Another all-day event today - a symposium on the ethics of raising animals to eat. It was a fabulous discussion: religious leaders, farmers and a roomful of vegetarians, all contemplating food with a face.
I was reminded how uncomfortable I used to be when my dad cut into the roast every Sunday and he would "moooo."
I have to honestly say, though, I LOVE meat - give me a big juicy steak, nice and rare; give me a crispy fried drumstick; give me a pound of hot Italian sausage or a Parmesan cheese encrusted pork roast; give me bacon, lots of bacon. I even like bologna with mayo and lettuce on white. And cappicola...yummmmm. And Thanksgiving turkey (even the leftovers)...double yummmm.
And since I traipse through barns and pastures nearly every day of work life, I can say that Maine's farmers are the best stewards ever. They do it right. I can honestly say that I have seen a few cleanliness issues but I have never, in more than 25 years, seen outright animal abuse at any of the 100s of farms I have visited. Well, they wouldn't let you visit, you might say. Ha - got you there = I also have never been turned down by a farmer when I requested an interview or farm visit. One of the farmers at the symposium today said it best. "I don't have a relationship with my animals,'' she said. "I have a responsibility.''
Still, after hearing all the talk today, I may bite into my roast beef sandwich and see some big cow eyes staring at me. Or hear a chicken peeping while I enjoy my chicken enchilada.
Maybe I'll just stick to salad for a week....