Sunday, July 27, 2008

What's That On Your Plate?

Once upon a time, I wasn't a vegetarian.

One meat product I loved and still miss today is Jack-in-the-Box Tacos. They're amazing. Perfect taste. Perfect texture. I don't know what the hell they put in them, but I would love to eat one right now.

Back in the 1990's there was a rumor that Jack-in-the-Box used kangaroo meat in their tacos. I think we were supposed to be horrified and disgusted. I was thinking Pass me some of that kangaroo!

Yes. Kangaroos are cute. But so are cows! And baby lambs. Yet it's okay to eat a steak and lamb chops?

Personally though, I don't think what we eat should depend on any cuteness factor. It should be about how the animal is treated and slaughtered. How does raising and eating the animal effect the environment? Is the animal endangered or threatened? Is the whole animal used or is it needlessly wasted (as in shark fin soup)?

In terms of the whale issue, I'm against any killing of an animal that is endangered. I really don't give a crap what your excuse is; economical, cultural history, "scientific" research.......

But if a species of whale is not endangered or threatened, I don't go for the sentiment that whales are beautiful and majestic. Cows are beautiful and majestic too. Plus, we drink their milk. I mean that is incredibly rude. Thanks for the milk, Bessie. Now we're going to transform your baby into veal parmigiana.

Yesterday, Jack and I watched a National Geographic video about insect cuisine. I thought it was brilliant.

Okay, the idea of crunching on a cockroach or cricket does make me gag. But I wish we could all get over this.

Eating insects is healthier than eating cows. Hamburger is about 18% fat and 18% protein. Grasshopper is 60% protein and 6% fat.

It's better for the environment. Raising them takes up much less land. We could cut down on pesticides. Instead of spraying plants with chemicals, we could just grab the bugs off and put them in our cookie batter.

There's also the matter of saving fuel and eating locally. It's not easy to raise your own chickens in the suburbs. It would be very easy to raise your own insects.

Some of the original Australians eat bugs. While the new people are whining about the Bogong Moth invasion, the Aborigines are having a delicious feast. They also eat witchetty white grub and honey pot ants.

Ten grubs a day are enough for survival, and supposedly they taste pretty yummy.

As a vegetarian, would I personally eat a bug? Yes. I would have no moral difficulties with it. I wouldn't want anything too crunchy and it would have to well disguised. In other words, I wouldn't munch on a bag of crickets, but would be willing to try cookies made of mealworms or barbecued grub in a gourmet bush tucker restaurant.

Hey! I wonder if anyone is interested in coming up with a Jack-in-the-Box taco made out of bogong moths?