With all this fear of Swine Flu going around, one is forced to hear and see a lot of information about pigs. I first saw a pig, when I was a few years old. I used to travel to school via the Kodambakkam high road and at the large dump yard which is now right across from the new Onyx dump yard, I used to see dirty pigs comfortably rolling in filth. I abhored pigs. Having seen those pigs, I wondered how people ate pork. But then, I saw this movie – “Charlotte’s web“. It’s kind of hard to not love a cute pink pig, that talks so sweetly and seems so innocent. So while I still abhor pork, I am now in a better position with respect to tolerating the pigs themselves.
Now that I have established my position on the interest in this animal, you can imagine my reaction at listening to this piece on the radio.
At the end, I was saying aloud.. “Do you guys even listen to yourselves?” This last section just drove me crazy..
“They had a spring in their step. They played in the sunlight and nuzzled each other in the mud. They made a lot of healthy noise. And Ermine was, well…delicious.”
I’ve been mulling over this for the past few days. I argued it, and counter-argued it inside my head.
Nri Maami (me): Firstly, how can they kill an animal and eat it.
The other Nri Maami (my head): Get over it, everyone does not think like you. They have been brought up eating meat and liking it, so they tune out the history of their food, just like you tune out the fact that ice-cream puts on more weight even though it tastes good.
Nri Maami (me): Hmm.. true, see Americans oooh and aaaw over silly things. There was a guy on Amazing race that saw cows eat out of garbage and almost started crying. How come, they don’t react that way when it comes to slaughtering the same cows and eating a cheeseburger?
The other Nri Maami (my head): In India, I’ve seen the butcher’s shop - it would have a big chopping block with an axe stuck on it, not to mention the buzzing flies, goats or whatever it is they sold hanging from hooks dead and upside-down. If you got close enough, you could even see blood. In America, I believe most people see meat only after it has been cleaned and packed and weighed and frozen. Americans may be a sympathetic lot, but it’s because they have been so carefully shielded from all that bloodshed, do they continue to eat so much meat.
Nri Maami (me): Whatever.. How could any person describe how happy those creatures were, how they skipped and played, and in the very next sentence talk about how tasty they were.
The other Nri Maami (my head): If you were growing Spinach, wouldn’t you take great care planting it, watering it, protecting it etc etc.. and in the end pluck it all out and wonder if you should make Palak Paneer or Keerai Sambar?
Nri Maami: Somehow, I cannot equate plants and animals. Yes they are both living things as we were well taught in school, yet there is a difference. Animals are higher up the list – they move and they think, so they aren’t quite the same as plants.
And so.. I continue to find an explanation that will shut at least one of the two NriMaamis up, but haven’t so far.
So, before I go on further about this and end up either converting a few of you meat-eating folks to vegetarians or I end up antagonizing the few readers I have, all I can say is
Poor happy pigs, apparently they taste better !