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Edible Animals - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Edible Animals
My inner teenage boy was deeply amused by this billboard showing a spectrum of pets to food animals.

Me, I'm a pragmatist.  Anything I can get into my mouth and digest safely is potential food.  In practice, I strongly prefer not to eat other sapient beings unless I am starving to death, so things like cetacean, elephant, and primate are off my list of edibles outside of that context.  There are a few things I choose not to eat because I disapprove of their production methods; farmed veal exceeds my personal tolerance for animal abuse.  However, historic veal is in the same class as buckling for me -- used to be, all the milk animals would drop about 50% male offspring that you didn't need, so you dressed them out right then and had the tenderest meat ever.  That I would gleefully eat if I had the chance.  There are plenty of things I'd like to try, haven't encountered yet, and probably wouldn't want to eat routinely; dog and horse are both in that category.  So are insects, a key indicator that I am not culturally an American despite living here.  My everyday category is wider too: rabbit, goat, and lamb are all things I actively look for and order when I find them.  I also enjoy some animal parts that most Americans do not, including tongue, brains, heart, gizzard, and testicles.  I loved haggis the one time I got it.  However, I have tried kidney and wasn't fond of it; I really dislike liver and would have to be ravenous to eat it willingly.

These are all things that vary widely by culture and time period.  What are some of your settings?

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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2018 10:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I eat veal when I get it from the food boxes, but won't pay for it. From food boxes, at that point it will go to waste otherwise and probably didn't profit the seller, as its usually donated by the stores for one less thing to throw away. I didn't monetarily support the cruelty, so why not eat it?

Rabbit I would try if someone made it for me. I won't eat sapients like dolphins or elephants or crows/ravens either, nor endangered animals. Dog I would try, but I can't fathom why anyone would even consider eating cats, they're basically sapients as well and they're basically nothing but bones and sinew anyway. (Dogs, I'm not convinced are smart enough to be sapients.)

There are many ways in which I'm culturally not an American despite being born and raised here, but I'd have to be starving to death to even begin considering eating insects, I think I'd sooner eat dung. Maybe if there was an insect big enough to pull the meat out of it like a shelled shrimp or like eating crab or lobster, but no way am I eating the filthy exoskeleton of any creature. Shrimp shells are supposedly edible, but I think I'd puke if I ate one by accident.

I've been tempted to get pork uterus at the Asian market because it's so cheap, but I haven't yet done so despite years of thinking it. Maybe if it was ground up I'd be more likely to get it. Same goes for some other internal organs, but liver is right out, for similar reasons to why I won't eat kidneys or penises, large intestines or anuses - I refuse to eat any part of an animal that was associated with waste extraction.

Also, I think anyone fool enough to eat the brain of a vertebrate - especially birds or mammals - is taking their life into their hands.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: February 12th, 2018 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, that was me. Didn't realize I wasn't signed in.
polydad From: polydad Date: February 13th, 2018 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I adamantly refuse to eat anything currently engaged in the process of running faster than I can.

While I overall agree with your own policy of not eating sapient beings, I find our mutual policy somewhat narrow: How do octopi fit in it? A Giant Pacific octopus can grow to be very large and intelligent, but as small-r reproducers about 99% of 'em all get eaten before they're big enough to make a decent appetizer.
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