Simon Wood

Hump Day: Food Without A Face

I’m a pet owner and I like give my boys something good to eat, so in addition to their dry and tinned food, I like to throw in a little bit of beef or chicken. Essentially, I like to up the food quality ante, but I seem to be alone in this. Others want to lower the bar.

My heart sinks when I’m in the pet food store and I wander down certain aisles that seem to contain nothing but animal extremities. There are bins and bins of pig snouts, cow hooves, and cow, lamb, & pig ears. I understand animals aren’t people so they eat things I wouldn’t eat, but come on. Is there nothing sacred?

Apparently not.

A new product came to my attention the other week–Lamb Lung Chips! Who the hell thought of that? Some budding Hannibal Lector? And furthermore, who thought lamb ones would be tastier than cow ones? And these are the parts they are willing to label. There are such things as: ear puffs, moo puffs, moo tugs and lamb crunchies. What these things actually are, I haven’t a clue. My mind boggles at the possibilities of what will hit the shelves next. Maybe donkey knees?

I just hope the animals are dead when these people take the snouts and ears and what else is left from the creatures. I’m a regular donator to the ASPCA and other animal charities, and I don’t want them to send me pictures of their latest cruelty case where they’ve discovered a farm filled with snoutless pigs, hoofless cows and lungless sheep.

This is really plumbing the depths. Can’t we aim higher than this for our animals? Now I shouldn’t get too high and mighty because I know someone will raise the uglier side of hotdog meat.

I know animals aren’t fussy about this. They’re quite happy to eat it if it’s there. I suppose I’m squeamish about my food’s origins. I like a nice steak, but I don’t like thinking of it as some longhorn wandering around the meadows. My food has to be anonymous, without a face and packaged in 10oz portions. When I hand my dog an animal product with a recognizable feature, suddenly it’s all brought home to me–that to sustain a life, I must take a life.

Ecologically speaking, I shouldn’t be too distraught over the use of animal leftovers for food. At least nothing is going to waste. This trend for “no scrap left behind” is good news for pets, but bad news for burger joints.

3 Responses to “Hump Day: Food Without A Face”

  1. Rhiannon

    I am a regular user of my local meat market and they will turn anything people won’t eat into dog treats. My dog goes crazy when he smells something in the bag for him. In a small market I appreciate the lack of waste, but from those big companies who get their products from who knows where no thanks.

  2. MarcyG

    In the olden days, nothing was wasted. Pig ears, snouts and the like were used to make soups. I was reading that during WWII, folks in Europe were eating horseflesh. In today’s world we are horrified at the thought.

  3. Simon Wood

    Hi ladies,

    My parents grew up in London during the blitz and I could tell you a funny story about what happened to her sister’s pet rabbit. :-0

    Actually, there’s a movement in the restaurant trade back to “nose to tail” consumption when it comes to what cuts of meat are used to reduce waste. And horse is still common in France.

    I suppose it comes down to presentation. The harsh realities of some of these animal treats are a little too honest for people (like me). They couldn’t soften the blow with a little marketing. I wonder what lung chips translates to in French. 😉


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