I just finished Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals". I didn't quite feel grossed out. It's more like, huge sigh. Is the information surprising? (Read reviews/comments here, here and here.)
Acquaintances often tease me about my odd preferences in food, how I don't eat chicken or pork, etc. I'm finicky about food. Life's too short to waste on hormone-injected bad food. If these acquaintances are fellow citizens or from countries that aren't third world, it's painful that they don't think too much about their food sources. Often, I can't be bothered to go into an extended discourse about the reasons why I eat certain items and why I don't eat others. If they see it, they'll understand. If they don't, they won't till later, or never. It isn't my place to convince anyone of anything.
The man understands this. So does the maid. Initially, she didn't understand why we're so 'paranoid' about the food we eat. But now she does. They're extra vigilant when picking out groceries.
By the way, I hope you do know that kampung chickens sold in Singapore aren't free range. AVA has never denied that the supposed kampung chickens you see in the supermarkets are not free range. These 'kampung chickens' have been raised on biosecured farms. Organic or antibiotic-free chickens don't equate free range either.
It isn't difficult to avoid eating chickens when I know how they're usually reared, farmed and killed. Same goes for other meats. Compassionate farms exist, few and far. I haven't missed chicken or pork in my food. The other day, I asked colleagues to tapau me 'wonton mee' because it was the most convenient item for them. Or fishball noodles. If I'm asking for a favor, I've to make sure that it doesn't cause too much trouble. But I only ate the noodles and the vegetables and left the rest of the meats untouched. Too bad for me that the stock and gravy are either chicken or pork. (The old adage of "don't waste your food" isn't quite applicable anymore.)
What I do wish for is that more people will be conscious about sustainable food sources and not just zero in on the price or dismiss the fact that only people who can afford it or who are atas will buy environmentally friendly products. My point is, if you're willing to pay for gig tickets, throw lavish wedding parties, baby showers and watnots, change cellphones regularly and pay telcos mad amounts of fees to watch World Cup, do think about the household budget on food and other items. Buying all that's cheap and good, and being frugal will sustain you and your children, but the earth might not be able to sustain your grandchildren.
If our eating habits don't change, our earth will, and it can only be for the worse.