I just got back from Texas, where no one bats an eye at eating meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While this might be a shock to the system of my California foodie friends back home, I was basically raised on the cow. Needless to say I'll be on a meat detox once I'm back to the crunchy granola state.
I don't feel the need to berate said Texans and their varieties of meats, but one traveler certainly slammed the local eating customs while in China. An Australian on the road saw a cage of koala bears for sale, for pets or meat, and was way upset. Of course he was from Australia, where they worship those little adorable furry bear-like creatures even though they are reportedly mean as hell. So you can see why the Aussie was angry enough to post his findings about the Internet and chastise the Chinese market for selling these things to be cooked up for dinner.
Yet I can't help but think that he's a hypocrite, like the rest of us.
I know, I know. Eating cute and adorable animals is wrong. I've stood up for the dog on occasion, and just because koalas are rumoured to be nasty animals, is no reason to eat 'em up. But I do wonder how these lines were drawn, when, and by whom. After all, rabbits are pretty cute and you can domesticate them. Yet you'll find them on many a seasonal, local, menu served alongside kale. Substitute guinea pig on that menu and there will be an outcry.
Since I don't eat rabbit (or guinea pig), this doesn't make sense to me. But I do eat cow, pig, and most birds. So how can I tell you that chowing down on koala is bad? Just like this: Chowing down on koala is bad.
There's no way this discussion can be logically concluded, unless you're willing to concede that eating all meat is bad. Which is what a huge group of people already do. Therefore, vegetarians: Is eating a koala worse than eating a chicken? I'll let you decide the answer to this dilemma that can get culturally insensitive, way fast.
Image via Rennett Stowe/Flickr