Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Here’s something that pisses me off – meat bigotry. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the idea that some animals are okay to eat while others are not, and it’s become an increasingly popular trend in this country over the last couple of decades.

The best example of this is probably the national clamor for “Dolphin Safe” tuna. Twenty years ago nobody knew that 0.000004% of their canned tuna was dolphin meat and, what’s more, nobody gave a flying fish. Thanks to an epidemic of “heightened awareness” to recent studies suggesting a rudimentary intellect in the animals, dolphins missed the list of approved sources for your daily-recommended allowance of protein. Not only that, but the enlightened folks who champion this cause portray even the accidental ingestion of a few dolphins (an unintended byproduct of catching tuna fish) as tantamount to cannibalism. Personally, I don’t care if the things can do advanced calculus and speak the Queen’s English – if they taste good with a lemon hollandaise, put ‘em on the damn plate.

And the poor tuna! Why isn’t anyone trying to save the tuna?

The downside to all of this moral posturing, of course, is that the rest of us who have better things to do than invent causes to support have to pay more for our Chicken of the Sea now that all tuna must be dolphin-friendly. I say let the market decide instead of a handful of well-connected egomaniacs who’ve decided their morally-imposed dietary restrictions should apply to everyone. I bet if they started putting cans of “Dolphin Enriched” tuna on the shelves for a buck less, they’d move faster than Charlie Sheen at an all-you-can-eat hooker buffet.

An interesting side note here is that a number of recent studies place the lowly pig on at least equal intellectual footing with our beloved dolphins, yet you’ll find few demonstrations in front of the local Jimmy Dean factory. Perhaps it’s because pigs just aren’t as cute as dolphins, or because Arnold wasn't as charismatic as Flipper.

This little piggy went to market. This little piggy took a swim. This little piggy looked good on toast with lettuce and tomato.

News flash – humans are carnivores. Those sharp canine teeth aren’t for grinding down tree bark, they’re for tearing flesh. It has been widely acknowledged that the evolution of the human brain can be traced to the introduction of a nutrient-rich, meat diet. We are who we are today because we started eating other animals. And what became of our leaf-eating relatives? They’re still living in trees...and they're endangered.

Let’s not forget the cultural culinary discrimination that abounds in our little global melting pot, either. We vilify the Koreans because they enjoy a good canine filet every now and again. Why? Because WE don’t eat them? Cows are sacred in India, but beef is what’s for dinner over here. To be fair to our friends in South Korea, a recent study estimated that only 10% of South Koreans actually eat dog. I found this news splashed on an animal rights website as if to suggest canine consumption is on the decline over there. But 10% of a population of 48 million is still 4.8 million happy dog eaters. I say Chow down, so to speak.

Tuna steak or Labrador filet? Take a bite - you'll like it!

How many of us have even tasted Dachshund? Americans automatically discount dogs as a culinary option based solely on some societally-ingrained moral imperative. The Humane Society is always bitching about the number of unwanted animals they are forced to euthanize. Here’s an idea. If they tweaked their advertising a bit and targeted the right ethnic communities just before Memorial Day weekend, they’d probably move a lot more mutts. And if you think that’s disgusting, here’s another great idea – Jack Link Terrier! (Note: if the JL Co. actually decides to introduce this in their Far East market, I expect to be paid. You are all my witnesses.)

The problem has gone beyond being merely a cultural bias, however. It’s a sort of national arrogance that seems to stem from having so much of whatever we want for so long. It’s almost like we feel we have to come up with fashionable reasons to deny ourselves certain things while in some parts of the world fishermen will suck the brine off a Goodyear if that’s all they caught that day. Maybe this country needs a good famine to remind us of all the things around us that are edible.

Personally, I follow one simple rule: If an animal is not human, it is okay to eat. Hell, when I found out that the Basques of Spain have some weird extra chromosome, they immediately went on the menu.

The bottom line is that we should be thankful that we, as Americans, generally have plenty of food to go around…and we probably ought to stop judging others for what they do or do not eat. If you want to eat dog, go right ahead. All I ask is that you don’t eat MY dog. One final thing thing to keep in mind is that a majority of the world’s citizens, ie. Muslims, believe that WE’RE all going to Hell for sprinkling bacon bits on our side salads. Chew on that thought for a second.

(Of course we all know THEY’RE the crazy ones – bacon is some damn good shit, y’all)


barnyardfriend said...

We are definitely lucky that we have the luxury of deciding which animals we want to eat or don't want to eat. The need to feed on whatever comes your way is/was real in the countries you mentioned. How much different is a horse from a cow really?

Roy said...

Excellent post! Basques of Spain have some weird extra chromosome.... LOL really funny. I agree with much of what you wrote actually, though I'm sure some of it was written in jest. But some of it is true! Why are some of the animals in this World taboo? Didn't God say that it is not what enters our mouths that make us sin but it’s the crap that comes out of it that makes us unwholesome (or something like that). And on the same note weren't animals put here on this earth for our needs? Why limit our bird feasts to quail, chickens, and turkeys. Why not a feast on fat Robin breasts or Blue jay meat? Really, why not?

Sideshow said...

Most of it probably has to do with sentimental nonsense attached to companion animals. I don't have a problem with eating any animals, hell, even Soylent Green would be cool with me if it was filling, nutrious and came in a variety of flavors.