Sorry folks, but today I am going to turn the volume down on the humour, and focus on something which I believe to be pertinent to the discussion on ethical eating. We all have heard by now the story of the beautiful baby #giraffe, #Marius, from Copenhagen Zoo, that was recently euthanised and fed to the lions, despite aggressive campaigning to save him. If you want to go through the debate on whether or not Marius should have been euthanised, there are plenty of news reports and discussions online. What I want to speak about specifically here, is the reaction of the general public to Marius being fed to the lions in front of onlookers, specifically children. I have to say that I really try not to think about animals and abattoirs or what even happens in between because it really really upsets me, and to be completely honest, it really gets in the way of enjoying Eggs Benedict with bacon. I mean isn’t this the point? Feeding a baby giraffe to a lion in front of spectators is quite PG compared to what really happens in order to get the sausages on the BBQ or those chicken nuggets into your kids’ Happy Meal.
Way before I came along into this world, my father was a long-haul truck driver in Canada, hauling pigs. I will never forget him telling me two things: the first was about the pigs that die of dehydration along the way or break their legs, and second, was their response to being lined up at the abattoir. “They would go crazy,” he said, trying to turn around while watching the pig in front of them meet their end. I try to forget these words so I can enjoy my Eggs Benedict with bacon, but maybe this is a moment for all of us to stop and ask ourselves if we can live with the gory details of what it actually means to eat meat. Are we facing the truth or are we ignoring it to suit our lifestyles? When I saw the picture of the lion eating a piece of Marius, it shocked me, I admit, but I had to stop and remind myself that as far as crimes against animals go, this was barely one…well comparatively speaking that is.
Thank you Marius for illustrating very clearly how ignorant we are about how our food gets to our table. If onlookers couldn’t tolerate watching you being eaten by a lion after being “humanely euthanised,” then how could they watch how their bacon or their steak gets to the end of their fork?
Good night everyone.
I’ve always been afraid to read it, but my next task is to read “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer
Have a lovely night everyone xx
Images have been taken from the bbc and smh.com.au, respectively.