I bought a lot of meat yesterday. A package of split chicken breasts. A family pack of ground beef. A rump roast.
This is a mother's love in action. I don't enjoy buying all this meat.
I keep hoping my kids will turn vegetarian. But they show no signs of losing their enthusiasm for meat. Not even the opening scene of the movie "Babe", slowed them in their bacon-craving tracks.
Although the cruelty of feedlots and hog factories bothers me, my problem with meat isn't a moral one. It just really grosses me out. Eating it. Cooking it. Even buying it, repulses me.
For starters, there is the picking it out. Which offering of chicken breast looks least nasty? Some are bloodier than others. Some look discolored. Some have more fat. The answer: they are all equally nasty.
I force myself to buy hamburger in "value-sized" packages, when it saves me money, but this means that instead of shoving it into the back of the fridge where I can ignore it as long as possible, I have to instead divide it up and put it into freezer baggies, which usually means touching it. And let me just say right here, there is nothing more revolting than those packages of "chili-ready" ground beef I've seen in meat departments, with their big fat furry coils of coursely-ground cow. Ugh!
Buying a roast from behind the meat counter is no picnic either. Sure, the butcher wraps it neatly in stiff, white paper, but when he hands the clammy bundle to me, there is a weight and heft against the palm of my hand that cannot be mistaken for anything else other than animal flesh. The butcher paper spares me the sight of it, but only temporarily. Eventually I must confront the glistening chunk beneath the paper, as I did with much displeasure this Monday morning, under a harsh kitchen light which revealed a thick pad of fat attached to one side, that had to be sawed off, causing me no small measure of disgust.
This I do for my children, for my family. This roast will cook on slow heat all day, and I know that when it is finished the sight of so much meat---not little token pieces you have to hunt for, but an entire slab----will make those little carnivores I call my kids cheer. But I, as always, will be holding back my gag reflex.