Monday, July 19, 2010

Almost persuaded

There are a load of vegetarians in my family, and every so often I consider whether I should be a vegetarian too, and then decide against it. I am a carnivore, bred in the bone. I was brought up on a farm where animals were for milking, fleecing, or eating. Oh yes, and for stealing eggs from. That kind of upbringing is hard to shake. It is especially hard to shake if you really, really, really, like bacon.

I do care about animal welfare. For years I have had the policy of not eating eggs that aren’t free range, and I won’t buy meat where the animals were not reared outdoors. This means that although I love chicken, I avoid it in restaurants and bought products, because it’s almost certain the chicken will have been intensively reared. I have had this policy for at least ten years. (I am not annoyingly strict about this, in that If I am eating at someone else’s house, I eat what is provided, so as not to be a nuisance.)

So why have I raised the subject?

Aug08 022

Because the cat is ignoring the mouse that has come to live in our kitchen. She has developed more sophisticated tastes. On Friday, when we were sitting playing Scrabble in the kitchen, waiting for the jam to reach setting point, she appeared on the windowsill with a baby rabbit dangling from her jaws.

I don’t blame the cat. It’s in her genes.

But being faced with such a horrid sight at such close range – “nature red in tooth and claw” – was far more persuasive that any number of lectures from veggies.

The cat is following her instincts. I have a choice. Why is it sadder and more vicious to eat a rabbit than a pig?


Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

I also have dabbled with the thought of becoming veggie in the past because I agree and try to follow Buddhist teachings...except for giving up meat. I just can't do it! I love meat in everything, if it doesn't have meat, it's a snack not a proper meal. But after watching River Cottage, I've been shamed into trying not to waste meat and use all the meat and offal. I think eating meat is fine as long people are conscientious about it. Which we are, I think (and hope).

Shafia x

Marilyn said...

Hi Sue,
I was vegetarian for a while some years ago, then I started to eat meat again as I simply wanted to. Now I'm vegetarian again because I don't want to eat meat and can satisfy my appetite without. Who knows, I could well turn meat eater again in the future but for the moment, I'm happy being meatless. Certain meats I've never been able to eat anyway - lamb and rabbit - and most food poisoning seems to be caused by animal or fish flesh, so I'm very happy to leave it alone. For now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for good stuff

Anonymous said...


Can I link to this post please?

Sue Hepworth said...

with pleasure!

Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions