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Meat Sheet Incomplete

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter. I’m very excited to be actually getting to eat ham later today. The whole family was invited over to the place of a friend who I’m fairly certain will be curing and smoking the thing herself. It promises to be very special, and I’ve already picked out an appropriate wine.

Honestly, I have no idea whether the meat is happy or not. And to be even more honest, right now I don’t really care.

Never do I take for granted the generosity and hospitality of other people. If you want to invite us over and serve macaroni and cheese from a box and spam from a can, you will not see an accounting of it on the Internet.

Writing up everything you eat has its advantages and its drawbacks. But I wanted to let you all know, just in case you did not notice, I have taken down The Meat Sheet from the header of the FLB.

I do feel like an explanation might be in order.

It’s not like me to skulk off into the night. This weekend I felt the need to do some blog housecleaning. The first thing I did was remove the slug that promoted the FUSSYlittleBALLOT.  The next thing I did was take down The Meat Sheet.

There has really only been one New Year’s resolution I’ve ever made that stuck through an entire year. This one obviously wasn’t it.

Perhaps part of the blame was my tempting fate by encouraging others to forget their resolutions. But like most things that begin in a new year, it launched with great vigor in January and maintained its momentum through February. In March I fumbled, and really never fully recovered.

Had you been tracking the sheet closely, you would have noticed it had been weeks since it was last updated.

In theory it shouldn’t have been hard. I write a new blog post every day except Saturday, so I’m on the FLB tinkering around already. All I had to do was note if I had eaten any unhappy meat the day before.

It’s really inexcusable. But once you start missing days it is a very slippery slope.

The good news is that I think I will still be able to figure out from the data on hand how much sad meat I consume over the course of the year, which will help me set goals for cutting back on that amount. The obvious place to cut back would be the little bits of sad meat that pervade lots of our dishes over time, like bacon and sausage. The answer to that is finding happier sources for these delicacies and making sure they are household staples.

So I will do that. And I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve.

But it’s abundantly clear that we don’t really eat a lot of meat in the Fussy household. Given our low levels of consumption, it’s difficult for me to argue that we need a weekly delivery of some of the best pork in the region. Let’s just say it’s an ongoing conversation, and I’m still hoping to find someone to split a share in the Flying Pigs Farm CSA.

The bulk of my unhappy meat comes from eating out. I try to make choices that involve happier meats or go vegetarian. But given my semi-professional interest in staying abreast of the food in Albany, abandoning unhappy meat would be akin to journalistic suicide. Plus I’m neither prepared to start making soup dumplings at home nor giving them up altogether.

At least I can do my best to help make sure that if people are eating unhappy meat, the food that these wretched animals died to make is tasty enough to give some meaning to their suffering.

I don’t think that sounded as inspiring as I had intended.

Our minds have the uncanny ability to filter out a lot of unpleasant stuff. And every day I’m thankful for those psychological devices. Because if it weren’t for that, it would be next to impossible to live our lives.

So regardless of where it came from, I am truly going to enjoy my ham later tonight. But I am also going to do my part to reduce my consumption of factory-farmed foods. The meat sheet has shown me how I’m doing and where I can cut. So while it may have been short-lived, I’m not going to chalk it up as a failure.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 24, 2011 1:04 pm

    Anthony Bourdain said it thus in “Medium Raw”: “PETA doesn’t want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don’t want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don’t want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious.”

    Happy Almost No Longer Passover :)

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