Many people are starting to veer away from foods that involve animal cruelty. I am a complete animal lover, and that's why I could never imagine eating any food that involves animal cruelty. This is why I finally took the leap and became a vegetarian this year. I've never felt better, both physically and mentally! I never try to turn others to my vegetarian lifestyle too because I know it's a hard choice to make. However, I will at least try to make others aware of certain foods that involve more animal cruelty then necessary. That's why I am listing 7 Foods That Involve Animal Cruelty To Stay Away From! Be warned, read on at your own risk, and definitely not right before a meal.
As some of you may already know, veal is the meat of young cattle, as opposed to beef from older cattle. This is not one of the foods that involve animal cruelty simply because the cow is young, but because of what the young calf goes through before it gets slaughtered. Young cattle are kept in hutches, which keep them isolated and restrict movement to prevent connective tissue from developing, as the taste of veal raised in this manner is considered desirable. These baby cows only get one month to seven months to live and in that time they are kept in small dark spaces. I know I can't handle eating veal knowing how they produce it, not sure how others do.
I couldn't eat for most of the day after I learned what lobster sashimi was, so I will try to describe this meal as delicately as possible for your convenience. While the lobster is still alive, this dish is prepared by first chopping off the tail. The tails meat is then cut open, scooped out, and chopped up into bite sized pieces. It is then put back into the tails shell and placed onto the plate. Served with the cut up raw tail meat is the rest of the lobster head, sitting upward where it's tail used to be. Most lobster sashimi dishes that come out still have the lobster head and legs moving around while they get to watch you eat them alive. This definitely has to be one of my top picks for foods that involve animal cruelty. If you're squeamish, DON'T investigate videos of this dish!
Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine made from the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. Its flavor is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of an ordinary duck or goose liver. The reason foie gras is on this list of foods that involve animal cruelty is because its production involves force-feeding birds more food than they would eat in the wild, and much more than they would voluntarily eat domestically. The feed, which is usually corn boiled with fat, deposits large amounts of fat in the liver, thereby producing the buttery consistency. The feed is administered using a funnel fitted with a long tube which forces the feed into the fowl's esophagus. During feeding, efforts are made to avoid damaging the bird's esophagus, which could cause injury or death, but it does happen on a regular basis.
This is one of the foods that involve animal cruelty that I may come off being a hypocrite about because I do eat eggs. However, I do try to only buy them from local farmers or those that have a certified seal of humane approval. Most large scale chicken egg farms have the birds locked in small cages in which they can barely move and where they are made to lay eggs in mostly unsanitary conditions. Some large scale chicken egg farms even cut off the beaks of chickens to keep them from pecking at one another which is a very painful process for the birds. Their feet can get stuck in the metal cages, which cause cuts and infection. The best way to get eggs is from a trusted egg farm that collects the eggs in a humane way and lets the chickens roam outside.
In November 2011, the Humane Society filed a complaint against the producer of McRib meat, Smithfield Foods, alleging cruel and unusual treatment of the animals used in the McRib patty production. The complaint cited the use of gestation crates and poor, unsanitary living conditions, as well as a lack of proper animal welfare. If that's not bad enough, the Humane Society also claimed that Smithfield subjected their pigs to castration, tail-trimming, and tooth extraction without painkillers. For some, the McRib season is a magical time because the sandwich is only available randomly at the McDonald's food chains and for a limited time. But for me, I can't see past the weirdly shaped meat patty and what they do to the pigs in order to make it. You McRib lovers should be happy to know that McDonald's has pledged to stop these inhumane practices but we will have to see if this promise holds up during the next McRib cycle.
I'm not sure I'd do too well living in Japan because they seem to be constantly preparing and eating animals alive! If you find yourself in a Japanese restaurant and see the menu item "Ikizukuri," DON'T get it. Ikizukuri is a food that involves animal cruelty because it is essentially eating a fish while it is still alive. You can sometimes even pick which fish you want to do this to. The chef will then take it in the back, cut it up and prepare it without killing it, and then present it to you at your table with its heart exposed and beating. Sorry for that mental image, but this is a real dish!
An ortolan bird is about six inches long and weighs just four ounces. The way ortolan is prepared will give you nightmares so brace yourself before you read on. The bird is captured and then blinded using a pair of pincers. It is then stuck into a tight cage so it can't move, kept on a diet of millet, grapes and figs until it reaches two to four times its normal size, and then it's drowned in brandy. The tiny bird is then eaten whole except for it's head. If you get the rare opportunity to try this French delicacy, PASS!
So many foods that involve animal cruelty are considered delicacies. If you can't give up meat or other animal products, at least get ones that are labeled as being "free range." Free range means that the animals can range freely for food, rather than being confined in an enclosure. So at least the animals are living freely and happily before they are used for their products, which is still kind of a win-lose situation. If you are able to stop eating animal products all together, then that's the best way to prevent animal cruelty! Have you cut out any foods from your diet because of how animals are treated in its preparation or production?
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