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Tasty, Tasty Critters

I’m sitting here eating my high protein, low carb dinner of a quarter of rotisserie chicken and ruby red grapefruit and I feel terrible. A few minutes ago, I walked into the kitchen to assemble my meal and pulled out a bag of quartered Mediterranean chicken. By the way, how vague a term is “Mediterranean”? I love you Publix, but all I taste is oregano. But yes, the chicken ... I opened the bag and was greeted by what looked like a massacre ... disturbingly similar to the remnants of my little Siamese’s latest birdie victim after one of his killing sprees.

This, my friends, is a peek into one of one my deepest and most personal internal conflicts. I, you see, am a foodie and an animal lover. If it moves, I’ll eat it. Sea urchin, lion, wooly mammoth, whale, guinea pig ... yes, even those animals that are regarded as pets here in the US, I’d at least give them a taste. I’m an equal-opportunity carnivore. I don’t believe that just because I find something cute or have decided to keep a certain species as a companion because of convention of culture, that the rest of its furry brethren are thereby exempt from trial by knife and fork. Say what you will, but that’s where I stand, sit and eat.

I’m also an animal lover. I’ve been reading “On Food and Cooking” and after the chapter on eggs, I can no longer eat regular eggs with a clean conscience. I buy free-range now. I cut back drastically on beef consumption after finding out how cows are treated before slaughter. I take injured birds to wild life preserves.

I also tried vegetarianism twice. Love eggs. Like tofu. Quinoa is great. Not so big on beans. Vegetarians have a wide range of food from which to choose. The problem though, is that those of us who are true lovers of food are drawn to the entire spectrum of flavors. Leaving one shade out just isn’t a long-term option. I have, however, successfully been able to cut back on the amount of animal protein I take in. I generally only eat meat once a day and 90 percent of the time, it’s turkey, chicken, fish or those wonderful swimming Lunchables we call crustaceans.

Maybe I’m a hypocrite, but I hope to one day find resolution to this issue ... I’m just not going to hold my breath.