March 8, 2008
The Ethical Carnivore

I found it equally disturbing and fitting when I recently heard that my friend Alain's nephew, Olivier, had become a butcher. I knew Olivier some 15 years ago, when he was only four or five years old and he was a holy terror. His parents ambled through life, seemingly unconscious of their devil offspring's dangerous tendencies. As an example, I give you a conversation between myself and Daniel 15 years ago, when we were visiting their house near Chartres. Daniel had been trimming the hedge with a chainsaw and came into the house for a break and a chat with his brother.

Me: Daniel, I think that Olivier is interested that chainsaw.

Daniel (Deep in conversation with Alain): Ouais, ca va (yeah, okay)

Me: Daniel, he's trying to pick it up.

Daniel: Ouais, ca va...

Me: Is it plugged in?

Daniel: He can't start it.

Me: Daniel...

Sound of chainsaw being started and Daniel leaps out the window shouting "Putain!"...

So this boy is now licensed to use sharp objects. In fact, he won an award last year, came in second in the competition for the best young butcher of Paris. I should introduce him to my brother the next time he comes to visit, as my brother is also making a foray into the world of butchering these days. Big Brother has a farm in Oregon and he and his tenant recently butchered their first pig. He wrote a thoughtful post about the process and the reasons for it here.

I am so very proud of my brother, because he's a very gentle soul at heart. He believes in organic farming and peaceful living. And because he likes to eat meat, he also believes that he should be willing and able to participate in bringing that meat to the table from the very start of the process. And I'm going to go live near him when the revolution comes because not only does he now know how to butcher a pig, but my sister says he's learning to make cider too....

Posted by Meg in Sussex at March 8, 2008 1:56 AM Print-friendly version

You must know that we have to start in with our own stories now, right?

My 2 year old (at the time) was in the car waiting for me to say goodbye to my friends. We were all standing near the car and Steve reaches in to grab my portable drill with drill bit IN the drill. It was safely in a locked toolbox, just so you know. He fools with it pretending to drill his own eye with it, laughing at how funny it would be if Zachary did the same. Har. I said not to do that cause he'll actually do it, kids are funny that way. So, Steve sets it down and lightening quick Zachary grabs it, turns it on and points it to his eyes. Funny how we old folk can move quckly too.


Posted by Dr. Biggles on March 20, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Biggles, the other stories I remember about Olivier (though there were many, many others) were:

- the time he opened the neighbor's aviary and set his 50+ prize parakeets free

- the time his parents turned away for two minutes at the menagerie in Paris and looked back to find him sitting in the pen on the back of a 150 year old turtle

For myself, no power tools stories yet, but it's early days! I can prove my Bad Parenting Skills though with one story: left the 8 month old baby in a 1960's high chair (no restraints) while I made dinner. From the living room, I heard his two year old brother call BEEBEE! BEEBEE! "Mmh...what about the baby?" I answered. BEEBEE DOWN BEEBEE DOWN! And I ran back to find the baby's nose disappearing under the tray...OOPS!

More stories!

(P.S., I directed my brother to your site, Dr. B., for advice on smoking bits of that pig!)

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 21, 2008 at 4:53 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please be sure you read and agree with our ADVERTISING POLICY before posting.