I have written before about my conflicted thoughts on eating animals. I feel ethically torn because if I look at nature, the cold facts are that animals eat other animals. Cheetahs stalk antelope, sharks chomp on surfers, and spiders wrap flies in a web of death before swallowing them whole. No big deal, right? Except. Animals are animals and I don’t think we are wise to just do what they do. Rabbits hump anything that moves. If Steve did that, I’d kick him to the curb. Our behavior is to be somewhat more elevated than that of animals, right?
But, if I were starving in the wilderness, I would totally kill a squirrel, roast it over a fire and gnaw every morsel of meat off its bones to survive. I view that as an extreme situation, where the natural order of nature would take over. But in our every day, we’re not starving in the woods; we are perched at our desk, mowing down on a double cheeseburger with extra bacon. Kind of gross, right?
My husband and I recently watched a documentary on the National Film Board (nfb.com) called “Animals” and it’s all about a husband and wife who decided that, for one year, if they were going to eat meat, they were going to raise and then kill it themselves. It chronicled their inner struggle with the concept and in the end, they ended up still carrying on as meat-eaters but they left the slaughtering to someone else. They couldn’t do it. But they still wanted to eat burgers.
Unless I were ravenous in the wild, I honestly don’t think I could kill another animal, rip out its innards, strip off its hide and toss it on the BBQ. So I guess that means I should just fully commit to becoming a vegetarian?
My husband took up hunting a couple years ago, mainly as a means to gain the skills to feed his family should the apocalypse hit, and also the lure of FREE MEAT is rather strong in his mind. That being said, he takes no delight whatsoever in the actual killing of the animal. He feels the same sense of duty I do in that if you’re going to eat meat, you had better be able to see the process through from start to finish. He butchers it himself and fills our freezer with fresh game. I am not a huge fan of the taste of the meat, but from a moral perspective I would much rather have true, free-range deer than factory-farmed cow any day.
Do you give much thought to the animals you eat?