2011年2月23日水曜日

de-sensitised

The local meat shop has a big new (handwritten, paper) sign out.

I drove past it three times before I noticed that I hadn't noticed it.

As in I was reading it each time but not reacting the way I would have thought I would.

The sign said "Today's special: stewed horse's small intestine"

Horse meat is a local speciality here. Mostly it's eaten raw. The meat is a very dark red colour but really doesn't taste that different from beef.

Yup. I've eaten it. Poor cute horsey.

But then what about poor cute lamby?

And poor cute piggy?

I eat them after all....

The one thing that worries me is I've never seen a horse farm so I don't know what conditions they are kept in. And that bothers me. I'm a hypocritical carnivore- I only want to eat happy animals.

As an Australian in Japan every now and again someone asks me "Why don't you want Japanese people to eat whale?"

To which I answer "Because it doesn't taste any good."

Yup. I've eaten whale, too. It was a local speciality where I was living so avoiding it was difficult- it even made appearances in the school lunch menu.

I have also eaten wild boar (strong taste and vile smell), deer (not memorable), sea cucumber (chewy, chewy, chewy), wasp pupae(tasted like the soy sauce and sugar glaze and not much else), crickets (see wasp pupae) and was given some part of a bear's internal organ (maybe liver?) as it was good for pregnant women but I'm afraid I may have accidentally mixed up the rubbish bin and the fridge when I went to put it away...

I never ate any of these things in Australia and when I first got to Japan I was horrified at the very idea of eating meat other than chicken, pork, beef or fish (white fleshed). So, I've gone from that to driving past a fresh horse gizzards sign and not thinking twice. Makes me realise
how desensitised I've become. It'll still be many more years before I slurp up some of K's favourite pungent shiokara though: squid in a salted squid guts sauce. All yours honey!

5 件のコメント:

Little Matt さんのコメント...

Surely K's dish can't be any worse than that fould smelling Natto you and the girls love.
Ew!

That is interesting though, that you've gotten so used to the concept that you've lost the shock reaction.

I may not have been quite as adventurous as you in your meats, but I'm on the way.
I can add Emu and Crocodile (admittedly it was jerky) to my list. Deer was nice and lean, but no real taste sensation, I agree.

Rachel さんのコメント...

I think I ate more odd things in Australia, too! Crocodile, camel, emu, kangaroo... and crickets in Thailand.

Ask VP Susie all about the horses. Someone she knew was involved in the flying of hundreds of horses in a converted 747 to Kyushu, from the US I think. Apparently they only have to be in Japan munching Japanese grass for 4 months before you can label it Japanese meat. So they are retired race-horses, unwanted ponies, etc.

As for the whales, I don't find the arguments that you should not eat them because they are smart or whatever very compelling. After all, pigs are pretty smart right? I don't see it as any different. For me it's more the conservation aspect, and the fact that everyone else agreed on it. Japan is being very selfish and quite childish - like Okaasan said 'no more cookies' and little Taro stamped his foot and snuck into the cookie jar at the neighbor's house while no-one was looking, and then explained it as 'but I am just counting them!. Japanese should be ashamed that the whaling supporters are making look like liars and theives.

gaijinwife さんのコメント...

I only want to eat happy animals too :)

Right, time to hop to the supermarket to find me some happy chicken on a stick for dinner.

D. さんのコメント...

A couple of Italian recipe for horse's meat:

* eat it raw, minced and seasoned, for a least an hour, with good olive's oil, salt, lemon's juice, pepper and minced garlic. I love it!

* eat it in the form of bresaola, but I suspect that don't exist in Japan :P

Here in Italy they say that it's great for kids, anaemic people and pregnant women, because it's very nutritious. I don't know if it's true, but surely it's tasty!

Naomi さんのコメント...

I needed to comment:

It riles me that people are against eating whale meat. Whatever their reasons, if they all stopped eating beef, that would conserve the world better than to stop eating whales.

Cows are pretty and such docile creatures. I bet they are smart too. They also produce so much methane that contributes to greenhouse gases, they and farming are responsible for most of the deforestation around the world.

We definitely should eat less of beef and some alternatives like whales is a great idea!!!

The save the whale campaign is just a fundraiser for Sea Shepherd to sail gung ho round artic seas trying to stop a formidable naval fleets. There just are not enough real sea battles in this world.