Ah, a juicy filet mignon cooked medium rare – my favorite in the red meat category. This Open Call started me thinking about why I am comfortable eating some meat but wouldn’t dare put some other cooked animals in my mouth. This could be “conditioning” or cultural, but there are plenty of animals and animal parts that I wouldn’t consider eating.
I live in the South, although venison is a staple for many people here, I won’t eat it. Rabbit – not a chance; lamb, forget about it…veal, no way. So why do I not have a problem with beef, pork or chicken? If I think about it too much, I wouldn’t eat them either.
This carnivore issue came up for me in 2008 while preparing for a trip to France. I usually study a basic menu of a country before my first visit there. I can then choose what foods I am willing to eat, and more importantly – what I do not want to eat. I kept some notes from my preparation for that trip regarding basic French fare.
These are some of the items on the, I WILL NOT EAT list:
Cervelles: Calf or Lamb brains
Chevreuil: Young deer
Cou d’ oie: Neck of goose, stuffed like a sausage
Civelles: Baby Eels, spaghetti-like
Lapereau: Young Rabbit; translation “baby bunny”
The list for the “will not eat” (for France) is fairly long – but these were at the top of my list. However, the meal I enjoyed the most in all of France was foe de veau, which is Calf’s Liver…with onions. I believe this puts me in the category of the “conflicted carnivore” for sure.
I never make a list of vegetables or fruits that I won’t eat – just animals or animal parts. It seems that my decisions are based on (a) whether or not I have ever fed said animal species, (b) I consider the animal cute, or (c) the thought of eating the animal or its parts is distasteful in my mind. Eating the heart or brains of another animal? No way. Beef rump roast? You bet.
I would like to say that it is foreign travel that makes me discriminate in my meat/fish/poultry choices, but to be honest I have a similar issue in the U.S. I just don’t make a list because I generally understand the language.
Recently on our trips to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and The Grand Canyon in Arizona, there were menu choices that I tended to avoid: Deer and Bison.
Personal photo collection: Yellowstone National park
From personal photo collection: Yellowstone National Park
It seems if I have taken a photo of an animal they are off of my menu. Especially if it is a "portrait."
I live a few blocks from a Korean Sushi restaurant and I don’t even want to see their menu; I don’t trust their “beef” selections. Maybe I should have been more discerning in France.
Photo From personal collection; Street cafe'; Lyon, France (2008)
My husband won’t even look at my lists, and tells me I am missing out of some delicious food; to him I say “bon appétit.”