Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Well, they did. Yup, hundreds of nice folks came out to Wantagh park in Long Island for the annual Make-A-Wish Foundation picnic. Highlighting the diverse menu was pork, as in the kind from a pig, like the one they suspended over coals and roasted.
Let me just say it was tender AND delicious. Unfortunately, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, its organizers and this blog were inundated with protest emails from animal rights activists and Vegans.

"Hi George - I found your blog when I was looking this Make-a-Wish event up, as I had gotten an email on it, and always check things out before commenting. The Make-a-Wish Foundation is a wonderful organization. I have donated, and know of people that it helped. I am a vegetarian," begins one email.

"While I am not militant in my actions, and try not to impose my views on others, I do have strong convictions. This is a family event. The idea of having a whole pig like that is cruel. Why someone would think that would be family type entertainment is, frankly, beyond my understanding," she continues.

What does a "family" event have to do with it? There are plenty of families around the country, who live on farms and in rural communities who derive most of their food from livestock. They get eggs from hens, milk and beef from cows, pork from pigs and they chase down a turkey on Thanksgiving, chop its head off, pluck the feathers, cook it up and eat it. Believe it or not, those nice, blood red fillets you see in the supermarket come from cows! And guess what, they're dead!

"I have 2 boys, and yep, they eat meat. It's their choice. Vegetarianism is mine. For an organization that is all about compassion, this act does not seem very compassionate to me. Have a barbecue, offer vegetarian options for those who may not want meat, or may want to try them. But a whole pig?"

Oh, so her children DO eat meat.....and where do they think that meat came from, a tree? God forbid, if her children ever saw Mom picking fruit from a tree. How cruel. Where's the compassion for the passion fruit? In case you were wondering, the pig was roasted, primarily before the event began and out of sight of any young or offending eyes. The pig was sliced into nice, tender, non-offending morsels and placed on lovely platters for serving. And, indeed there was more than just pork. Besides the burgers and dogs, the buffet table was filled with pastas, salads and yes, even fruit.

"I know the first time I saw a pig like that, is was pretty disturbing, and I ate meat at the time. So maybe there are better options?"

Better options? Like a salad bar? Come on, snap out of it. Prior to supermarkets, where the meat is presented in pleasant to look at slabs, us humans would hunt for our food. That meant killing live animals and eating the cooked flesh (meat as you know it.) Hunters do that today, some for sport and many for survival.

A few years ago, I spent Thanksgiving with a Colorado family that owned a rural farm. The morning before the big feast, the three children would go out to the turkey coop and select a plump looking bird.

They even had names. Little Sarah piped up, "Let's eat Benny." 8-year-old Brandon pouted, "Sarah picked last year. I want Tom (the turkey)." Jessica countered, "he's not big enough." Once they picked the bird, it would be released in the pen and the children would chase it down, catch it and give it to dad to chop off its head. Still, running around (like a chicken with its head cut off), Dad picked up the turkey and hung it upside down to drain the blood. The next day, the turkey would be skinned and prepped for meal time.

I'll be attending next year's charity picnic and I would encourage your children to come out and take a look at the pig while it's being roasted, just so they know, where the other white meat really comes from.

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