My career in vegetarianism began when I first realised what veal was. After eliminating baby cow from my diet aged 11 (baby! cow! tiny baby cow that had only drunk its mother’s milk!), it was swiftly followed by lamb. The pendulum kept swinging in that direction until I was only eating seafood and then, after about 10 years or so, it began to swing back.
But it never EVER swung back to veal.
Or any small or baby animals. No duckling or suckling pig or quail or lamb or veal or spatchcock. None. Which is why Masterchef contestant Claire Winton Burn’s recent piece for Fairfax about eating babies made me shudder.
From SMH, Claire writes…..
“You name it, we’re eating it younger or eating it smaller. Even
micro-cresses and micro-herbs are abundant in restaurants and at markets. Is it about flavour, or what looks good on the plate? Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, a reflection of a cultural obsession with youth and beauty. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that the idea of eating vegetables young, fresh and sweet has a real allure.
Likewise, eating baby animals has become increasingly popular. Veal and vealer — traditionally a common flashpoint for protest — is a regular feature on menus around town.
Suckling pig (which is slaughtered at about four to seven weeks) graces the tables of several of our best restaurants. Goslings and poussins or coquelets (small chickens slaughtered at about 28 days) are readily available in both restaurants and specialist poultry shops. If you’re very lucky, you might even find kid or suckling lamb from select suppliers (suckling lamb is generally slaughtered at least four weeks earlier than regular lamb).
This marks a subtle but palpable shift in public sentiment when it comes to the consumption of all creatures cute and fluffy, although it’s not hard to see why these diminutive delights are prized: their meat is sweet and tender.
Ugh. Seriously. How can you eat anything that’s prefaced by the word SUCKLING? That means breastfeeding!
Are you cool with eating baby animals? Is there anything you won’t eat for ethical reasons?