This is my swansong
(I never even tried swan!)
This is my goodbye.
That’s me, a couple summers ago in beautiful Karlsruhe, about to tuck into a delicious Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) with sauerkraut and a potato dumpling, all covered in a gravy sauce. That pork knuckle was so good, guys. I couldn’t even finish it in one go, so I took it back to the hotel and finished it forkless for breakfast, and then I washed my hands/face/arms up to the elbows. Not pictured: The lard for the bread provided while my brother and I waited for our meals. My brother has not eaten mammals since he was a little child, and I HATE to see anything go to waste, so I finished the whole dish of lard myself.
I’ve always had a taste for blood and fat. Ribeye: rare. Leg of lamb: Bleeding. Burger with pink? Yes, and bacon on top. I love Popeye’s Fried Chicken most of all, when it comes to guilty pleasures. I’ve had (and loved) raw kobe beef. Beef tongue is awesome. I am a master chicken-roaster and can make a mean duck in red wine and orange sauce. Liverwurst sandwiches rock, as does pate, on a similar note. Braised oxtails are manna from heaven. Prosciutto could bring me to tears. Seared tuna, people! Giblets are the highlight of the holiday season, and BBQ is where it’s at, from the back yard to Woo Lae Oak. I could go on.
Anyway, my point is that if this were a matter of personal preference, you can guess what I would prefer!
My mom has an anecdote she likes to recount: When I was a little toddler, I met some fuzzy lambs, and soon after we were having my favorite meal: Roasted Leg of Lamb. Suddenly, I made the connection, distraught. “Is this like MY lambs?” I said, or something to that effect. “…Yes…” my mother confessed, and she started taking the bleeding, mint-jellied, fat-ringed slab off my my plate. I grabbed her hand and stopped her. “Lambs are cute,” Lil’ Anna admitted, “But they’re SO delicious.” (I’ve heard this story, with one or two variations, about other little children, too–apparently it’s hard to take meat from a child’s plate)
And that was that, for the next two decades! A twinge of guilt if I thought about it, but that’s easily amended with a little less thought and a little more A-1. But now, alas, I’ve been doing my research for a few months and come to the conclusion that I must end this sordid affair. #1 factor? Environmental. An industry that contributes more to greenhouse gasses than all forms of transportation COMBINED? And there’s me with my little bike and canvas grocery bag. Additionally: too many studies showing that non-human animals have much more sophisticated brains than I feel okay with, and the industry is a lot worse on the suffering front than I knew. I’m not a dualist, even, so I don’t buy that we have a divine spark so much as particularly developed mental abilities.
If you want a solid, informative, non-propaganda (but no punches pulled) piece of work to read on the subject, I recommend EATING ANIMALS, a book by Jonathan Safran Foer. Load of footnotes at the end you can check yourself.
Luckily, I am so un-picky I love almost all vegetables too. And I can eat oysters and lobsters and some other seafood with low impact/bycatch (NOT SHRIMP). It’s just a shame my favorite foods list is like a half its old size.
I want to end on a positive note! Here is a video:
EDIT: Apologies to everyone who clicked on the link I originally posted here and watched a horrible little dog with buggy eyes! I had meant to link THIS video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brdkeccSJPw
Also, check out my YouTube channel, if you haven’t already! It’s all singing, really, between Pirates of Penzance clips and me singing along to karaoke tracks: http://www.youtube.com/user/worseandworse