Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On meat-eating and dog-ownership

I may have been pushed over the edge, if not into squeamishness veganism, than at least squeamishness quasi-vegetarianism, on Saturday. After spending the day tending to a very lamb-like poodle,* and spending twice as much on dealing with said poodle's ear infection (an apparent by-product of grooming - damned if you do, damned if you don't) than on a week's worth of groceries at Whole Foods, it was the employee dinner-and-dance party at my husband's postdoc, and I'd signed up for the rack of lamb. This was, at one point, the dish I would always get if price were not an issue. The lamb was well-prepared but especially... lamb-y. I've been taking the need to brush and comb Bisou daily very seriously. Meticulously. Every square-inch of poodle must be thoroughly examined. This much poodle-time is making my once-favorite meat seem kind of unappealing. Ever since we got her, we've been hearing how much she resembles "a little lamb," but with her current hairstyle she's more lamb-like than ever.

So today, for lunch, I made seitan. Not made seitan, because I hope to make something of the afternoon, but stir-fried the allegedly dog-food-like "strips" from Westsoy, "imported" from my most recent trip to the Fairway. Verdict? Not dog-food-like at all! Bisou's interest in this fake meat certainly pales in comparison to her fuss over the real thing. (She napped right through its preparation and consumption, this from a dog who so much as sees me reach for an apple or banana and goes nuts.) Because this is what was in the fridge, I mixed in a chopped carrot, bell pepper, and some lacinato kale. Because I did this all a bit too last-minute for rice, rice paper it was. It was like something out of GOOP. Perhaps a little too virtuous, a distant remove from my ideal lunch, which would be a wheel of unpasteurized Camembert. But at least as un-poodle-like as could be.

"How could you eat lamb? But be sure to save me a piece if you do."

*How, then, do vegetarians - squeamishness vegetarians especially - deal with feeding pets? Some of Bisou's meat consumption is in the form of highly-processed chicken, but she's also wild about these marrow bones prepared in some special way for dogs. We sort of forget this is on the floor until someone comes over and notes how gruesome it looks. And I get that there are some on the extreme end of the animal-rights spectrum who say it's wrong to have pets - even adopted ones - in the first place. It's the non-extreme positions I'm curious about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Appropos of Bisou, her resemblance to a lamb, and her recent grooming/ shearing, there is at least one book about knitting with shedded dog fur. I've been a vegetarian for a few years now and have three cats. (I never liked meat; I do eat eggs, fish and dairy products.) Funny thing, while a dog and live without eating meat, cats cannot be vegetarian and survive. JM