When Food has a Face

Wonderful Husband, Bestest Daddy and I sat in the terrace of a paella restaurant. We’d had such a nice morning together and Bestest Daddy had been looking forward to having seafood paella so I couldn’t understand why he looked so uncomfortable now his food had been served. 

Bestest Daddy had recently transitioned to pescatarianism (someone who doesn’t eat meat but eats fish, dairy and eggs). The transition was super easy for him and he didn’t miss meat. He’d mentioned giving up fish but it was still his comfortable ‘go to’ when he got hungry.

Laying on top of his paella were four prawns, heads and all. Bestest Daddy had no trouble eating prawns months before but now there was something dark about tearing off the heads of an animal to eat their insides. 

The situation reminded me of a video (no bad images) I watched a while back. The video was based in a supermarket at a fake meat counter. The unsuspecting customers seem keen to try the sausages on offer until they see the butcher put a live piglet into the (fake!) meat-grinder. Each time the trick takes places, the customer recoils in horror and no longer wants the sausages. The idea that their purchase would mean an innocent animal would die is unthinkable (or at least that’s what I think they were thinking). 

All meat had a face and if it doesn’t when you buy it, that just means it has been hacked off beforehand. 

Supermarkets make it very easy for the consumer to disconnect from any guilt and buy ‘meat’ instead of ‘dead animal’. However, there is no escaping the fact that our food choices decide whether innocent animals die or not. Your food had a name, your food had a personality and your food had a family… Until you decided to eat it. 

Bestest Daddy is now looking into recipes he can make without fish. I’ll ask of you the same thing. At the very least, even when you’re not 100% comfortable in making the next step, simply think about the foods that you could eat without animals having to suffer.

Most people don’t want to hurt animals but don’t know how to stop eating them. My advice to them: Take it slow. After that… I can show you 💚

 

 

64 thoughts on “When Food has a Face

  1. Victor vhv says:

    It’s easier for most people to not to think too much about things, that’s how or society keeps going on: No questions asked.
    I had a conversation not too long ago with some politicians in election day. My partner and I were the only ones not having the same lunch as them, and “vegetarianism” became the topic of choice. One of them, told me that she was happier thinking that chicken breasts grow in trees… obviously she doesn’t think like that (I hope!) but in an exaggerated way that’s what the current food chain leads people to think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Your comment is spot-on. People don’t want to think that their food choices directly hurt animals so they simply don’t think about it… Or think about chicken breasts growing on trees in your case, haha!

      I hope that people, like the lady you mentioned, are the type that will one day come round to removing animal products out of their diet one day, as they clearly struggle with the violence.

      If slaughterhouses had glass walls this world would be a different place 💚

      Like

  2. Sainte Croix Photos (@SainteCroixUK) says:

    This is a great story/article/post! Have just had a similar conversation with someone that recently changed. We discussed how people are purposely ignorant of what their food actually is as they don’t want to be put off from eating it. I have to admit that it was me once upon a time too. I decided to become blissfully aware instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Ah thank you for your lovely comment!

      You’re right, people purposely disconnect so that they can keep eating what they want to eat. Let’s hope they all slowly begin to make the transition that you and your friend have made 💚

      Like

  3. klolszewski says:

    This actually made me physically sick to think about. (In a good way, don’t feel bad.) As you know, I’m planning on going Vegan as of 2018. This definitely gave me an extra push. Baby Teacup Pigs are a HUGE reason why I sought out vegetarianism a few years ago. I will not share the story here. Thank you for the post! You’re a great writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      I love when you comment and so so so loving your progress so far 🙂

      I just googled ‘baby teacup pigs’ 😦 How has humanity got in to such a state where living beings are products? I genuinely don’t understand how compassionate human beings turned into such a heartless society as a whole. Thank you for making me aware of them.

      Thanks again for commenting 💚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Ah Bestie Friend Sam has made an appearance – woohoo!!

      Hubby hasn’t stopped eating meat when out (I wished!). Unfortunately he had no trouble ripping the prawn’s heads off… Bestest Daddy has given up meat for the last few months though. Very proud of him.

      How is your vegetarian journey going? 💚

      Like

  4. Christina says:

    I fiance had the same reaction when he turned Pescatarian and was served a soft crab sandwich. It’s body still intact. He couldn’t even finish it, it bothered him so much.

    People definitely don’t make the visual connection when they eat or purchase meat. Because everyone knows that meat is an animal but it’s made very easy forgot how much those animals suffer. It’s also so commonplace in our society and culture to eat meat. When I became a vegetarian 9 years ago, everyone questioned me. I still get weird looks depending on the place I’m eating. It’s really really sad when you think about not just the animals, but the environment and the health of Americans who are so blind so what they’re participating in. I could go on and on honestly. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      It’s so interesting to have someone close to you make that connection almost in front of your eyes (your fiance seeing the soft crab).

      I totally agree with you… So much could be done if we just opened our eyes to the sad, sad world we are living in. I really appreciate your comment – it was spot on. Thank you 💚

      Like

  5. courtneydrew says:

    I cant eat foods if I am thinking about what it is that I am eating. Like eggs, if I actually think about eating them i gag. So I have the mindset, ignorance is bliss (even though I am well aware). I have thought about going plant based but I dont know if I have what it takes to commit. Thanks for the great read.

    Courtney Drew

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Thank you for your incredibly honest comment Courtney. I think a lot of people feel the same as you, but they don’t admit it!

      Remember you don’t have to go 100% plant-based. You can always just find an alternative to one thing at a time, it is so important that everyone goes at the rate that is comfortable for them. Also remember I am always here for you if you do have any questions or you’d just like to talk about diets.

      Thanks again for your mega comment 💚

      Like

  6. Esse D says:

    My boyfriend just forced everyone around us to watch What the Health and he’s been trying to go vegan because of it. I don’t mind anything that overall has a positive impact on our health, but I resist the super-biased approach of the documentary. When things are presented biased or preachy I tend to check out. Your approach offers a different angle than the documentary and for that I appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Thanks for your comment Esse, I’m glad you prefer my approach.

      I understand that some people may feel that way about What The Health, the documentary has had a really mixed reaction. I think it’s hard not to seem preachy when you’re so desperate to tell people the stuff that they don’t want to hear though… It can be tough!

      Lovely to hear that your boyfriend is trying to go vegan. If he would ever like some tips/recipes/advice then please put him in touch 🙂 💚

      Like

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Ah I’m sorry Suanlian although I am very thankful that you are thinking about the animals.

      If you would like to talk about anything with regards to animals and/or diets then please don’t hesitate to get in touch 💚

      Like

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      I think it’s great that you express your opinion Deborah and I appreciate your honesty.

      When I’m hungry I also eat, I just make sure that an animal didn’t suffer (as best as I can). If you haven’t grown up as animal lover or had experiences with animals then I can totally understand your disconnect 💚

      Like

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      I really appreciate your comment but I’m not sure there is such a thing as ‘ethically sourced’. Labels are given to our food to make it easier for the consumer to purchase meat without any form of guilt (it means they make more money!).

      If you are interested in the topic then I would highly recommend watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKTORFmMycQ If you do get round to watching it, I’d love to know your thoughts.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment 💚

      Like

  7. Ashley says:

    Good, convicting read. We end up eating a lot vegetarian, simply because it’s cheaper, and hubs and daughter are allergic to eggs. However, I grew up on poultry we raised and processed (my parents still do), and they still deer hunt every year. They live well below the poverty line, and they basically live off their land, my mom buys flour and other odds and ends, but preserves an acre garden for the Wisconsin winter every year. When you grow up that way, you have an appreciation for the life. When game hens are grabbing grubs next you that you throw to them while weeding, you have no disconnect to where your food comes from, and you don’t waste anything. I totally agree with you that there is a massive disconnect with the general consumer who buys packages in a store. However, growing up in rural farm country, it’s a very different thing for many with that background. Those who don’t eat meat are still killing plenty of animals anyway…so many bunnies, fawns, etc get caught in farm machinery as fields are processed. Tree life is squashed in fruit pickers constantly. Pesticides are killing our bees, and we will all starve if that happens – 3 species went endangered in Minnesota, where I live, this year. I think the main thing is to understand where our food came from, how it got from farm to table, and to appreciate its journey to us. Animal harm is virtually unavoidable, no matter a family’s eating habits – but consumers generally just pick through packages of animal muscle and go happily on their way, and that I do agree with you on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      That’s an incredible reply Ashley. Thank you for the very thoughtful comment.

      First off, it’s great that you eat mostly veggie. Love that!

      Next off, I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly said it on the blog (yet) but I don’t disagree with people hunting and eating animals when they cannot afford otherwise. Everyone has to survive and I’m not about to start telling people that struggle how they should struggle some more… So I totally appreciate the situation with your parents. I hope to one day also live off the land (but vegan).

      People can be very strict with the term ‘vegan’, but I think it should be taken into account that vegan means to do the least harm possible. The term ‘cruelty-free’ doesn’t really sit well with me, because you’re right, vegans do still cause harm. However we cause a lot less harm to animals than vegetarians etc. (normally).

      I love that you’ve seen both sides of the coin, growing up with the animals and the whole consumer side of things now. I wish everyone had that kind of experience and then maybe there would be (at the very least!) a little more appreciation for life than there is at the moment.

      Again, thank you for your incredible insight into this topic.

      Like

      1. Ashley says:

        I actually agree with your whole reply! 🙂 Honestly, I try to run my life a lot like how I’ve read our ancestors did…cue, the history geek. But honestly, everyone raised farms, it was a big deal when the Industrial Revolution happened and people moved in droves to the cities. They grew everything they consumed…totally not what we do now, and they didn’t have fancy protein powders or exotic beans to live on (because again, we can go to a store filled with aisles crammed full of stuff). I’ll admit, even when I run to the store for last minute bacon, I have much less of a connection with that bacon than I do with other things I receive from family friends. If I catch a fish and bring it home for dinner, admittedly if I buy the same fish it’s a very different experience. Respect the life and give thanks for it. But, we are absolutely a consumer-driven market. Slowly, at least people are being brought around to demanding “ethical” animal products, whatever that means, but it’s a start. I can totally respect your choice to be the least cruelty free you feel is available, while still realizing that there’s no way to be absolute about it, which I feel like a lot of vegans try to forget about. Basically, we’re on the same page but see the same thing….who knew that was even possible?! Thanks for your reply. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Crumby Vegan says:

        Ah I love that two people who feel so strongly opposite about something can meet in the middle so easily… Why can’t world leaders be like us? Haha!

        I hate that the world has become this steralised land where it’s almost impossible to get vitamin B12 naturally now (for example). I also always wonder what would happen if there was a natural disaster and food could no longer be delievered to our supermarkets… We’d all be at a loss. The vast majority of us wouldn’t know the first thing about growing our own food – makes me sad. I have a lot of respect for people like your parents that can live off of the land.

        Again, I really am grateful for your comment and the discussion you have prompted 💚

        Like

      3. Ashley says:

        Absolutely agree! The area summer school comes out to learn from my mom once a year…it would make you even sadder to know how often she hears a kid say “wait…carrots come from the ground??” or “how are potatoes made?” or “lettuce doesn’t just grow in circles?”. Seriously. And these are rural kids…I can’t tell you the amount of people who are astonished I have a small garden in urban America. We rely so heavily on our commercial farming industry…to be honest, it’s only a matter of time, in my opinion. Thanks for your awesome input. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Hahah I agree it is controversial… But I don’t think it should be. We all know that animals see, smell, touch, taste, breathe etc. so to raise awareness for them should be such a normal topic… Or at least in my opinion 🙂

      Thank you for reading 💚

      Like

  8. Life with Larissa says:

    Great post! It’s definitely a different perspective to view the topic. I’m currently in the process of cutting back on my dairy and my meat intake. This was before reading this post for personal reasons, but now I’m going to try and make more a commitment. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ana says:

    Thanks for sharing your views on this. I’m slowly cutting out meat from my diet and trying to incorporate Quinoa, Millet, Vegetarian Pizza Crusts, more vegetables and fruits into my rotation and I’m loving it. I still eat Turkey meat, fish and eggs, but am rotating them out, but still have cravings. Thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Ah that’s wonderful to hear Ana and it sounds like you’re doing a great job! If you’re having any particular cravings then please get in touch as I’ll (hopefully!) be able to help… However, keep going with this! I hope you’re feeling better for it too 💚

      Like

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Hi Lucicoo. That’s wonderful that you grew up not eating a lot of meat (I wish I had grown up the same!).

      What do you think would stop you from becoming vegan? For most people it’s cheese! 🙂 💚

      Like

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Yep this is precisely what I was talking about in the article! Your compassionate, empathetic side refuses to let you eat an animal when you can relate to it having a life beforehand. Sounds like you have a lot of remorse for animals. Thank you for your comment 💚

      Like

  10. Ari Augustine says:

    I remember that video! Personally, I can’t eat fish. I’ve tried so many times but can’t stand the flavor or texture. I’m a Flexitarian, so I do eat meat from time to time but only when I feel I absolutely need to or on rare occasions (family gatherings).

    I think there are people who know where the meat comes from but still choose to eat it. In some regions in the world, they really don’t have a choice because the cow or pig might be the only livestock they have and they might not be able to sustain themselves on the crops growing there. I remember reading about certain tribes in Africa who, unfortunately, live this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Ari that’s so cool that you had watched the video previously… Means you can totally relate to this post. It’s great that you don’t eat too much meat and you’ve done what feels comfortable for you 🙂

      I think you’re right, when it comes to the third world I would never complain about them eating meat to survive. I’m sure I would do the same thing in that situation. Ashley and I had a very interesting conversation about it in one of the comments above.

      The point I’m trying to make in this article is not that people shouldn’t eat meat when they need to survive but more that we have a huge disconnect when we go to supermarkets and buy pre-packaged meat. We do it because we want to eat meat, not to survive and there is no feeling for the animal – supermarkets have made that very easy for us. Thank you for raising the point about the other countries that struggle to survive though.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment 💚

      Like

  11. Alexander Popkov says:

    Well Well.) I guess as any difficult process it had to be taken step by step. Reminds of rope jumping in Russia. You climb an old industrial object, got tied with some mountaineering equipment and then you have to jump from 50 meters and swing on a rope.
    If you think of it as the whole, it looks scary. But one step is not scary, the second one as well. And when you are on the edge, you acknowledge that only 1 second and it is all over.
    PS:meateater here. perfectly aware of what meat is, was helping out with a rabbit farm in my childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      I’m not sure which difficult process you’re referring to Alexander… Veganism? Then I can understand, as veganism to a meat-eater can look pretty much impossible.

      Good to know that you know where your meat comes from. Maybe if other people had had similar experiences as yourself there might be more vegans 🙂 💚

      Like

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