Friday, September 25, 2009

A Carnivore Speaks

This past week, Becky @ChefReinvented, wrote a reflective piece on the ducks she served at a dinner. Our intrepid Chef Becky chose to participate in the butchering of the ducks from start to finish. Her post made me think, and I was a bit shocked by my own reaction.

When Becky spoke of the actual moment the final cut is made, my initial reaction was something like “augh!” followed by a swear word. My secondary reaction was the same swear word, utter less aggressively.

I am not really big on butchery. Having worked the grill, I have had to portion out meats, make sausage patties & hamburger patties and it’s not what I call fun. Yet in my mind I always thought I didn’t care for it because I would never want to kill something.

Chef Becky made me realize I just don’t like to get dirty.

I have known many a female chef who can butcher with no problems, yet I have worked with male chefs who hated it. What I wonder is, if we did have to hunt and kill our own food, who would survive? Who would be the best at hunting? It seems to me that it could be just as instinctual for women as men if not more so.

Add to that the fact that my dad grew up on a farm during the depression, I guess that though I am squeamish, perhaps not as much as I originally thought.

I was a vegetarian for a few years, once as a child and once in my late teens/early twenties. Trust me when I say it wasn’t a fad. A vegetarian in my hometown is like a vegetarian at a barbecue: out of place. Bryant Terry asked me what made me give it up the second time and I was honest: the burgers my family ate finally wore me down.

I think that you have do what is best for you in the end, whatever you are comfortable with. I try to eat at least one vegetarian meal a day and sometimes get in two. I eat meat, though we now favor organic meats with no hormones.

I guess the lesson here is, we really don’t know how certain actions make us feel until we try them. Tanks to Chef Becky for offering an honest and heartfelt post on such a personal life moment.

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