Our diets consist of many different foods that allow us to indulge in delicious tasty treats every day. Our diets should contain a variety of foods that offer good health benefits but they should also include food that we can savor and enjoy. But how often have you actually thought about where your food comes from? And, have you ever actually thought about the processing and preparing of some of these treats included in our diets that we consider “delectable”? Let’s take a look at some foods that you may consider to be cruel after learning how they get from their environment to your plate.
Shark Fin Soup
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Shark fin soup is a popular treat in the diets of people in Asia and has also become quite popular in the United States. Many people believe that eating shark fin soup has many good health benefits including boosting sexual potency, improving skin quality, increasing energy, preventing heart disease and lowering cholesterol. However, if you actually thought about how this soup is prepared, you would be disgusted. To start, the fin of the shark is sliced off of living sharks in open water. Once the fin is sliced off, the shark is then thrown back into the water where they will suffer a horrible death, usually be drowning or bleeding to death in open water. This is not only beyond cruel to these animals, but it also damaging to the health of the oceans where this practice is taking place.
Cruel Foods Part of Everyday Diets
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Consuming lobster in our diets is a treat for most. Like other types of seafood, lobster contains many healthy vitamins and minerals that provide good health benefits. While some people may eat lobster to experience the good health benefits that it can offer, many consume it as a delicacy. However, an article recently in Prevention sheds light onto the fact that recent research, published in Animal Behavior, found that lobsters (as well as crabs) can feel pain and show signs of stress. Now that it is known that these creatures can feel pain, throwing them in a pot of boiling water for your palate pleasure seems a little on the cruel side, doesn’t it?
Balut is a soft boiled fertilized duck egg that is fully formed (think….feathers and bones). Patrons crack open the egg, drink the liquid and then spoon out the fetus to consume it. Balut is popular in diets of people living in the Philippines, Laos and some other southeastern Asian countries. However, it is also becoming popular in the United States, with many celebrities showing their love for this cruel food.
Foie gras is the fattened liver from a goose or duck that is served in some high-end restaurants and marketed as a silky smooth delicacy. The way in which these birds get these fatty livers is mighty cruel. They are force fed corn mash through a long metal tube that is inserted into their throats. They are force fed until their livers become about 10 times the size of a normal liver. After about a month of this force feeding they are slaughtered to offer foie gras. However, sometimes these birds may not make it through the force feeding process, at times the metal tube may damage the esophagus of the bird during the force feeding process, resulting in the bird’s death.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) there are a number of concerns with feedlot beef. The air in the feedlot is full of ammonia, methane, and other chemicals which can cause the cattle to develop respiratory problems. Feedlot cattle are often fed un-natural diets in an attempt to fatten them up; this can result in digestive pain. These cattle are also often pumped full of antibiotics to make them grow bigger and prevent infection. The lack of veterinary care for feedlot cattle is also disturbing as many of them die from injury or infection. The cruelty to the cattle grown for industrialized slaughter is a cruel way that we get our beef. Opting for free range cattle is a better option if you want to include beef in your diet.
The Good Health Message
The message here is that “delectable” treats may not be all that delectable when you think about the journey the animal takes on the way to your plate. Try to opt for local, humanely grown food options to include in your diets. This will help you to experience the good health benefits of healthy food while helping to minimize cruelty to animals.