Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"You Will Let Me Know When Those Carrots Stop Screaming, Won't You Clarice?"

A plate of mixed murder victims from my garden.

By Darryl Mason

The Good Weekend's Food & Wine Issue last Saturday (not online) dipped into 'Fruitarianism', which I always thought was a joke food-consumption preference, going one better than veganism, that is you eat only lots of fruit, and steer away from vegetables that have been torn cruelly from the ground, against their will.

But Fruitarianism, according to the Good Weekend, is real enough, even though I was convinced it was invented by Monty Python for a TV skit they probably never actually did. Key quote from the story :
"Fruitarianism is not just about health. There's the ethical thing as well. You're not killing anything. You're not uprooting plants and killing them."
I slaughtered the fuck out of fat handfuls of beans, spinach, baby carrots and two kinds of basil in my little garden this afternoon. Of course, I had to block my ears with wadded tissues to blunt the shrieks of pain and desperate dislocation filling the air as I did so. And oh, the terrible cries of those baby pitiful.

But taking a stance in refusing to uproot tasty, crispy edible plants because you're "killing them" raises some interesting questions.

When exactly does a carrot die? The moment it is pulled from the ground?

Well, that can't be so, because I've replanted the same carrots two or three times when the freaky ones had outgrown their former beds and I'd wanted to see just how big they would get. Did they die when I pulled them from the warm bossom of Mother Earth and then resurrect Jesus-like when I replanted them somewhere more comfortable?

Is a carrot still alive when I carry it inside to the kitchen?

Is that carrot still alive when I go at it with the vegetable peeler? If the ethics of Fruitarianism is correct, then I'm literally skinning those carrots alive. And then once I've stripped them of their skin, I cut them to pieces and throw them in a sizzling wok for a stir-fry.

How goddamned brutal is that?

I never realised before just what a complete fucking monster I am. And how hungry writing all that has made me. Death to potatoes, death to spring onions and brocolli. I will make them beg for their lives, and still kill them.


Do hunter-eaters of deer and moose get these same kinds of cheap thrills?

Will taking pleasure in the suffering of innocent vegetables one day form part of the pyschological profile of a potential serial killer?

And how exactly do you give a handful of organic baby carrots a humane death?

So many questions. So many murdered plants to eat.