Monday, December 29, 2008

Reality Check

Pearl's post reminded me of a conversation I saw on Trading Spouses (don't judge me). A Ft. Lauderdale mom had switched with a Wisconsin* farm mom. The farm family had a chicken coop, and one day the Florida mom happened to look in and see a dead chicken. She ran to tell the kids (17 year old girl, teenage boy) that one of the chickens was sick and someone needed to do something. The girl poked her head in and looked for a second, and flatly stated, "It's dead." The FL mom was greatly upset by this, refused to believe it, and made the girl pick it up, carry it to the garage, and lay it on the cool floor with a fan blowing on it because, "He's just overheated." After a few minutes of this, she was still insisting it was alive and she even said she could feel a pulse. Once again, the girl felt for a pulse and, just as flatly, stated, "Yeah. It's dead." FL mom was finally forced to accept the chicken wasn't making a comeback, which is when she wanted to have a funeral for the thing (I don't know if they ever did; I doubt it.)

Later, in those 'alone with the camera' interviews they do, the FL mom explained that the chicken had probably died of the heat because it wasn't used to heat like she is, being from Florida and living at the beach as she does. The girl expressed her exasperation with the woman, because early after arriving the FL mom had talk about making a fancy chicken-based dish for the family. Did she not, the girl asked, realize they would have had to kill one of their chickens anyway for her to make the meal?

Two (related) things struck me about the situation: 1) the FL mom's arrogance and 2) her ignorance of nature and where food comes from. Presumably, the chicken had lived its whole life on this farm, experiencing the same four seasons every year. Meaning, the chicken wasn't suddenly overwhelmed by the heat and just couldn't stand it because it hadn't been exposed to a Florida heat. Secondly, the mom sounds like one of those people who thinks meat is produced in a factory, already plastic wrapped and ready for cooking. It seems to be a common misconception, considering how many meat-eaters think hunting for food is immoral. It reminds me of the scene in a Montgomery Troy music video, where the guy is driving through town with a deer strapped to his hood. He gets stopped at a red light, next to an indoor/outdoor cafe, where the patrons are horrified to see his kill...right up until their juicy, medium rare steaks are brought out.

Humans are omnivores. Animals die so we can eat. Deal with it. No one is saying you have to go out and kill your own food, we would just appreciate it if you had a rudimentary understanding of the real circle of life**.

And another thing: if you're against the use of leather or fur products, you should probably stop eating meat as well. Do you think slaughter houses just throw the skins out when they're done? Of course not, they sell them to companies who produce leather and fur goods (if they don't have their own business on the side).

I'm glad I could get that off my chest. I have been chastised by people for a pair of gloves I own (rabbit fur-lined leather), and I'm a little tired of having to explain to people that if they eat steak or rabbit, they helped make my gloves.

*I think it was Wisconsin, but it could have been a different northern/midwest state.
**Not the fake Disney one, where lions eat grubs and are best friends with walking pork chops.


KCTbiglake said...

While I strongly agree with you, my question is what happens to all those frogs without legs?

Angela said...

They're fitted with prosthetic legs and released back into the wild, of course!

majgross said...

I'm glad you got that off your chest also. Next time it cools off you should wear your fur hat!