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.
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 – a movie
- Jamie Oliver’s series on where our food comes from
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage series.
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?
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?