Oddly enough, I witnessed and participated in the killing and cutting apart of a chicken for the first time just days after becoming a vegetarian. For others in the group it is this interaction with the loss of life required to eat meat which made them become vegetarians. I wonder if I hadn’t already became one days prior would this have made me one. However by no means do I intend to start this yak by expressing opinions of killing a chicken as disgusting and repulsive. In fact, despite my initial shock and resistance to holding/cutting the chicken’s neck, once we got to plucking and cutting I became more curious than anything.
It was then that I realized how out of touch I was with how food actually got onto my plate. Farming for an afternoon in Sittong and spending time earlier in Kalimpong cooking with my didi also served as experiences that enhance my understanding of and appreciation for the food I eat. Preparing soil to grow beans in Sittong’s heat, wading through cow dung and mud to plant rice, and attempting and failing to correctly crimp momos all made me appreciate each bite all the more, despite being incredibly tired of eating (my host families were always feeding me so much more than I am used to back home, but I did my best to try and keep up!) I did not become vegetarian only out of dislike for meat and the killing process but also so that I could accept more seconds and show my families I appreciated the food they have cooked.
Alas, my view of food is still changing…
Maybe Ill try to cook more when I go home. Mom, Dad – please have lots of fruits and smoothie ingredients and veggies when I get home! I’m not sure I can eat anymore rice.