Zocalo recently posted a chat in the weekly updates and announcements they send out, called What is the Cruelest Food You’ve Ever Eaten?
I haven’t been to Zocalo in a couple of years, but they do have some good events and free food, (which isn’t cruel at all). Their lectures are free, and they tackle a lot of serious and interesting topics.
But WTF? Is cruelty a viable subject for humor now? – desperate and fame-whorish, Zocalo. You had an opportunity to explore this disgusting practice, or at least look at both sides, but instead you treat cruelty to animals as a game, or entertainment. Why not ask who eats dogs? Or hobbles horses? Shame on you, Zocalo.
Of course, there’s always cruelty when you eat animals alive, which seems to be a big part of sushi now. Raw is unhealthy, and alive is repulsive to civilized people. But read the quotes below and decide for yourself .
From Roy Choi at Kogi:
I’ve killed a goat with my own two hands. I chased him around a dirt field in the desert, wrestled him to the ground, got him in a head lock, looked him in the eye, and slit his throat. We hung him, skinned him, drained his blood, gutted him, butchered him into primals, then sub-primals. We packed him up and took him across the border to Mexicali where we made birria, the most delicious birria.
This was not a cruel moment for me. It was seven in the morning and I learned about the spirituality of cooking and what my responsibility is as a chef. I did not kill this goat out of haste or carelessness. This was a tradition that my dishwasher Salvador’s family has been doing for many generations and he trusted me enough to show me.
First of all, he’s lying. No one could capture a terrified goat without help. He’s pretending it’s some sort of macho thing, but notice the “we”. And a dishwasher thinks that how to knife a creature is a “tradition”? I hope I never meet him in a dark alley. Barbaric.
From Charlie Grosso:
It was not until I was much older that I realized that Shark Fin is not a euphemism for anything. Shark fin actually is the fin of a shark. Then at some cousin’s wedding banquet one day, I discovered that the sharks are often caught, their fins cut off, and then released back into the water to meet their untimely ends.
Would I eat it again? I think I would. Not because I have no compassion for the shark but because not consuming my bowl of soup in a banquette of a hundred would not have stirred the consciences of the restaurant or the other guests. The only conscience that would be disturbed by my meager objection would be my own — at the fact that I wasted good, clean, edible food.
Yeah, that’s how I make my moral decisions: How many other people around me agree with me? What a jackass.
Javier Cabrol is the Teenage Glutster.
Which brings me to what I think is the most inhumane thing I’ve ever eaten in my entire eating career: live lobster sashimi. This dish made full use of those murky lobster tanks that are synonymous with seafood Chinese restaurants. The chosen lobsters were brought to our table for our approval, taken to the back of the house for five minutes at most, then brought back to the table, severed in half and facing each other. Not to mention still pinching with all their translucent flesh scooped out and served on their dislocated tails, all ready for our top-of-the-food-chain chow down. Their beady eyes followed our chopstick ends and they attempted to defend themselves one last time as we nonchalantly reached over for their ultra-fresh sinewy flesh.
My heart pounded and I got tears in my eyes when I read this. This is almost exactly how Hannibal ends. I see no difference between torturing cats, burning insects, killing people, and eating animals while they are still alive.
From Kat Odell at Eater LA.
Since I eat out so frequently for work, I eat a lot of foie gras and I do have to say I love it. There are more humane ways to produce foie that have been mostly explored in France, and it’s a shame that people in the U.S. don’t consider this alternative method (save for Dan Barber at Blue Hill).
Most people know that foie gras comes from geese that have force-fed. You know that pain when you eat too much? Think of your whole life in pain, with food clogging your throat all day long, not allowed to move -total torture. According to Wiki, only 5 countries left in Europe still allow this animal cruelty. Oh, and the gluttonous US, of course.
From Maite Gomez-Rejon at ARtbites.
The cruelest food I’ve ever eaten is live lobster at Sanuki No Sato, housed in an obscure strip mall in Gardena….Always game for trying new foods — especially those that will give me a good story to tell — I was anxious for our lobster’s arrival. When it came to the table it was enormously regal, its eyes staring straight at us, antennas moving as if pleading for help, its now useless armor cut open revealing perfectly sliced flesh.
Um, Maite, that was a terrible story, so, sorry, you will continue to be a bore wherever you go.
See a trend here? Sushi restaurants have been promoting this myth for years: torturing the creature makes it taste better. FDA and USDA, why can’t you crack down on this instead of your asinine regulations on the tiny stuff?
And who’s behind Zocalo?
Gregory Rodriguez, Founder
Thomas Tseng, President of the Board
Swati Pandey, Editor
They are responsible for glorifying this reprehensible topic – and making animal cruelty – their own word – an acceptable, even attractive trait for people who like to eat. They have a Code of Civility posted on their site:
At its lecture series events (“Events”) Zócalo seeks to create an open and civil environment of mutual respect, where all participants can feel welcome.
There is no respect towards other species, when you pick a topic targeting living creatures. I hope the agencies that fund this org will take a closer look at these practices and reconsider whether this non-profit (if it is one) meets anyone’s decency standards. Zocalo FAIL.