Monday, 26 January 2009

New Residents

I know, I know. This is a food blog. But sometimes rules must be bent, and life is the better for it.

Not content with chickens, my girlfriend has been playfully prodding me in the direction of pets for about six months. That’s pets rather than functional animals, something that lives in the house and doesn’t give us milk or eggs or meat.

By the time the New Year came round, my half-arsed and not-really-very-strong defences had been worn down and we started looking for a cat, or to be more precise a kitten. That was my only stipulation: that we get the smallest, cutest, littlest kitten we could find. I’m aware that they don’t stay small, cute and little for very long but I was happy to ignore that reality.

It didn’t take us long. On our first visit to the Blue Cross we found two little kittens that had to be housed together so we signed the papers and yesterday they came home with us.

And so it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to (drum roll please, though not too noisy, they seem to have an aversion to LOUD NOISES) Josiah and Abbey – named after America’s favourite fictional president and his first lady. It’s fine to call them The Barletts. We do.


Alicia Foodycat said...

God damn it! You beat me! My kitten arrives on Saturday and I have already planned my "too busy to blog" post!

They are lovely. I am stuck on names.

Anonymous said...

KITTENS! Amazing. I'm sure they'll be the most well-fed kits in all of Christendom :)

QGIRL said...

They are frickin' adorable. Hope the chickens like them as much!

Katiecakes said...

Oh cuuute!

Kittens are such terrors, mine has just came into season and she is the most annoying bugger ever.

Have fun watching them grow :)

Katie xoxo

Unknown said...

I hope these cats help you see your current moral schizophrenia about animals. You will see that these nonhumans are sentient, able to think, have emotions, etc. and you may even come to regard them as members of the family and even love them. Yet the animals you stick your fork into are no different and are also sentient, able to think, have emotions, etc more than the simple “functional animals” as you so coldly refer.

Unknown said...

"But I am not going to stop eating it because I'm sharing my house with a couple of cats."

Well it was worth a try.

I do agree with you that meat consumption needs to cut drastically, even if it’s for our own selfish reason of not wanting to destroy the planet on which we live.

However I don’t agree with you on your other points. To say you have an interest in “animal welfare” is very patronising. What you mean is you find it "more ethically acceptable" to exploit animals if we treat them better.

Your other point about because we have done something for generations that it is morally acceptable for us to continue to do so is simply nonsense. Are you advocating that we bring back human slavery as well? We eat far more meat now that we have done at any point in human history, about 53 billion animals a year. As for other species eating meat you may want to consider that they don’t have a choice where as you do. Your choice is to eat meat and to promote that and I think that’s wrong. There is no "need" for us to eat meat, dairy or eggs. Indeed, these foods are increasingly linked to various human diseases and animal agriculture is an environmental disaster for the planet.

Just Cook It said...

Foodycat - Sorry about that!

SCF - Damn right they will

Thanks QGirl, fingers crossed the chickens will get on with them.

Katie - Thank you. I;m sure we'll get much enjoyment from watching them destroy our possessions.

Henry – Please cease being so patronising. I appreciate your input, I really do, but can’t abide fundamentalism or small-mindedness. If you wish to comment please make it constructive. By all means, put forward your arguments but please also bear in mind that other points of view contrary to your own exist. Fundamentalism, by its very nature, is devoid of empathy and thus not conducive to debate.

Do I eat meat because I gain some sort of sadistic pleasure from it? No, of course not and I have said before that I believe meat consumption brings with it its own complex set of moral rules. It would be callous not to see that. I have concern for animal welfare and, in line with recent evidence, believe that a cut in global meat consumption would be beneficial for the planet and our collective waistlines. But I am not going to stop eating meat just because I share my house with a couple of cats. As I said before, if you wish to debate this, I’d be more than happy to.

Unknown said...

“ I appreciate your input, I really do, but can’t abide fundamentalism or small-mindedness. If you wish to comment please make it constructive. ”

This is fine but you’re using the word “fundamentalism” in a very morally pejorative way to associate me with things like right-winged Christian fundamentalism or Islamic fundamentalism or the other sorts of extreme fundamentalism and I object to that as it’s a cheap way to undermine my view point. I am a fundamentalist in that I’m morally consistent, and that I am opposed to all animal exploitation.

Just Cook It said...

Henry - I made no allusion to religious fundamentalism. Didn't mention it, didn't hint at it, didn't whisper it and as such do not quite understand why you brought it up, especially seen as you agree with the conclusion. I use the term in its purest sense, rather than the bastardized version that we have come to associate with it. Pretty sure you knew that and I can't quite see your reasoning for mentioning other forms of fundamentalism. It wasn't an attempt to undermine your argument, merely a way to try to define some boundaries and explain why I don't think such a staunch perspective is conducive to debate. Perhaps we should take this elsewhere?

Just Cook It said...

And quite frankly I detect a faint but discernable whiff of a double standard in making an accusation of using pejorative and loaded terms and then wheeling out an example such as slavery in order to bolster your argument.

Unknown said...

However you meant the term “fundamentalism” it was not in a positive way. I wouldn’t call moral consistency fundamentalism... labels do nothing. What I take issue with is the double standards you employ when writing your blog(s)…i.e. look how cute these kittens are, look how cute these chickens are at the door, look how poetic my prose is, look how tasty this tortured ducks liver tastes.

It doesn’t mean I don’t like you, it doesn’t mean I don’t think you’re a good person. I’m just pointing out how morally schizophrenic what your saying is.

Just Cook It said...

I don't want to get wrapped up in definitions or implied meanings, I was just merely expressing an opinion on fundamentalism and it's inherantly non-flexible nature. Apologies if it sounded offensive.

Secondly, I don't see where the double standard (from my own, personal perspective) is BUT I understand and respect your point of view. Where you see a double standard I see moral relativism (I don't believe there is such a thing as moral absolutism or pure objectivity but that's for a philosophical discussion).

Finally, (although I think it was a veiled compliment) I don't see what my writing style has to do with this?!

Having said that, as I mentioned before, I do appreciate your input and it's nice to be challenged occasionally, especially by someone who has such strong moral convictions.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Looks like you had a run in with a vegan zealot! I would like to see him explain his argument to a bunch of starving 3rd world communities...

On the subject of the cats, they do look quite cute and friendly, we live in my brothers flat while he is away and look after his cat-mischief- also quite an attractive animal.

However the cat is not exempt from the kitchen, if she doesn't pull her weight, i wouldn't think twice about it!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Not enough meat on a kitten to make it worthwhile.

Just Cook It said...

Not taking this any further. Look up 'Godwin's Law'.

Nick - Certainly looks that way. Mischief is a great name for a cat although not sure how tasty, or worthwhile it would be (see foodycat, below).