Wednesday, December 15, 2010

icky poo...

So, in the spirit of giving, our adolescent cat decided to knock on the back door at lunch time to share his achievement - a very dead mouse. I naturally didn't let him in and was treated to the sound of him banging his prize against the door periodically as he tossed it into the air to play. This went on for some time and I asked myself why it bothered me so intensely. I mean, he's only marginally domesticated (like all cats) and his primary purpose really is to control the rodent population, so why did it make my skin crawl to visualize what he was doing. There was absolutely no way I was letting him in.

Should I have been proud he was fulfilling his purpose? I don't know. I honestly don't think that "positive reinforcement" has much effect on felines. They pretty much please themselves. I was secretly grateful that he was capable of annihilating vermin so efficiently, but I really didn't want to witness it.

Which makes me wonder about a lot of things. I like chicken, but there is no way you'd ever catch me killing or witnessing the killing of said bird. I like my food sanitized by the venue of the supermarket in most cases. I don't mind gardening and picking produce, but I suspect if I had to take on the hunter/gatherer role, I'd likely be a vegan. Unless someone offered to do it for me...and that's precisely the issue, isn't it? There are simply some jobs that we cannot fathom being able to perform. For some people it's the cooking, for others it's the cleaning, or the driving, or changing the diapers, or even making the phone calls. Everyone has particular task that they dread and avoid at all costs. I still remember how difficult it was for me to cut a chicken up for preparing fried chicken. I honestly had to force myself to listen to the bones cracking under the cleaver and the slimy flesh parting beneath the blade. It's still not my favorite job but I've learned to just distance myself from it and get on with it. So maybe that's all it is - I'm just not naturally gifted at the distancing part. But because society reinforces my dislike and enables my avoidance, I'm not about to stop buying my meat butchered and packaged. Not for a long time.

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