Of my close girl friends from high school, I am the only one who eats red meat. One eats everything BUT red meat; one eats fish, but no other meats; and one is a full-on vegetarian. Having dinner with them always makes me laugh.
At the same time, my meals with them also sometimes make me question the fairness of my own meat-eating. Not that I'm about to give it up - never - but occasionally I do feel as though I don't make enough of an effort to appreciate the source of my food. All of the reading I do about food and farming makes me want to eat only those animals that are raised humanely, to go to farms so that I can better appreciate the animal itself, to make the most efficient use of every part of the animal.
And yet...I can't. When it's economically feasible, I do buy meat that's had a happy life. And when Cooper catches fish, I cook it. But I just can't do the nose to tail thing.
It's embarrassing, really, and the source of more than a little guilt. I think of myself as a foodie, but in reality, I'm afraid of so much that there is to eat. I look at tripe in the grocery store and I think, "how cool looking". Then I gag at the thought of actually putting it in my mouth. I watch Anthony Bourdain eat messed up, crazy things and I think "how cool sounding". Just before quickly swallowing back the vomit that rises in my throat at the mere prospect of eating a cobra heart or a porcupine.
But somehow I manage to eat scrapple - I love it.
I doubt I'll ever come to terms with this contradiction. Hopefully I'll at least be able to manage the shadow it's currently casting over my love of food. Because really, do I have to feel guilty about everything? Can't I just confine it to the calories?