Lee Pitts: Too Cute
I blame all these coffee mugs, flower pots, cartoons, posters and greeting cards with Holstein cows on them for the declining consumption of beef in this country. And I don’t think that Miss Piggy helped the pork producers either. Let me explain.
I used to raise rabbits. Lots of them. Raising rabbits is easy, most of your time is taken up building new hutches. The gestation period is only one month, the females are always pregnant and the bucks show up ready for action as often as a goose goes barefoot. I sold the fryers, cleaned and wrapped, to the locals who had acquired a taste for rabbit meat in their younger and much poorer days in Oklahoma, Missouri and such during the not-so-Great Depression. I had one regular customer who was so hopping crazy about rabbit meat that he ordered a dozen a month. That was until he came out to our little one acre farm one day to pick up his order instead of me delivering it, as usual. While he was there I showed him all my little bunnies. After that day the man never bought another rabbit from me ever again. “Couldn’t stand to eat anything so cute,” he explained.
That is why we don’t eat the Easter Bunny but we do eat turkey on Thanksgiving. A rabbit is too cute to eat but the turkey is such an ugly animal we figure it deserves it.
Why do you really think that chicken is so popular? Because it tastes good? Hah! People eat chicken because it’s ugly. They don’t get indigestion because they ate something cute. Rich, old ladies get upset about seeing an advertisement in a magazine showing a pitiful veal calf in a cage and when they die they leave their entire estates to a money-hungry group trying to save the cute little things. Replace the picture of the veal calf with a chicken in a cramped cage and the money collectors would have to get real jobs.
The same is true of hunting. Animal rightists are up in arms about hunters shooting deer, with their sweet eyes and Bambi like behavior. Shoot something mean and ugly, like your mother in law, and see if anybody really cares. Remember how every newspaper and T.V. network in the country carried the story of the clubbing of the baby harp seals? Step on a bunch of slimy snails on your front walkway and see if it makes national news. Why? Because seals are cute and snails are ugly and gross.
The most hypocritical folks in the world are vegetarians with their protruding bones, sunken eyeballs and anemic looking skin. They contend they don’t eat meat… but they do eat fish and fowl. They may say they don’t eat red meat because of health reasons but the real reason is it bothers their conscious. And yet that benevolent goodwill doesn’t extend to something as ugly as a turkey, carp or artichoke.
It’s the same with horses and dogs. In some countries people actually eat horse meat and dog meat,’ They consider it a delicacy. Just the thought makes most of us gag because we have been conditioned to think that their rightful place is in a pastoral scene on a Hallmark card… not the dinner plate.
If we want to increase the consumption of red meat we need to quit treating farm animals like pets. And farm women, please, please, please quit buying all that stationery, clothing, porcelain and art work with scenes of cute cows on them. Its not helping one bit. We must put an end to petting zoos, ladies lead contests and anything else that makes farm animals look too cute to eat.
Finally, it’s imperative that we start breeding uglier animals. Perhaps we should crossbreed our cows with water buffalo? Either we have to make lambs, pigs and cows more despicable looking or somehow we must make chickens too cute to eat. Maybe we could get those highly fertile and cute bunny rabbits I used to raise to interbreed with chickens to make them so cute people would stop eating them. But with our luck these new crossbred fowl would breed like rabbits but still be as ugly as chickens. Then we really would be in trouble.