Happy World Vegetarian Day! Plus, My 15th Anniversary
Response to the Practical Vegetarian article Huffington Post

This is not food to me, how about you?

Every time I go shopping at places other than the farmer's market I have to walk past sections and counters of1002101343[1]  
bloody and fowl smelling decaying beings. Not that I want to, but I can't get everything I need at the farmer's market and there are no all-vegan well-stocked stores in the area.

Personally I find these dead animal departments revolting. Those who consume animals probably don't notice the smell of death that the rest of us do. Nor do they see these products for what they really are...

Often times I take my kids over to the counter and discuss with them1002101343a_0001[1]  
what they are seeing. Today I decided to take a picture of some of what we looked at and talked about (these were taken at Whole Foods Market!).

Quite honestly I cannot fathom the idea of someone looking at these display cases and seeing something they identify as food. I really don't get it. I look at it and I see nothing resembling food. I see only death, the results of selfishness and sadness.

How about you? What is your experience walking past the dead animal department?


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At my usual supermarket, the hummus and pita bread are in a little display at the deli. Every time I go over to grab hummus I get asked if I need assistance. Oh, no, little Deli workers. I do not need your sandwich meats or cheap fried chicken. With the layout of the store, I can completely bypass the other plastic wrapped dead animal section. And, thankfully, this supermarket that I go to a lot does not have a lobster tank. Some others do and that is harder, I think, to walk past than the dead fish and other animals.


I think for most people this comes from an archaic mindset of deprivation. I guess at one time this would have been "bounty" and sustenance. Certainly those times are way behind us!

Just looking at the ice in the cases and what it takes to keep those poor murdered animals "attractive" or "fresh" enough to be edible is an extreme waste in and of itself. Yes, I'm also all to familiar with the smells around meat and "seafood" counters - It's repulsive, I agree.

Do I see it as "food" not hardly... Maybe if it was the only option available in order to avoid starvation - I'd have no choice. But to select, chew and swallow that over honest food? Not a chance!


Thank you for this post. I feel the same way and am also shocked that so many people aren't disgusted by it. I think they've just been desensitized to it at a young age so they simply don't see it as having been a living being that actually wanted to stay alive.

But what amazes me most is that at supermarkets they have the lobsters in the aquarium for customers to pick and then boil to death. I just don't understand that, and it's honestly really depressing every time I have to pass by the lobsters knowing how they'll be killed. I feel like I can't do anything about it because it's such a widespread and accepted thing to most people.

In fact there are websites that discuss the more "humane" methods of killing lobsters, and they suggest first freezing the lobster for 5-10 minutes and then boiling it to reduce tail movements (which supposedly represents the pain they're feeling). They argue that freezing "numbs the pain". I just find that to be absolutely ridiculous. I wish it would all just stop. :(


I detest the smell. It is awful. I especially hate the smell of any kind of fish--it is gag-inducing. It looks like something a bear or seal would love to eat, but not a human being.


Thanks for all the intereting feedback, everyone!

Jessica, you are so lucky that you can bypass that section! It seems like at the two stores I normally shop at it you can't get away from it. I totally agree about the lobster tanks. I take the kids over to them purposely so we can discuss the lobsters and how awful the situation in. A decade ago I used to carry "lobster liberation" stickers and I would put them on the tanks. It's an awful situation...

BeaElliot... you make some very good points, thank you! I think the days of us starving and needing to eat just about anything to survive are behind us (at least in America). Starvation is another thing all together. If I were starving I'd even be looking at tree bark to survive! :)

Peace - I totally agree! For me, the smell of sea animals (fish, crab, shrimp, etc.) is revolting. When I visited San Francisco one year I was gagging at the smell over b Fisherman's Wharf. People cooking that stuff all over as you walked by. It was absolutely gagging me! I can't see how anyone smells that and thinks it smells good!

So glad I'm not the only one that passes this section and feels the way I do.


I read this as I was putting almond milk on my cereal and wishing I could let myself drink cow's milk...I'm one of those vegetarians (wishing I was/trying to be vegan) who is not disgusted by meat. I actually had to buy turkey at the deli counter a year or so ago (my cat was not eating anything and we were trying everything), and I felt horribly guilty and ashamed but I was not grossed out. Maybe because a meat log at the deli counter doesn't look like a turkey?
Lobster tank: Totally agree; my grocery store did have that (they don't anymore) and that was very hard to walk by.



Thank you for your feedback. Very interesting... I'm wondering how long you have been a vegetarian and what prompted you to become one? I could see how people who are vegetarian for health reasons would not find the "meat" department repulsive. It is probably those of us who are veg for ethical reasons that find it so disgusting.



I agree, Jacqueline: animals are most certainly not food; and I cringe whenever I have to walk close to the meat section in grocery stores! Wish there were vegetarian markets (not the outdoor kind) but there is, of course, no such thing anywhere nearby. The GOOD thing is that grocery stores carry so much more (vegetarian) food and other vegetarian items now than they used to!


There is actually an all vegan market that opened up...but it is an hour away each direction. So I haven't been there yet. You can check it out at www.artichokered.com.


I've been a vegetarian for over 10 years and it really is for ethical reasons, not for health reasons. I give money and time to animal welfare causes. I think there are people who are more sensitive to the world, feel things more deeply than I do. I also think there is so much to not like about how humans behave and feel that they own the world, but I digress...I don't know why it doesn't bother me to walk through the deli - I honestly never really thought about it. It does bother me to open up the "sports" section of my newspaper (Knoxville News Sentinel) and see some smiling kid holding up the head of a dead deer - That definitely gets to me.


Artichoke Red sounds awesome! Another reason Orlando rocks.

~Faraway fan


Kristina, that is interesting that you have been veg for 10 years and it is for ethical reasons, yet you don't find the "meat" dapartment revolting. Maybe after this conversation you will be looking it more closely and will report back that it is disgusting after all. :)

Jessica - yes, it does! I do plan to stop in when I'm over there. It seems very cool. I will write about it once I stop in. Orlando is such a vegetarian friendly city!

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