What part of the animal is this?
When served meat, Lil often asks "What part of the aminal is this?"
'Aminal' is one of Lil's last toddlerisms, meaning animal. I am not ready for her to be all grown up and pronounce everything correctly!
My heart gushes a little and not just because her pronunciation is cute.
In northwestern Ohio this weekend, Lil and I went to Sauder Village with my grandmother, aunt, cousins, mother, and sister. It was the last weekend of the season and butchering weekend.
Lil and I were interested in the butchering. Truly. I do not eat meat but I am fascinated by all types of food production. I have never seen a pig slaughter.
Certain relatives to remain nameless were sickened by the thought of witnessing the kill. "I might never eat pork again!" said one.
A friend who moved to Atlanta last year just went to Farm School. She and twenty some other adults helped slaughter 125 chickens. They killed, plucked, and butchered the poultry.
A few weeks ago we cooked dinner for a friend. I made stuffed squash and baked kale; Alex made bison short ribs. Our friend could only finish one short rib because she was unable to stomach the idea of eating meat from the bone.
It wasn't too long ago that most people slaughtered their own animals or at least shopped from a butcher who knew the producer himself. It is mystifying that Americans have so quickly come to the point where 'meat' is de-boned protein packaged in plastic and butchering is a tourist attraction.
I am proud of my little girl for her questions because she is showing genuine interest in her food. We talk about the breasts of birds, the sides of fish, and the bellies of pigs. She eats the skin, flesh, and fat of the animals. She has seen animals being raised for meat at the farm and the next time we have a chance she will witness their slaughter.
Knowing all the details allows true appreciation of a meal. Savoring every part of an ingredient (vegetable or animal) gives justice to the life ended for consumption.