Monday, 6 February 2012

We Know What It Looked Like

before it arrives the supermarket shelves. 

What am I talking about? The food that is on our table. For me (maybe for Zaini too); when I was small -  I know what the plants of the vegetables my Mom served looked like. Heck! I may have grown it! Yeah, I was quite the little farmer when I was in primary school. My Mom made me take care of a patch of land and I planted all sorts of vegetables there and did all the work myself! I probably would've done it all through my teens too, if not for the fact the MARA somehow deemed me bright enough to let me enter a boarding school for bright kids. Heh
old photo of the Korban and distribution of meat. I can't find any recent photo to put here
And I know the beef, the chicken, the lamb we see on the supermarket shelves look like before it got there and it sure ain't that pink slush McD serves!

I've seen animals being slaughtered. A vegetarian, I certainly am not. When I was at school; secondary school that is, one of the school's activities was for the students to learn how to slaughter chickens the proper Islamic way. Too gruesome? Well, if you eat chicken - why can't you kill one? Because it is easier to let other people to do the dirty job? (This can bring me into a whole different rant about us liking to let other people do our dirty job but I won't go into it... yet).

OK, what's the point of this anyway? How many of you think that your school-going child shouldn't and couldn't learn about how animals are killed before it arrives on your dinner plate? I'm not talking about seeing it directly or "live" but how about watching it on TV? Granted, I am of the opinion that the non-Islamic way of killing animals can be quite gruesome and brutal and I hate watching it.

Raimie had seen a few, when the "Korban" was done at my hometown and when my Dad brought back a deer that a villager caught with a trap. He needs to learn that food don't just magically materialise on the supermarket shelves. 

Raimie asked me this question once, when we were discussing about this. He asked if people takes pity on killing animals, how come nobody pities plants? Can't plant suffer too? Now, before you say that plants can't feel anything - can you truthfully confirm that? Have you ever been a plant before?

38 comments:

  1. oooh super interesting topic!

    I am an animal and plant lover too!

    I have learnt that plants have senses. I gently caress majority of the leaves everyday before I spray them water. I am now looking after three pots of plants. One is already in my room. Two are still outside -which are going to be in the room in a couple of weeks. I'm interested in such topic but can't go on rambling for too long over here. hehe

    I went to the slaughtering moment at the mosque during last Korban. I used to be able to stand watching the cows being slaughtered but as I get older I feel very sorry for those animals.

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    1. We need to have compassion for all living things. That way, we treat them humanely, even if the animals/plants may end up on our dinner plate someday. Right?

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    2. Yes! Exactly! Let's say if we want meat from them, at least we need to treat them the best so that they can experience good life before being taken advantage of.

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  2. oh, today is a very mind-boggling post huh?? suddenly i see the "deep" side of you, hahahaha~~

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    1. My "deep" side. Sad to say, I am usually pretty shallow. xD

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  3. well, people just don't normally associate the nice food in front of them with the scene of the animals being slaughtered.. it's just very natural that we see what is in front of our eyes..

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    1. Sometimes when I hear or read people remarking how they can't eat a certain food because the head is there, the skin is there and stuff like that, it irked me. I mean, why can't one eat a whole fish because you can see the fish head? Fish doesn't come in the form of a fillet when it was swimming in the water right?

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  4. i'm pretty OK if the way the animal is being slaughtered is humane and according to any industry standards - not those scary ones we see on youtube..

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    1. Me too.

      And there are some scary one seen online. @.@

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  5. i guess it's good to let the children learn about how animals are slaughtered and processed before they reach on our plates.. nothing is too bad to learn about our food chain..

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    1. Totally! What's so bad about learning about the origin of our food.

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  6. yay, i've once thought about vegetarians kept condemning the killings of animals.. but then what about plants?? aren't they not suffering, plants do have lives too..

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    1. Nobody condemns vegetarians for killing/eating plants right? xD

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  7. Ha... This is what I wanted to discuss in my previous post.

    We impose our feelings towards animals and we "feel" their pain as if it is for ourselves. But we are not animals, we cannot really say what we "feel" is what they feel.

    What we believe and what we see, might not be the same thing in other minds.

    There's a very famous dialogue between Zhuangzi and his pupil, Huizi, in the 4th century. Most Chinese students who study Classical Chinese at high schools in Malaysia know about this, it's called "The Happiness of Fish".

    I found the its translation online:
    Read it, it's quite meaningful.

    ***
    One day Zhuangzi and Huizi are strolling on Bridge Hao.

    Zhuangzi : "Look how happy the fish are just swimming around in the river."

    Huizi : "How do you know they are happy? You are not a fish."

    Zhuangzi: "And you are not me. How do you know I don't know the fish are happy?"

    Huizi: "Of course I'm not you, and I don't know what you think;
    But I do know that you're not a fish,
    and so you couldn't possibly know the fish are happy."

    Zhuangzi: "Look, when you asked me HOW I knew the fish were happy,
    you already knew that I knew the fish were happy.
    I knew it from my feelings standing on this bridge."
    ***

    So what's your conclusion?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. London Caller, this is a beautiful story.

      The happy fish reminded me, for some reason, about a discussion I had about zoos. My opponent's basic argument was that zoos are better because freedom is stressful for animals. I'm still trying to get my head around that one ...

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    2. Interesting story. Thanks for sharing it, LC. :)

      We impose our feelings and assume that it's the same for all around us. But we can't know exactly what the other person/being is really feeling because we are not them.

      Rurousha,
      Freedom is stressful for animals? Hmmmm indeed. Well, maybe so for your whippet. I don't think it can survive long alone. No?

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    3. It will have to. I don't think I could survive with a whippet ...

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  8. Fascinating topic!

    Lina, more similarities between the two thirdworlders: I also watched animals being slaughtered when I was a child, and I watched my mother – a farmer's daughter – cut up a sheep carcass on our kitchen table.

    We have to kill in order to live, whether it's an animal or a plant. So plants don't have brains and it's OK to kill them? I have many brainless students, too …

    An American high-volume slaughterhouse is my idea of hell + horror.

    I think children should know where food comes from. It might make them more grateful not only for food, but for life itself. The Japanese expression "itadakimasu", which we use at the start of a meal, means "I humbly receive this food" (from the plant/animal, from the person who prepared it, from the person who served it). It's a good expression, ne?

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    1. Yes, knowing how the food that we eat before it is served is a way to let children appreciate the food that is served.

      Maybe I am generalising here, but I find a lot of Americans frustrating because of their squeamishness towards how food looks like or what is served. There are all sorts of thing that they can't seem to stomach and those are actually edible!

      From where I come from, we don't really waste parts of animals because it looks yucky.

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  9. Fascinating topic!

    Lina, more similarities between the two thirdworlders: I also watched animals being slaughtered when I was a child, and I watched my mother – a farmer's daughter – cut up a sheep carcass on our kitchen table.

    We have to kill in order to live, whether it's an animal or a plant. So plants don't have brains and it's OK to kill them? I know many brainless students, too …

    An American high-volume slaughterhouse is my idea of hell + horror.

    I think children should know where food comes from. It might make them more grateful not only for food, but for life itself. The Japanese expression "itadakimasu", which we use at the start of a meal, means "I humbly receive this food" (from the plant/animal, from the person who prepared it, from the person who served it). It's a good expression, ne?

    PS: I thought I posted this comment but then it disappeared. If it suddenly appears twice, oops, sorry!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Blogger comments has been weird here lately. Quite a few comments from regular commenters were deemed as spam. :(

      Yes, itadakimasu is a good expression. :)

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    2. My regular commenters are also thrown out as spam! D'you think Blogger is trying to tell us we're talking too much? ;)

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    3. Ha! But we are not exactly the type that will take heed, right? xD

      Keep on spamming! ;)

      Delete
  10. I'm guilty of those who let other people do the dirty job when it comes to killing animals for food. I can't stand seeing suffering, maybe I should be a vegetarian but then plants also feel pain so I'll probably just have to starve like that.

    I suppose it's all done for survival.

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    1. Well, I let other people do that "dirty" work for me.

      But my point is, whether we make a point to teach and educate our children about how food came to our dining table. Or do we think that the "natural" way of getting food albeit having an animal killed for food is too gruesome for our children to learn and witness.

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  11. ye lah bad.. adam sangat sedih masa first time tengok ayam2 dia kena semelih. anis lansung tak boleh tengok. tapi time makan depa la makan paling banyak nya :D kekekekekekkekekk..

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    1. Aaaa... pramugari dah kena semelih ke?

      Ala2, budak2 sedik jap je. Lepas tu, boley makan hilang lah trauma kan?

      Lagi satu, ko suruh tak budak2 cabut bulu ayam? Mau lagi trauma. kekeke

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  12. I love animals and plants but I eat them! LOL!

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  13. It's good to teach children how their food arrive at the table. This is called education! Sooner or later, they need to know the truth. Why hide it?

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    1. What you said is true. And this is applicable to all sorts of things. Life isn't all nice and sweet. There are problems, there are sufferings around us. We shouldn't hide them from our kids.

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  14. I think plants do feel the pain too when we kill them. All living things feel the pain.

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    1. A Korean writer/poet (gosh, I forgot his name) once said that even rocks have feelings.

      I like the Japanese style of thinking that everything has a soul, even inanimate objects. ^^

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  15. So do you know the real moral value behind the Happiness of Fish?

    It means that you can talk rubbish to your heart content because nobody can disprove what you said is correct or wrong. Ka ka ka...

    Looks like I have certainly reached beyond this level lah.

    See how much fun I have talking about rubbish on my blog!

    I feel sorry for my readers sometimes. ;o)
    But hey life is short right, that's my principle lah.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, life is short. That's my principle too. ;)

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  16. It was only when I brought my young son to my aunt's Johor farm that he realised a chicken has feathers and walks on two feet. :D

    He has also witnessed the slaughtering of animals when I brought him to watch the 'korban'.

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    1. Hahaha... city boys who never seen animals roaming especially those they eat regularly can be surprised. Raimie always wanted to go check the ducks and the chickens and look at them in fascination whenever we went back to my hometown.

      But it's good education, right ECL? Especially for Jaymes who is cooking! :)

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