give up meat or think that animal slaughter is cruel, you would do well to inform yourself more about what happens in these animals lives, more about intensive farming and more about nutrition certainly before you make the switch to vegetarianism. The evolution of mankind has taken us to a place where we are at the top of the food chain. It may not be our "right" to eat animals, but as long as we provide those animals with 'happy' lives, and then appreiciate the sacrifice of the animal to the utmost (no waste, cook it properly) then I am able to make moral peace with animal husbandry. I would rather eat meat once or twice a week, pay over the odds money for well raised and well prepared meat from a decent butcher, than eat supermarket chickens or sirloins every night and gorge on the meat.

I am not saying you cannot have a healthy diet as a vegetarian (there must be billions all over the world choosing to eat this way, they are all fine) but I have seen myself too many young girls (and its usually girls, dont know why) in clinic (I am a medical student) who complain of feeling light-headed in PE or something, and after inquiring, find that they have recently chosen to become vegetarian but have no clue about how to balance their diet and have therefore been living off chips...the lack of protein in their diet causes them to become anaemic, hence the light-headedness on exercise. This is worrying, and all too often the product of an impulsive decision, rather than an informed one.

OK, apologies all for a very long post, but I wanted to be balanced and get things across without making obvious oversights...I'm sure I made loads anyways, so if anyone's still reading this...away we go.

Raj

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There's a big difference between teaching children where food comes from and subjecting them to possibly traumatic footage without warning.

I love meat and my son knows full well where it comes from but if he were 2 or 3 years old (rather than 8), I wouldn't have wanted him to see this. It would have bothered him at that stage of his life and I believe that certain lessons should be taught when the child is ready, not strictly on principle.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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There's a big difference between teaching children where food comes from and subjecting them to possibly traumatic footage without warning.

I love meat and my son knows full well where it comes from but if he were 2 or 3 years old (rather than 8), I wouldn't have wanted him to see this.  It would have bothered him at that stage of his life and I believe that certain lessons should be taught when the child is ready, not strictly on principle.

=R=

There was a warning.

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There's a big difference between teaching children where food comes from and subjecting them to possibly traumatic footage without warning.

I love meat and my son knows full well where it comes from but if he were 2 or 3 years old (rather than 8), I wouldn't have wanted him to see this.  It would have bothered him at that stage of his life and I believe that certain lessons should be taught when the child is ready, not strictly on principle.

=R=

There was a warning.

Thanks, Adam. I'd read that up top but also wanted to respond to the "absolute" tone of a few other replies. I should have been more clear.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Yes I guessed so. The program was also heavily promoted for a week and these adverts indicated that Jamie was going to 'get his own meat' as it were. I think that in the UK there are always going to be a vocal number of people who are "outraged" as a hobby.

I think that this thread has jumped about a bit and maybe difficult for those in the USA that haven't seen the program to follow, but I don't think that there was any suggestion that you should take little X to the slaughterhouse to 'teach them about life'.

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Just watching Jamie Oliver, he's not killed anything this week. But he's been shown up at making pasta by a five year old :biggrin:

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I thought this movie was appropriate and rather clever too.

Quite. I'd more likely become a vegetarian after seeing that than after seeing Jamie Oliver slaughter a lamb.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Watching Jamie last night reminded me that the show immediately after him is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage series. Hugh tends to kill a great deal of animals on this show and I have never seen a word of complaint.

One wonders what makes the attitude towards Jamie so different? Is it the man or is it the lamb?

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