Don't Eat Baby Animals ... They Just Don't Taste Good

A veal-scarfing food writer offers an odd argument for passing on piglets
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2011 11:42 AM CDT
Suckling pigs: just not that tasty.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Josh Ozersky is a James Beard award-winning food writer, but he's no morality cop: In an essay for Time, he admits to eating our planet's wee creatures: "veal cutlets, suckling pigs, spring lambs, game hens." And he has come to terms with that. But he does want to share one compelling reason for taking a pass on animal infanticide: "gastronomic principle." Because the thing is, baby animals just don't taste very good. As animals age they develop fat and muscle; "no teensy little 4-lb. chicken is ever going to have the flavor of a fat old hen."

So considering their "uniformly bland" flavor, why do we keep eating them? The fake reason is texture. "Their flesh is tender and so satisfies a country where the greatest compliment any meat can receive is that 'you can eat it with a spoon.'" The truer, harsher, sadder reason is that we like our meat cheap, writes Ozersky. "The longer an animal lives, the longer its owner has to shelter it and feed it; so every day it's allowed to live makes it less profitable. That's why the ribs at Burger King are the size of dominoes, and the chicken at Popeyes is barely bigger than quail." But ultimately, our palates suffer—as do the animals.

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