by Ping-Ko Chiu
Jonathan Safran’s Eating Animals has definitely succeeded in putting me off industrialized meat. I understand the environmental impacts and have been reducing consumption in general before this book. But further consumption reduction and doing more research on my food sources is necessary. Cooking for myself makes this much easier.
However, even after reading the book and talking with vegans in the book club, I still dont have qualms with killing some animals for food. When I go home, I know that my father will kill chickens on his farm to prepare meals to celebrate our reunion. This is what my Grandmother did for us whenever we went back to visit her. The chickens are their way of showing us love. I know that these chickens have been treated well as they roam the farm freely for the entirety of their lives. Some of them return to the shed at night. Some of them sleep on trees. All of them eat to their hearts desire on the farm. My father helps to preserve these wild breeds of chicken. They are killed at 7-8 months as opposed to 6 weeks on industrial farms. I consider their death as a transformation from one form of beauty to another. You may argue, who am I to make that choice for the chicken? I think we do just as we dictate the fate of many animals in our expansion of civilization. My opinion on that has not changed even after reading Eating Animals.
At the same time, as a foodie and cook, I do see that meat is an easy cop out for “quality” in a dish. I think a challenge to any good chef is to cook with new and alternative ingredients. That is something I have been trying to do myself. COVID makes this easier as I shop for groceries less often and would frequently have to make do with ingredients that are availabletags: Book - Food - Evil