Boyfriend’s been out of town for the last few days, and so I took the opportunity tonight to do something for myself that I rarely do, since he isn’t a big fan. I went down to the local fishmonger’s and bought a big lobster for myself for dinner. I put it in the fridge, went to the gym, and when I came back, I eagerly started preparing the pot of boiling water.
As I was in the midst of watching the pot come to a simmer and melting some pasture butter as an accoutrement, it occurred to me that, by virtue of being a Mainer by birth and therefore eating lobster often throughout my life, I’ve been following best practices for eating real food and sustainable without even trying. Observe:
1. I know where my food comes from. Whenever I get lobster, I never am in the habit of going to the local grocery store (although they sometimes do have Maine lobsters, they might also be from Massachusetts, Canada, etc). I either go to Three Sons or Free Range Fish and Lobster, both on Commercial Street in downtown Portland. I know the lobsters have been fresh caught that day, often by the folks I’m buying it from and handing my money to. I know that they are wild and sustainably caught, and I am directly putting money back into the local economy.
2. I respect the animal’s life, and thank it for letting me eat it. It sounds corny, but whenever I am about to put a lobster in a boiling pot, I say a whispered, “Thank you,” and stick it in as fast as possible. I also try and respect its death by making sure it passes quickly and efficiently.
3. Lastly, by killing the animal myself, I feel I am closing the loop of the food process, and I am somehow more “worthy” of eating that creature than many of the other animals I eat. I didn’t see my burger get slaughtered. I never went out into the forest and hunted the venision or duck. I wasn’t there when my chicken was collected and killed for my dinner table.
But killing a lobster is one small step on my way to fuller confidence and respect of my food and where it comes from. It makes me think (and hope) that if I was ever in the position to need to kill my food on a more regular basis, I would be able to step up to the task.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you think humanity should move back into the habit of personally killing our food, to appreciate and value it more? Let me know in the comments!