On the Road to Vegan Living
You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.
-Ralph weld Emerson
When it comes to food, I will eat anything. In my travels, I’ve eaten all sorts of creatures including bugs and insects. It doesn’t matter whether they’re airborne or grounded. It doesn’t matter whether they are served in one piece with their lifeless eyes staring at me. As long as other people at the table consider them fit to eat, who am I to refuse? It would be considered impolite. My only requirement is that the offering has to be cooked.
Once I was visiting a small village in the Philippines. The host invited me to the killing of a pig. He thought it would be something for me to witness first hand. He woke me up at dawn and took me to a neighbor’s barn. When we arrived, two of his friends were already there. They hanged the pig upside down and cut its throat and caught the blood in a cup. As the guest of honor, they offered me the fresh blood.
“Drink it while it’s still warm,” I was told.
“Sorry, guys,” I said hearing the pig still heaving in the background. “As much as I want to oblige you, I can’t handle raw stuff.”
I was glad they didn’t insist. After cutting the pig into pieces, we had barbecue and soup consisting of blood and internal organs. They went well with beer.
Lately, however, I find myself getting picky about what I eat. I think I’m becoming a vegetarian. I find meat and seafood don’t appeal to me as much as it used to.
I haven’t had a hamburger nor visited taco bell in a while. It doesn’t help knowing that the source of the meat can’t be easily traced. It has been grounded from the combined carcasses of cows raised locally in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world where health regulations can be less strict.
I have tended to avoid all you can eat joints as well, especially the Chinese buffets. The food tastes good and really cheap. But is there really a way of knowing what you’re being served? The news are filled with reports of contaminated food coming from China where animals are fed growth hormones proven to be harmful to humans. You also read reports about seafood such as shrimps fed with antibiotics so they can survive in dirty, crowded ponds. Next time you have diarrhea after visiting these joints, you’ll realize you get what you paid for.
I remember the time I told a friend from Utah about the pig-killing incident. he exclaimed in horror that we Filipinos are savages. He was dead serious in his indignation. He can call me what he wants, but I’d prefer the meat of that pig from the best steaks you can buy at Costco anytime. At least, I know where it came from.