Elsie Hogfat

Lagom Food. Lagom Philosophy.

Archive for August, 2010


She’s still prattling.

@ Tony NZ

You sound very much like some local farmers I know in this beautiful region. It is a privilege to be able to support intelligent and caring farmers. I would like to see the homekill become commercially viable, and I think we might see more of that in the future if the success of free-range chicken and eggs is an indicator.

Real improvements to animal welfare and ecology (and also meat-handling workers working conditions!) can’t happen without the active participation of livestock farmers and animal product consumers. Vegetarian zealotry is at best, irrelevant and at worst, a major obstacle to positive changes.



Great niece has once again spoken.  Yes she is flippant and wemmly but she does fika.  Pleased I was to read her oyster confession earlier, that even in her worst semper she wasn’t afraid to take a knife to the rocks and eat an oyster.  And pleased I am to see her plondering over it some more.  I have saved this here in case it is helpful later when she starts shedding tears like a deggin-can for all the lost dogs and big-eyed calves of this world.

Kämsa!  Good luck  chewing through these logic eels;

@ Tony NZ

The reasoning was pretty complicated… I was a complicated girl, as you can see by my oyster exception clause… or maybe that was a flash of simplicity in an otherwise complicated scenario. Hmmmm. There were numerous permutations looking for a way to eat that i didn’t feel guilty about, over at least a decade, at least 8 or 9 different plans, and in the permutation of which we speak, in which I was avoiding dairy but still eating red meat (rabbit mostly), there were a few different factors involved. The ethical factors were as you suggest to do with factory farming, but even on pastured lands I felt the cows suffered so much in their transportation to the slaughterhouse (if they were male and when female and too old for milking) and then there are the conditions in the slaughterhouse as well. I believe in New Zealand there’s an option for on-site kill, which seems better to me. I’m not defending my reasoning by the way, and it changed, many times.

I still haven’t found a way of eating that I’m happy with but it is a lot easier now living as I do in the country (Southwest WA, Australia) with access to free range eggs from farmers I know and pastured meat from farmers I know. I’m eating dairy (and beef) anyway now despite my sadness about the transport conditions for the cows and the conditions in general at slaughterhouses.

So many years of my life spent thinking about this stuff! And in the end, my response basically is “Oh, well.”

Gimme Mootley! Some spirit, at last!

Lovely Lentilla has commented on a post at Tom Naughton‘s blog, Fathead.  I am pleased to see some spirit at last.  Admittedly still flaff-flaff and apologetic but it is a big improvement.

I notice she doesn’t thank me unless I am “& others“… but I don’t need thanks, some signs of forthrightness are all the thanks I need.  Gimme Mootley!!!

Here’s her comment:

You can probably guess by my nomenclature that I’ve been vegetarian (and vegan) in the past, and at different times in my life I’ve been surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, idealistic vegans and vegetarian friends. People I loved and admired, many of whom remain dear friends, but some of whom can’t deal with friendship with someone who eats meat* …

I was vegan or vegetarian for ethical rather than health reasons. Health reasons didn’t really occur to me. Like many of my generation, I was quite sure the cold war would heat up and kill me long before any disease might.

I tried so very hard to be vegan and/or vegetarian, many attempts, over many years, but I couldn’t deal with it physically and the evidence over time was persuasive that at least in my case I would get very sick, very quickly on a vegan diet and very sick, less quickly but still quite quickly, on a vegetarian diet.

It irritates me that even now I am tempted to counter all the rude and disrespectful questions that the above deeply personal testimony tend to generate from zealots… such as the idea that I must have been ‘doing it wrong’ or that I didn’t give it long enough or that it was the detox from my former evil ways or something… Irritation with behaviour like that did help me develop the resolve I needed to be true to my own lived experience and to listen to my body.

I managed to find a kind of balance where I ate mostly vegan and/or vegetarian but ate exactly the bare minimum of animal I needed to avoid getting sick. This worked out to be red meat once a month (I think some ladies might know what I’m talking about!) and regular fish and/or free range chicken. I still abstained from dairy because of ethical considerations, though I never did, even in my most convinced moments, care much for the rights of oysters versus my pleasure in eating them! So I think all those oysters (gathered wild… just me, my knife and a lemon… ah, happy days!) really did help lessen the physical damage I did to myself during those years, as did all those times I weakened in my willpower and just… now what was that phrase? … oh yes, unnecessarily shoveled the flesh of animals in my yapper. Indeed, I did even fill my gut with the flesh of a pig on occasion during those years… never mind that it was wild and trapped for ecological reasons and killed humanely by a gentle and skilled permaculture farmer… Such nuances are wasted on zealots.

Now I just do the best I can with regard to the welfare of the animals I eat but if I am traveling or visiting friends I am happy to set aside my ideals and enjoy a meal that doesn’t meet my ideals. That’s life, flawed and human.

My perfection is not actually that relevant to the planet, and I am doing what I can do with love for myself and my own body as well as for others.

Khrystyna, I think there may be some similarities between us – good luck with the uneasiness – I know what you are talking about! Corny I know but the Desiderata (on the back of many a toilet door) says it well;

…be gentle with yourself,
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

* And grows less easy to shame about that! (Thank you, Tom & others)

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