Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

Em n’Em n’Em

Penned upon the 1st of September, 2009

I’m just about to walk out the door to get some lunch, and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on food with you before I go! I’m a vegetarian, see – and I avoid leather where practical – for a variety of reasons, none of which make for terribly gripping reading. I’m not a vegan, though – I do use animal products which don’t have to be removed with anything more invasive than a haircut or massage. Or, in the case of case of the cashmere goat, a good combing. (Did you know that? Cashmere wool is so soft, they can comb it straight off the goat. If I got a gorgeous jumper every time I brushed my hair, I’d be as happy as a goat. And that’s pretty darn happy.)

So, as I say, I’m not a vegan. I don’t have the sort of mind which could be always looking up additive codes, determining which ones are made of haddock and which ones are only made of doorstops. Also, well, I don’t think I could take the concept entirely seriously. “Meat is murder” and “fur is murder” are bold rallying cries, true or not… “cheese is murder,” though? Not so sure.

Plus, some animal products make starkly clear the ambiguities inherent in the word “product.” For instance, the tin-miner’s blood is the product of the tin-miner – to harvest it would be monstrous. But the cobbler’s shoes are the product of the cobbler, and to wear them simply makes you a dapper gadabout. D’you see? Steak makes cows tin-miners, in this analogy… but take honey. I think bees are closer to cobblers, to be honest. If you take their honey-shoes, they can make some more, at their little comb-worktables. (Not the same comb-worktables used by the cashmere goatherds.)

Of course, no small part of animal rights ideology is the assumption that other animals have similar entitlements to humans – which may or may not be true, depending on the ethical system we’re grounding this argument in. But if we’re treating honey as an artisinal, even industrial, product, we’re bringing the concept of human rights for bees closer and closer to reality. Ergo, I think it’s only fitting to exclusively purchase fair-trade honey, which guarantees appropriate remuneration for unionised bees working in non-coercive environs. Why, with your support, we can lift these bees out of third-world conditions and have them living like queens!

(Wah wah waaaaah. But hey, I didn’t make a single contemptible pun on the word “buzz.” And seriously – that is one happy goat.)

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Commentary upon “Em n’Em n’Em”

  1. Andrew was heard to remark,

    Upon the 3rd of September, 2009 at 3:59 am,

    *clicks on link* well played, sir, well played.

  2. Melanthios was heard to remark,

    Upon the 17th of September, 2009 at 12:12 pm,

    I didn’t know you were a vegetarian. Oh dear, that sort of nixes all my restaurant plans….

    I’m a carnivore, you see–my body isn’t capable of surviving on any sort of vegetarian diet, because of how much iron and protein it wastes, and how little I actually eat. And vegan? Lord, that’s a long slow death for me.

    In any case, I will warn you that I am a bit… well, awkward, around vegetarians. I tend to offend them a lot with my meat-eating, fur-wearing ways.

    In my defence, I am totally willing to try human flesh, just as much as I am willing to try deer or pheasant (both of which I have never had).

  3. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 17th of September, 2009 at 12:31 pm,

    Never fear – I’m quite unoffendable in that regard! Mostly, I just like vegetables. Sha eats meat, and we cook together, so don’t feel awkward at all!

    (You know how people say “I’ve been vegetarian for years and I still miss bacon,” and suchlike? Well, I’ve been vegetarian for five years and I don’t miss bacon… but I do miss corned beef. Mmm, corned beef.)

  4. Melanthios was heard to remark,

    Upon the 18th of September, 2009 at 2:45 am,

    If you like fruits and vegetables, California is the right place to be! We basically grow the rest of the country’s produce.

    Do you like avocados? Also I think this year is a mango year, and I know the tree starts dropping them in the autumn… H’m.

    In any case, there will be a lot of fruit that is the tastiest fruit you will ever have. I’m serious.

  5. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 18th of September, 2009 at 2:54 am,

    A bold claim, sir! You speak to a son of the Yarra Valley, raised amid fields of berries and orchards of drupes! We shall determine the truth… with delicious snacks! :D

    (I love avocados. And mangos too! Seriously, don’t worry about exercising your carnivorousness around me – aside from meat, I’ll have a go at pretty much anything.)

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