Matt Sanford

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The Honest Omnivore

I have many friends who are vegetarian to one degree or another and I'm happy to accommodate that. I respect their choice in the same way they respect mine. In asking around about people's dietary restrictions over the years I've found a group who annoy me: The Dishonest Omnivore.

I am an omnivore and I'm not ashamed. I'm also not squeamish about where my food comes from. I know that pork used to be a pig, beef a cow. I can't say I love the feel of raw chicken in my hands. What I can say is that I like the taste of chicken more than I dislike dealing with it in the raw … and because of that I'm unashamed to be an omnivore.

Burgers Shaped Like Cows

Anybody who has talked about food with me has heard my rant about burgers shaped like cows. Well, that pretty much the gist of this post and it sums up my feelings. If you order a hamburger you need to be comfortable with the fact you're eating what was formerly a cow (or, depending on where you order it, several different cows). If you ordered and someone told you the cow's name was "Bessy", would you order something else? If so, perhaps vegetarianism is for you. Vegetarian food is just as tasty, sustaining and filling as the omnivore diet.

As time has progressed we've become farther and farther removed from the source of our food. Where our parent or grandparents might have raised live stock, today the vast majority of us don't have that sort of connection to our food source. There has been a local food movement brewing, mostly focused on fruits and vegetables. This movement has been about distance in the traditional land area sense … I want less distance in the mental sense. I want to think about the previous form of my food. Be it vegetable:

Brussels Sprouts on the Vine

or animal:

British Pork Cuts

But let's be honest – nobody is squeamish about what a vegetable looked like in the field.

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