It’s Come to This

I’m a bad cook. Seriously bad. By the time a woman reaches her mid-forties, she should possess a vast repertoire of go-to recipes that are repeatable success stories. I do not have this, partly because I decided to stop eating all animal products 2 years ago and so had to basically throw out all of my stand-by foods, and partly because I just don’t have that cooking gene.

I don’t improvise, for example. I follow a recipe and hope to hell it turns out as promised.

This coming weekend, in a week, we are hosting a big dinner at our house. Attending this dinner are my mother in law and my 2 stepdaughters who are foodies to the nth degree. And everyone eats meat. I just…can’t. I can do all the cleaning and I am a good kitchen assistant, but the I cannot be head cook. Nope nope nope. Luckily, Husband is good at wrangling food and slinging hash. And I’m good at looking busy.

Husband, who is the most consistently supportive man ever, reluctantly admitted last weekend that I am a terrible cook. This admission made me snort with laughter, that I actually got him to admit something unflattering about me.

Perfect attendance for me at work next week, for reasons I will explain later.

 

Why are Some Animals Pets, and Some Food?

animals

It never fails to upset my kids when I question their choices to eat chickens, eggs, cheese, hamburgers, pizza, and so on. They beg me to stop talking about it, and so I do. I understand that for them to stop eating these products would equal social suicide and awkwardness all around. I can respect that; after all their meal choices are not yet their own and often they eat at friends’ houses. To put restrictions (that some might find cumbersome or unreasonable) is a lot to ask. For example, every birthday party consists of pizza and cake. Yes, for their own birthdays I could come up with vegan comparables, but for all of the other parties they attend? No, that just wouldn’t work. And that might lead you to question just how committed I am to not eating animals or their products. To that I say, I’m very committed for myself, and I think some day soon when my midgets have more control over their food and feel more secure as independent people, they will see the light.

Everyone knows by now that factory farming is hurting animals, the environment, and ultimately ourselves. Right? Now we have a niche market created to ease the consciences of meat eaters; organic/free range/pasture raised animals/dairy/eggs. Some companies purporting to be organic, local and ‘humane’ have been exposed as frauds, but still people persevere in seeking a solution that will allow them to continue eating the same food as always, while easing their mental burden.

It’s ok to kill and exploit animals, as long as they have a chance to frolic first. That’s what makes it ok. Oh and sometimes the ‘kosher’ style of killing is said to be humane. Really? Ask Temple Grandin about that. She created a system for soothing animals who are being led to slaughter, because animals, like people, freak out when they know they are about to be killed.

The fetishization of bacon kills me. We now know pigs are intelligent beings. But should their intellect make any difference as to whether they ‘deserve’ to be eaten?

Lately I’ve really gotten interested in pod casts. I listen to them when I walk the dogs, ride my bike to work, and when I clean the house. Here is one of my faves:

Our Hen House (they are on Facebook too)

You can’t listen to this and still think eating animals is ok or necessary.

Yes there is some pretentiousness and rhetoric, but also an acknowledgement that being vegan is usually territory of middle and upper class first-worlders. There is also an admission that because in today’s world there are huge industries built around growing, selling, and promoting the consumption of animal products, it’s difficult for the average consumer to avoid them. Or at least, to make that shift is socially awkward at best.

Today I listened to the latest Hen House and they interviewed a person who is part of a team developing prophylactic vaccines for deer. These harmless vaccines last 1 year and naturally prevent conception. As we urbanize farmland and expand our cities/towns, we are creating a more hospitable environment for deer and therefore supporting the deer population expansion. Once the vaccine wears off, a deer’s fertility returns to normal. Grass, other plants (some of which grow year round), and shelter all encourage an increase in the number of deer living among us.

Yes, even when I’m walking my dogs and picking up their poop, I’m learning new information. Multi-tasking at its finest!