Tuesday, March 10, 2009

sustainability: the carnivore vs. the veggie

regarding the fois gras controversy:
(perhaps this is old news, but i don't know much about it, so maybe you don't either!)

"Food morality is not as black and white as we like to believe: it's possible to raise animals sustainably and it's possible to raise vegetables unsustainably. Neither side has a monopoly."

"Working to ban something that 99% of people never eat is not an act requiring great moral or physical courage...it's a confidence game in which participating meat-eaters, by agreeing to condemn something that they don't care about, receive the equivalent of a get-out-of-jail card, i.e., the right to feel slightly less guilty as they bite into that factory-farmed McNugget. Guilt and moral superiority are tradable currencies; the anti-foie gras camp exploits this to the hilt."

"If someone really wants to make a difference in the world...start with the fact that more than 12 million children here in the United States live in households where there is risk of hunger or malnutrition every day."

i think that the above-referenced essay makes some very valid points, but i tend to steer away from the moral relativism camp (in theory, at least!). just because mcchickens are grown by the millions and by comparison, very, very few ducks are subjected to gavage* doesn't make the process any less questionable. but questionable is what it is. when any animal is raised and slaughtered for food, there is pain involved. it is just the cycle of life. eat or die!

*gavage refers the use of a funnel inserted into the duck's esophagus to force-feed grain to the duck over the final 15-21 days of its life. those who oppose gavage assert that the ducks choke, vomit, and suffer greatly because of this process.

and here's some sad duck clip art, just to add some, er, red eye to your day.

"stop that, i'm allergic to grain!!"

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