A few words on my thoughts about animal eating.

I'm not really one to push my ideals on anyone. I like the way I do things, but that doesn't make them wrong or right. It just makes it the way I do things. Eating meat has often been looked down on because of several factors ranging from spiritual to ecological. I don't think it's a secret what my stance is on eating meat as I often post recipes and food photos of some creature I've devoured. But, that's not to say that I don't think about it.

I've recently been giving it even more thought because of my head cheese experiment, and today in fact as I was dismembering a rabbit. I know that some of you are, at this moment, cringing at the thought and just reading these words makes you a little upset. For that I am very sorry. I will say this, as I process these animals it is very difficult for me to do so. To see them go from shapes reminiscent of animals to piles of meat on a plate. It's difficult for me because I love animals. I think pigs are cute and rabbits, even more so. You might ask why I would do such a thing then. Why go through the process of quartering a hogs head, with it's human like skin, and eyes that seem to have a soul? Why take apart a rabbit and turn it into legs, ribs, back, and spine?

This year I purchased a hunting rifle for the hopes of learning how to process a deer from snout to tail. I have this feeling that I/we have lost touch with the animals we eat, because we now have huge slaughterhouses that take care of the less desirable process of killing an animal and giving them to us as porterhouses, loins, filets, etc. The thought doesn't even cross my mind that the animal I'm eating was very recently living and breathing the same air I breathe.

Somehow, by taking the time to learn these skills of processing animals, takes me in two very different directions. On one hand I feel as though I'm justified because I've looked the beast in the eye, and I've done broken the animal down myself. On the other hand it makes me feel as though I'm all wrong. I feel stressed out, uneasy, upset, and I wonder why I have to eat these animals at all. I feel as though I can almost feel the knife cutting through the skin and tendons and bone.

This discussion has gotten deeper into my psyche than I thought it would. But, in a way I'm glad I put the words down for the world to see rather than have them bouncing in my head. I do intend to take a deer this year. It may be the only deer in my life that I take down. It may be my last day as a omnivore. It's all very uncertain. I do know that if I do continue this path of eating meat, by taking apart a rabbit or quartering a pigs head, I've learned so much about myself, and learned to be so thankful for the animal before me.

--Joe Kwon