15 January 2008

I referenced Anthony Bourdain the other day and a gruesome clip I'd seen teasing the new season of his show on the Travel Channel, No Reservations.

"I don't know what the fuck is going on, but its Bourdain in the middle of a small kitchen somewhere, sitting in a semi-circle with some Asians and they're all covered in bright red blood; and theres a carcass of something or other laying in the middle of the circle, torn apart, dissected, totally indecipherable but probably pig. It may be one of the most gruesome things I have ever seen in my life. Like an actual crime scene or an Unsane album cover."

Well I took some screen shots of the clip to share with you so you'd appreciate what I was referring to. Turns out, its Bourdain and a family of Inuits eating a raw seal. Inuit is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Alaska, Greenland, and Canada. I think he was in Montreal with this family.

The Inuit are the descendants of what anthropologists call the Thule culture, a nomadic people who emerged from western Alaska around 1000 A.D. and spread eastwards across the Arctic.

The Inuit were traditionally hunters and fishers, living off the Arctic animal life. They hunted, and still hunt, whales, walruses, caribou, seals, polar bears, muskoxen, birds, and in lean years any other less commonly eaten animals such as foxes.

As you could imagine, the Arctic has very little edible vegetation resulting in a predominantly carnivorous diet, although some Inuit did supplement their diet with seaweed and other plants.

Even though eating a raw seal in the middle of your kitchen floor is pretty fucking vile and horrifying to see, I'm cool with it. These people are Inuits and like most Eskimos and indigenous peoples of the Americas, they eat and use every part of the animal. This is how they live.

Inuits aren't going to eat veggie burgers and tofu pups. I'm cool with people eating meat if they can handle eating it like Inuits do. It's obviously the carcass of animal. It has been sacrificed. It will be used and devoured up to and including the blood which the Inuits use to make soup and stew.

Your boy eating the six-piece McNuggets or even the steak at Peter Luger is full of shit and would never imagine eating a raw seal on his kitchen floor. He is insulated by convenience. He makes no connection that the six-piece McNuggets were at one point part of a live animal, or that his Hanger steak at Luger's was once the diaphragm of a cow.

If there were no six-piece McNuggets and no hamburgers and hot dogs and chicken patties, most people would never eat meat. If you had to eat meat like an indigenous hunter, you'd either starve to death or eat some fucking salad.

Even that dolt Ted Nugent, for as much of an enemy as he is to "animal rights", the way he talks about animals and their sacrifice is the way everyone should talk about them. He sees it as a celebration; a ritual, albeit a ritual we no longer need but it isn't just a quick hamburger at your lunch break that you don't even think twice about. At least Ted Nugent is thinking about what exactly is going on here; the killing of animal, the taking of a life solely for your consumption. A sacrifice, thankfully, we no longer are forced to make in 2008.

I think more people should be exposed to this type of thing so they realise what they're eating. Their meatball hero isn't all that far removed from the raw seal on that kitchen floor.

If you can make the connection, you'll never eat meat again. I promise you.

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