Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: October 9th, 2012
Care about cruelty to animals? Here’s what you shouldn’t eat

It pains me to write this, because several of my favorite foods are on the list. According to Yahoo Health, lobsters top the list. Sigh. I love the darned things, but a study done by Whole Foods several years ago, convinced the chain to stop carrying live lobsters. “They were persuaded by numerous studies that show lobsters can get stressed, are able to learn, and are aware of their surroundings. Many are held in storage facilities for several months.”

Veal and fois gras are also on the list–again, favorite foods of mine. Well, I have always known that veal is another name for a baby male cow. What I just realized is that they are often subjected to the same heinous conditions as factory-farm chickens. ”Just days after one of these calves is born, he can be moved to a crate so small that he can’t turn around. There, he’s typically fed milk or formula and is not allowed to exercise, which results in the pale fatty flesh for which veal is famous.”

Fois gras is fattened duck liver, which also has found itself to my dinner plate by a very upsetting process. “Workers restrain the birds and insert a long metal tube down its throat, through which they pump pounds of corn several times a day. After about a month of force-feeding, they’re slaughtered.”

The rest of the list–beef, eggs, pork, chicken, if factory farmed–all comet our mouths after suffering from some appalling, inhumane treatment. Two things I don’t eat are shark fin soup and balut. The former is literally made from slicing the fins off of sharks (a process called “finning”) and throwing the poor thing back into the water to drown or bleed to death. The latter–balut– is so unappetizing that I can’t imagine wanting to eat it. It’s an almost fully formed duck embryo still in its shell. Click here if you don’t mind getting very nauseous.

Back to the vegetarian diet for me, unless I can get my hands on some grass-fed beef.

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Comments

One comment on “Care about cruelty to animals? Here’s what you shouldn’t eat

  1. I just don’t understand why people care so much about the treatment of an animal whose sole purpose is to be slaughtered and eaten. I do have a problem with how sharks are caught and then only finned, I think that’s wasteful. I think if you want to write an alarming story about food, it should have to do more with how much of it gets thrown away instead of how it got to your plate.

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