06 February 2010

NYTimes op-ed: Eat more dog (or less pig)

A New York Times op-ed piece examined the logical problems of Westerners viewing some animals as food while viewing others as pets. The article hardly figures the whole tangled mess out (the author ends up eating a dog, so don't say I didn't warn you). However, it is one of those puzzles that makes you think.

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Josie said...

This is one of my biggest pet peeves with people. Why are you skeeved out by the idea of eating chicken feet when you're perfectly happy to eat a chicken breast - really, they're all chicken parts. There's nothing inherently more appealing about one part of a body than another. Same with different animals... if it is raised to be food, eat it. Social constructs are so weird.

Anonymous said...

Good work.Good to know there are places in Columbus, Oh that have decent vegetarian options.I will be visiting your blog frequently :)

deraj1013 said...

Or perhaps it is another trait that demonstraits the disconnect people have with where their food comes from. People in America are not comfortable eating dogs because within their socially constructed reality, dogs ihnabit the role of pets. However, the same rules do not apply for pigs, who are identified by society as food.

Sometimes, social constructs that exist in other cultures might seem weird, but they are instiutionalized as the norm within the social group. It might not seem normal to one person, but to another, it is the fabric of their society.

Personally, I try not to levy judgement against people for what they eat. But it is interesting tone the thought process that creates these beliefs.

Josie said...

Strangely enough (since I am not the vegetarian :)), I judge meat-eaters who will not confront the reality of eating meat. I have never personally killed an animal to eat it, but I think I could because I want to eat it. People who think chicken comes in neat little plastic wrapped containers bug me - a living animal was sacrificed for me to eat it. I should have respect and awareness of that reality if I am willing to eat it. Who am I to say a dog's life is more valuable than a pig's life? I should try to use as many parts of the animal as possible and attempt to only eat animals that were treated humanely.
Maybe I just extrapolated more meaning from the article than it intended (or maybe that extrapolation just led to one of my personal pet peeves :)). I regularly visited the cows that I ate as a child growing up. I loved seeing them in their pasture, happy, eating as much grass as they wanted and rubbing their wet noses. Even as a child I was aware of the well-being of the meat I was given to eat. It is a shame more people haven't had the opportunity to see their food-chain in person (Hey wow that steak actually came from an animal!).
/rant/ sorry :)

deraj1013 said...

I think we're mostly in agreement about this. I think the idea of the article was great; the method of arriving at the conclusion was just bizarre. The odd thing is that I'm a vegetarian and I agree with most of the points made by a guy who ate a dog. Now that is bizarre.

deraj1013 said...

And thanks for liking the vegetarian posts. I'm trying to create a somewhat useful resource.