Thursday, December 31, 2009

Slow, Ugly, and Flightless: The Animals We Turn Into Food


I was at the Outback Steakhouse the other night, enjoying a delicious filet of salmon, when an interesting question occurred to me.  Specifically, "How did mankind decide which animals we would use as our primary food sources?"  Why do we eat cows, but not horses?  Why pigs, but not raccoons?  Why chickens, but not yellow-billed cotinga?  I mean, have you ever TRIED yellow-billed cotinga?  For all we know, they're absolutely scrumptious.

After giving the matter some thought (yes, I do indeed think about these things), I've reached an iron-clad and irrefutable conclusion:

Human beings are lazy and stupid, so we'll only eat slow, ugly animals and birds that can't fly.

Yes, I realize that some people eat deer (cute and quick) and duck (flying), but you're not going to be able to get McVenison or a Jumbo Quack down at the local fast food chain.  Our major staples are beef, pork, chicken, and turkey.  Animals we can easily catch and that won't put up much of a fight.  You don't "hunt" cows, you round 'em up and slaughter 'em.  You don't go on a turkey "hunt", you go on a turkey "shoot".  As in, "There he is, Gomer, plug 'im!"

Speaking of hunting, where do we get off calling that a "sport," anyway?  Let's look at deer hunting.  Now, I've got nothing against hunting per se, if you want to take your rifle and blow Bambi's head off, that's your business.  But when your opponent's entire defensive arsenal is "run like hell", that's not really a sport, now, is it?  Oh, it might LOOK like a sport, but it's like entering gold-medal decathlete Bryan Clay in the Special Olympics -- it's going to be a completely one-sided event.  You want to make hunting a sport?  How about hunting tigers with a Swiss Army knife or going after mountain lions with a billy club?  Give the animals a fighting chance.  Hell, that's a sport I'd shell out a few bucks for on pay-per-view.

Which brings us back to why we eat the slow, ugly, and flightless.  We're wimps.  We're not going to try to mass produce lion meat, because there's a pretty decent chance that we'll be the ones that get consumed in the process.  Maybe barbecued lion ribs would be out of this world, but it's just not worth the risk.  So we go after cows and pigs.  They're slow, ugly, and non-threatening. 

Hey, I'm not complaining.  I love steak and chicken, and I eat them as often as possible, just like the good Lord intended. I know the whackos at PETA get all out of joint with the "God's creatures are not food" argument, but as far as I'm concerned, if God didn't intend for us to chow down on cows and pigs, he wouldn't have made them so damn delicious.  I'm no theologian, but I've never heard scripture quoted to the effect of "thou shalt not partake of In-N-Out Double-Doubles."  In fact, the only clear statement God has ever made on what we should and shouldn't eat has to do with FRUIT.  The first time someone ate an apple, boom, humanity was screwed for all eternity.  And yet the produce section remains well-stocked.

So anyway, just out of morbid curiosity and the desire to see a rifle-totin' redneck get mauled to death, here's what I'm suggesting.  Let's expand our food choices.  For every deer that a hunter shoots, he must also attempt to bag three other "non-traditional" sources of meat.  Providing the consumer with more options will allow us to finally answer the one question that's on all of our minds:

Does yellow-billed continga really taste like chicken?


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30 comments:

Brndoutw8ress said...

Holy crap I've never been the "first" one to comment, anyways I must admit that before this post the thought never even crossed my mind, but now...
Yea why don't hunters try it out with buck knives? Not to be all peta on your ass but the bible does mention no hoofed animals, such as pig-jews don't eat pigs but seriously they don't know what they're missing! What do jews eat on New Years day? We have always had pork roast with saurkraut! Just sayin.

otin said...

It always amazes me how your posts relate to me. I just had a discussion with a horse lover about eating horse meat! She said it was gross. I asked her how a horse was any different than a cow? They just are, was her answer. I couldn't argue with that! LOL!

Happy New Year!

Your posts are really the only ones that actually make me laugh to the point where someone in the house asks me what's so funny?

Beth said...

My grandfather used to raise cattle for beef. For a time, my sister and I were banned from the cow fields because we kept naming the cute little bovines. They ARE cute. I just hate to think of the ones I named becoming your In and Out Burger.

Now I need to go cry.

Eva Gallant said...

Food for thought, no doubt!

The Good Cook said...

Deer Hunters will tell you that if they didn't shoot some deer every year the deer would starve. They call it culling the herd.

My question is, do the hunters ask the deer "Have you eaten today?" before they shoot them?

Mr. Condescending said...

Well said! I was going to actually go on a big game hunt in 2007. You have to go in the african winter because the black mambo snake is dormant.

I had visions of coming home with a giraffe neck/head,cape buffalo, lion head, hippo head, and leopard skin,

The whole trip was only going to cost $10,000 but then I saw all these friggin trophy fees and it was outrageous. Plus they only guarantee you to end up with these stupid animals that look just like deer but with twisty horns.

Suldog said...

OK, a couple of things.

God gave a lengthy list concerning what foods to eat and not eat in the book of Leviticus. No roaches, for instance, but also no lobster. It had its ups and downs.

For Christians, much of this was amended in the book of Acts, which is why Catholics eat pork chops and Orthodox Jews don't. Roaches, so far as I know, are now permissible, too, but that doesn't do anyone any good.

The other thing I wanted to tell you is that I have eaten lion. It wasn't very good. Hippo, however, is delicious.

http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com/2007/08/mmmmmmm-hippo.html

Quirkyloon said...

My husband made bunny burritos not too long ago.

I was hopping mad!

Ha!

mean_owen said...

Knucklehead said: "but as far as I'm concerned, if God didn't intend for us to chow down on cows and pigs, he wouldn't have made them so damn delicious."

or, as one of my favorite bumper stickers says, "If God didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat."

(And for an interesting review of why certain animals and plants were domesticated [and others weren't], along with where and by whom, take a look at Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

lime said...

ok, my husband and 2 of my kids hunt (one of them is my daughter). we've also eaten porcupine, alligator, snake, and shark. does that meet the requirements?

Candice said...

I totally agree with you on your hunting stance.

Why do you think it's so popular among the rednecks? How hard is it to schlep your fat toothless ass, cooler of beer, porno mag, and AK-47 up into the deer stand while you wait in the dark for the poor defenseless animals to go and snack on the food that you put out for them?

Then they have the balls to take a picture with their kill as if really accomplished something by ridding the world of the big bad deer.

Hunt something worth hunting. Like child molesters..

Ivan Toblog said...

Nobody's mentioned that we eat chicken because Kentucky Fried Duck sounds stupid.

We do hunt child molesters. The problem is that it's a "catch and release" program. They should be stuffed and mounted.

Thanks for posting something original.

Michelle H. said...

My neighbors are avid deer hunters. They don't eat beef, strictly deer. The sight of pulling out the driveway and seeing a deer hanging in the tree with its belly cut open, ugh. Not for me (although I tasted deer meat before. Very sweet to the palate.)

ReformingGeek said...

Very funny as usual, Knucklehead, and I love Quirky's response!

I'm sure your "why" question was rhetorical but here's my two cents. Most likely, settlers eat what's available and easy to catch.

As for hunting, I don't mind it if there is some sport to it and the dead animal becomes food. Hunting for the sake of killing or for selling skin or other parts of the carcass, I'm passionately against.

Jenn Thorson said...

Well, slow means kinda fatty. Which ends up being "yum."

I would like to throw a lamb shank, though, into your theory... as lambs are entirely too cute-- and rather perky in the athletics department-- yet also tasty and good with mint sauce.

Surfie said...

My brother and sister-in-law raise animals for food, but no cows or pigs. They have goats, rabbits, ducks and geese. I'd have a hard time eating an animal I'd watch grow up. :( That's where a good old dose of denial comes in handy.

Mariann Simms said...

I always think it's amusing that people cringe when people from other countries eat an animal we aren't usually consuming. I was in Korea for two years and I'm pretty sure I probably ate dog...and you know what? It was damned tasty! ;)

Another fun blog, as always (dammit), Chris. :)

Judge Fudge said...

I'm reading between the lines here. Are you suggesting we hunt gold-medal decathlete Bryan Clay for sport and eat him?

You weren't?

How do you know gold-medal decathlete Bryan Clay wouldn't be absolutely scrumptious?

No, YOU need to up the dosage on YOUR meds!

jdemott said...

I don't eat many meats, because my digestive system doesn't tolerate them. But, fish, chicken and turkey work for me.

Your post made me curious about the clean and unclean animals noted in the Bible. God had some ideas about what we should eat and shouldn't, expressed in the Old Testament. A more educated person than me should weigh in regarding what applies to the OT Jews versus new covenant Christians. But, for fun...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unclean_animals

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Hate to tell you this, but the US is one of the few countries on Earth were the horse ISN'T considered an eating animal.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_meat

Jules said...

Moo.

CatLadyLarew said...

After the Wonder dog woke me up at 2:30 a.m. for a trip outside, I'm considering adding dog meat to the menu for this evening.

Happy New Year, Knucklehead!

Jeanne said...

I used to work at The Sportsman's Guide when I lived in Minnesota. I was mostly vegetarian at the time, and it was a strange feeling, working in Fish & Game Central.

Phillipia said...

Actually, yellow-billed continga tastes exactly like yellow-billed continga should taste, since it is yellow-billed continga...

It's late, I'm tired...forgive me.

honeypiehorse said...

Not humans, Americans. Italians eat horses.

Secretia said...

Cool written article, killing and eating, so very basic.

I like this place, I'm following you now!

Secretia

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

I once watched a hunter stalk and catch a deer with his bare hands. THAT was impressive. A friend of mine caught a goose and a bobcat the same way. Also impressive, and, in the case of the bobcat, stupid. But, eat 'em or not, that's hunting at its finest, if you ask me.

screwdestiny said...

I've heard that horse meat is amazing. But we have other uses for horses, so they are spared.

Lindsay Mauger said...

Ya know, i love how many people take this blog soooo seriously and some actually seemed to get offended (you know who you are). it entertains me. GET A SENSE OF HUMOR PEOPLE!!
;] good blog

Anonymous said...

hahahaha THAT'S NOT FUCKING FUNNY

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