Monday, September 22, 2008

Morality Bites

Kudos to reporter Monica Eng of the Chicago Tribune for this extremely thoughtful, frank Sunday feature on her decision to try to really understand what it means to eat meat.

I imagine the timing of the story was coincidental, although I can't help but note that it ran less than a week after writer David Foster Wallace died. Any vegetarian/vegan foodie will remember Wallace's equally frank, unapologetic observations about the Maine Lobster Festival for Gourmet Magazine a few years back. If you have time, check out ALDF's blog post remembering Wallace and "Consider the Lobster."


Tracy H. said...

I haven't read the article yet, but I will.

I just wanted to say that I first became aware of Monica Eng for a piece she wrote in which an upscale restaurant prepared raccoon for her. The plate was arranged to resemble roadkill.

From Eng's Trib story:

In a facetious effort to depict a scene of roadkill (Rocky was actually a nice healthy specimen cage-trapped in rural Stephenson County), they pooled and splattered beet puree across the plate. They painted curry-tinted lane lines and even printed skid marks and a raccoon face on edible paper. Other elements on the plate included shredded butternut squash, a white bean and tiny Chinese artichokes meant to simulate -- well, let's just say the chefs have vivid imaginations. Raccoon bits were scattered across the plate.

"Yeah, we can be kind of sick sometimes," Cantu admitted with a devilish grin.

Still, the dish was heavenly.

The meat emerged pleasantly gamy with a slight chew -- not unlike venison or bison. And the sweetness of the beets and curry beautifully played off the rich savory meat and earthy artichokes.

If eating roadkill is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Tracy H. said...

Well, I couldn't make it past the first page. I hate that people think there's an ethical way to eat meat. And I hate that Eng (at least from the short bit I read) and Pollan think it's hip to be aware of where one's meat comes from -- and even to kill an animal themselves. Yeah, it's good to know where it comes from ... so that you realize how horrible it is and stop eating it. Not so that you can justify it to yourself. End of rant.