Controversial blog – meat comes from animals

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Please don’t read this blog if you don’t really want to know where meat comes from.

Shock horror….did you realise that meat actually comes from an animal that used to be alive? I never realised this. I thought it came from Woolworths, and actually just grew in the plastic packet with the little absorbent pad underneath it! Of course I am being totally facetious, but I noticed a very interesting reaction to an email I sent with regarding the topic of eating guinea pigs.

Tom found a youtube video about eating guinea pigs. The video doesn’t actually show a guinea pig being eaten, or being killed, but it is very frank about them being used as a source of meat. The owners of the guinea pigs in the movie obviously love their pigs, and also obviously eat them too.

I sent to my permaculture email group thinking it was an interesting concept (and slightly amusing too), and got an interesting reaction. Some people thought I should have put a warning in the email as they found the content to be too shocking. I have been thinking about what that warning might be:

Warning: The following video may be shocking to some viewers. It toys with the concept that some people grow, kill and eat meat from animals. It doesn’t actually show the killing or eating of the animal. Even more shocking is that these animals happen to be cute.

Youtube: Eating guinea pigs

This video is very interesting, and a tad amusing too. What is more interesting is how the concept of killing a ‘cute’ animal, or an animal we associate with pets arouses such emotions. I am amused also by the comments in youtube below the video, such as ‘these people are monsters’ and the like. If these people are monsters, then isn’t anyone who has ever eaten meat a monster? All meat comes from animals, even fish. Perhaps a tad hypocritical and a little bit squeamish.

I am a meat eater, and comfortable with this. I have tried being a vegetarian, even a vegan in the past. I admire the discipline that it takes to be a vegan and to eat properly, but I lack the know how to do this properly, and the time it takes to source all of the right things, cook everything and so on. What does disturb me is a number of documentaries I have seen recently that show food production these days as a major ‘conveyer-belt’ like production, but involving live animals. These shows include:

Food Inc.
But I do believe in taking a pragmatic approach – I like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s (from the River Cottage series). If you are going to eat meat, then you need to be responsible about how it is grown, cared for, and respectful in how you slaughter and use it. Playing a part in growing and slaughtering your own food brings this message home beautifully, meat comes from a real animal, let’s make sure it’s life wasn’t a waste, let’s use it respectfully. But most of us can’t do this, we might work office jobs or live in a small apartment etc. So, where does your food come from? How is it grown? Do you have any idea?
River Cottage: Autumn and Spring

Since becoming more aware about where my food comes and how it is grown, I have started to ask the questions of my local producers, or change where I source my food from.

I sit here gazing outside at my guinea pigs as I write. Don’t worry, there are still 4 pigs outside. Maybe I should try one?

What have I become?

Dr Piggles

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Vincent says:

    There should be a rule, any animal that’s had a proper name should not be eaten.

    When I’m getting my chickens, I’m not giving them proper names, but codes such as B2, C3P0 or 007, and then I won’t feel so bad about eating them.

    But who would eat anything that was once called Dr. Piggles…

    Like

  2. Hazel says:

    Love Vincents comment but will he be able to eat the chickens when he realises they may not have names but they do have personalities etc?

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  3. Kerry Pickles says:

    What a great blog Geri. Being a vegetarian it plays on my mind how animals are treated and slaughtered. I understand that we (human beings) eat meat – I mean I was a meat for 30 odd years and only recently became vegetarian. So I get that that’s what “we” do. But it is really nice that you are getting people to think about where food is coming from and how is it grown, cared for, etc. Awareness is a great start, thank you.

    Oh, and please, don’t try one of your guinea pigs. Look at his face…to cute!

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    1. Geri says:

      Hazel, Vincent and Kerry – thanks for your responses. Hazel, I suspect you are right – once Vincent bonds with his nameless chickens he will probably fold at the thought of slaughtering them when they cock their heads sideways and melt him with those little beady eyes. He’s just a big marshmallow under all of that ‘I won’t name my pet’s and therefore not bond with them’ tough exterior.

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