“Eat This Vacation,” a food story in the Feb. 7 Xpress, is a glaring example of the disconnect that most humans have about food. The article was accompanied by a photo of a very young lamb and mother. The writer remarked about how lucky she was — while visiting East Fork Farm — to experience “hanging out with day-old lambs” whom she described as “snow-white fluff balls on their wobbly little legs.” But then, with no obvious awareness of the incongruity of her statements, she gushes over East Fork’s pepper-crusted lamb chops.
There are numerous daily examples of this disconnect. Dog and cat rescue organizations hold fundraisers where people who claim to love animals eat some species in order to save other species. When a cow escapes from a slaughterhouse and the media takes notice, sensitive viewers cheer for her to escape death and then they casually eat a hamburger. Parents take their children to see the movie Chicken Run and clap loudly when the chickens are saved from being killed. And then they unthinkingly take their children out for chicken nuggets.
Eating animals and their byproducts is a habit. So why do we rationalize and justify this unnecessary and violent habit? Why don't we choose compassion? Why do we refuse to see the cognitive dissonance of loving animals and yet allowing our habit to cause them to be killed? How can we alleviate this disconnect and move toward a more peaceful existence? Sociologist Melanie Joy provides insightful answers to these perplexing questions at http://www.carnism.org. I urge readers to open their minds and hearts and hear what she has to say.
Then eat more veggies and leave the snow-white fluff balls alone.
— Zia Terhune
Rachael Brownlee responds: It's not a contradiction to appreciate a lamb’s cuteness while enjoying East Fork Farm’s lamb chops. The article intended to bring these two facts into congruence. If you revisit the article, I hope you will see my excitement for re-establishing a long lost disconnect between food and its source. You are right to be opposed to mindless eating. Your examples are good ones. My goal is to make eating more mindful, even if it means looking a “cute” lamb right in the eye. The folks at East Fork Farm are good shepherds, and for me, this is a worth celebrating.