[lit-ideas] Re: Alternative food sources

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 21:40:11 -0500

> It occurs to me (not an extremely original thought, I admit) that if we
can eat chickens and cows and pigs, why can't we eat cats and dogs?

We (humans) do eat cats and dogs and rats and monkeys and roaches and grubs
of every sort.  Where did you get the notion that we don't?  Even human
beings are not unknown as menu items in some less picky cultures, just ask
Michael Rockefeller.  Not only that, we eat many things while they're still
alive or their raw flesh.

> Why does eating a cat or dog seem akin to eating children?

It's not because they're dogs or cats or children but because they're pets
that we're so averse to eating them.  Didn't you see the movie _The
Yearling_, for God's sake?  C'mon, man, it's required viewing for all
Americans.  And what was the moral of making a pet of that cute little deer?
Yes, that's right:  Disaster.  Once again we saw that father knows best.  So
the moral of all this is be wary what you make a pet of today, for tomorrow
you might need to eat it.

I hope we can put that topic to rest and get back to a subject I raised
three years ago on Phil-Lit that was roundly ignored.  I'm sure you all
remember it.  Scientists were discussing stem cell and cloning technology on
an NPR program.  One of the scientists predicted that in the foreseeable
future, man would be growing steaks in vast vats, not on cows.  Beef sans
cow.  He claimed they already know how to do it, it was a question of
acceptability.  I imagine factories of enormous petri dishes growing
tenderloin, prime rib, rump roasts.  Other factories would grow pigless pork
chops, chicken-free chicken breasts, etc.  My question to the learned folk
was then and is now why does this seem unethical to me whereas killing a
cute little calf for a veal cutlet is just fine -- mighty fine, in fact?  Is
it just the newness of the idea, or is there some ethical question at
stake/steak here?

Mike Geary
proud of my flesh-tearing teeth
in Memphis

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