Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Human Animals and Friendship

Our subscription to CSA (community supported agriculture) is suspended until April because of winter, so we are buying produce at our local natural food store, Last weekend, I was selecting an onion when someone said, "Excuse me. Can you tell me how long a chicken casserole will last in the refrigerator?"

I couldn't answer the question because, I haven't cooked or eaten chickens for many years. I am the caretaker for two Rhode Island Red hens, each of whom has a distinctive personality, and each of whom trusts me. I wouldn't consider killing or eating them or other members of their species, just as I wouldn't consider eating human meat. (I don't eat cows or pigs or sheep or goats either.)

"Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them. " - Samuel Butler quoted in NYTimes.com