A Vegetarian Foodie

An up-and-coming restaurant in town provides wine pairing with a foodie’s dream menu. After perusing the website it became apparent that much on that menu is meat. Perhaps a blessing in disguise that getting a reservation is next to impossible.

Today’s lunch wasn’t too bad for this foodie at another 5-star restaurant with little brother and mother. But brother is too much like his sister and his sense of humor is to wave a piece of pork chop in my face to entice me to eat it. I’ve done similar things to vegetarians when I was younger. Tsk-tsk.

Before my argument was pretty flawless, when asked why I don’t eat meat I could respond with: I don’t crave meat anymore. As the conversation turned to a fantastic deal on a mink coat my face fell and the table realized, myself included, perhaps my new vegetarian “fad” is based on some moral issues and how we treat sentient, conscious mammals.

And, yes, I purposefully choose the word ‘mammal’ since I’m hard-pressed to give up fish.

Recently I read a fascinating article in Time Magazine, “Inside the Minds of Animals” written by Jeffrey Kluger and our relationship with them.

Humans have a fraught relationship with beasts. They are our companions and our laborers. We love them and cage them, admire them and abuse them. And, of course, we cook and eat them. Our dodge has always been that animals are ours to do with as we please simply because they don’t suffer the way we do. They don’t think, not in any meaningful way.

Within the piece, Mr. Kluger discussed how there are bonobos who are communicating with ease with humans, elephants that mourn their dead and ravens that are able to create and use tools. So to say animals are not sentient, non-thinking creatures isn’t an argument that I can subscribe to like I used to.

This certainly makes becoming a foodie more of a challenge.

(And so do these images.)


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