Meat, My Friend, Bessie

My name is Anthony, and I love meat.

This past holiday season I was granted a Christmas miracle: a miracle of the meaty kind.

Some friends and I were pulling into Edmonton from a stand-up comedy gig in High Level, Alberta. For those geographically challenged, that’s an eight-hour drive, straight up, pretty much scraping the top of Alberta.

One long eight-hour drive in a constant 30-below-blizzard later, the light at the end of the tunnel (namely the first sign letting me know where West Edmonton Mall was) had arrived.

Dreams of a warm wave pool dancing in my head, I failed to notice my comic pals shouting at me to pull over.

Directly ahead of us, on a busy main thoroughfare, were bunches of pink “things” strewn all over the road. As I pulled over, my friends bolted out of the car and started rapidly gathering all the pieces of road detritus.

Literally two minutes later, the guys came running back with two coolers and a laundry basket filled with frozen meat. We’re talking about an entire cow here folks.

From what we could CSI out of the situation, someone, hereto known as Farmer Brown, had taken their prize “Bessie” to the local butcher. Said butcher then carefully carved, wrapped and froze “Bessie” into her delicious salient parts. Said parts then somehow fell out of Farmer Brown’s truck, and into our laps.

Possession – nine tenths of the law, and all that, eh gang?

Besides, we’re three comedians; you normally won’t find a lot of choice cuts in our freezer. Plus – one of the comics avowed right then and there that he wouldn’t steal groceries anymore. So in a utilitarian sense, I think we made the right decision.

Besides, really, who are we to look a gift cow in the mouth?

It’s like we stumbled across the most delightful road kill in the world.

Growing up, my father had a small hobby farm. At a young age, I was under no allusions as to where my meat was coming from. I had a hand in the critter husbandry, and I was there to watch their gruesome end. I like to think it gave me a healthy perspective on being a meat eater.

Meat cultivation isn’t pretty. But it just isn’t a moral issue for me.

I don’t feel bad about eating steak.

Nor do I think there’s any difference from where it comes from.

But some people make an arbitrary dividing line between hunting wild game (good), to picking up some ground beef at the grocery store (bad).

In my honest opinion, whether the meat came from Extra Foods, or was shot on the side of the Dempster Highway, is irrelevant. People are actually getting into arguments over which are the nobler course for our meat vehicles: a wander into the slaughterhouse versus a bullet through the neck.

If you were to query the animal in question, I’d betcha it would go for the “not dying at all” option.

So if you’re going to eat meat and be remorseful, at least have a go at figuring out why you’re attaching guilt to your food.

And once you’re done, I have a deep freeze full of street beef to share.

“Bessie”, we barely knew ye!

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