I had to run out and do some errands during lunch, and then picked up a hamburger to eat at my desk. These two facts cause me a little reflection because up here north of Austin, when you drive around on the interstates you constantly see cattle out eating in their fields, even here in what is in effect suburbia. Indeed, as I sit here in my corporate office building, if I headed out the door and walked across the street and down the road, perhaps a fifteen minute walk, I could gaze across a barbed wire fence at cattle grazing.
However, though I very much enjoy a good hamburger or steak on occasion, I have never killed and cleaned a cow -- or any other food animal. I don't have any particular objection to doing so. Indeed, it seems to me that at some point in my life I should go hunting or help slaughter farm animals, simply in order to have an appreciation for how this everyday act of eating meat ties in with the greater fabric of life and human experience in other times and places.
I suspect that a solid majority of Americans, especially city-dwellers, have never killed and cleaned their own meat. (Sure, lots of people hunt -- but think its a minority, and probably a shrinking one.) And I can't help wondering if after a generation or two that that starts to change cultural attitudes on a range of issues -- some of which would seem at first to be only tangentially related to food.