The Meat We Eat

by Joe Buonfiglio

Well, there it was; yet another carcass of some poor, unsuspecting fowl that gave its life, its very existence, so that I could stuff my face on its flesh right down to the bone.

This time, however, the ghastly remains turned my stomach.

Oh, I had sworn off the eating of my fellow travelers of our blue-green Earth before. There was that time in college when I went to pick a friend up at his student job in the university’s agriculture unit. I walked in right as he was finishing up.

“Hey, Joe. Be right with you. Last one,” he calmly stated as he placed a rod-like device to some credulous cow’s forehead that sent some horrifying projectile into the poor animal’s brain, thus dropping the beast as casually as one drops off a bag of clothes at the dry cleaners.

“Holy fuck!” I remember blurting out, followed by a series of gagging sounds that lead to my swearing off meat FOREVER!

But, as time wore on, my favorite eatery’s mushroom-Swiss burger called to me and I was back on the red-meat trail.

Then there was the time I went fishing with my dad and had to “clean” (read: gut and scoop out the innards) one of the slimy-silver creatures for the first time. Even at that tender age in that period of barely sentient youth, I was quite sure I would never eat another sea critter ever again. However, that same summer found me reveling in the catching and subsequent boiling of blue crabs. The utter childhood glee I had in holding them under the rolling-hot water until they stopped moving and turned bright red not only proved what a monster in human form I was, but made it okay for me to again show the ocean’s bounty the pathway to my plate whenever the delightful opportunity arose.

Then there was the first time my dad took me duck hunting as a child.

Shot a duck.

The dog brought its limp body back to me.

I cried.

I never hunted again.

I swore I’d NEVER eat duck as long as I lived.

Of course, later in life, during an ouzo-fueled romp through a Greek festival in Tarpon Springs, Florida, I devoured a wonderfully prepared duck at celebrated restaurant and, well, that lifelong pledge to swear off the consumption of the gamy meat quickly fell into the abyss of good intentions.

Now, this very evening, I’m looking down the barrel of a shredded chicken carcass the likes of which there is little to parallel for utter disgust save, perhaps, a hawk sinking its talons into some innocently foraging chipmunk before carrying it off into the air to meet some ghastly fate involving playful disemboweling amidst consuming while still alive.

Okay, perhaps impregnating your mind with that scene for which sponsor Mutual of Omaha would have insisted stay on the Wild Kingdom show’s cutting-room floor is a bit too grisly a fare to pay to make my point. Nevertheless, you get the picture.

It is COMPLETELY disgusting.

Maybe I should go vegetarian or even vegan (vegetarianism’s more militaristic cousin). The health benefits are obvious, but that’s a tough call. It’s like deciding if you’re an Agnostic or a full-bore Atheist.

Anyway, whether or not I take the plant-based plunge, one thing is for certain; I’m now off chicken.

… until I’m not.


© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

4 thoughts on “The Meat We Eat

  1. Aw, man, that carcass looked fabulous! I mean my gob was absolutely dripping spit to get ahold o that thing. ARRGGGGGHHHH! Where’d you get it? I’m so there!! (Actually, I’m a vegan. But this is my lunch hour.)

  2. Um, wait. I was expecting to be banned like last time? And the time before that? Can you delete that last post? It’s really embarrassing. Dude, like I’m really a vegan? Yeah, right. As if.

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