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Only assholes eat turtles

I thought I'd share a little tidbit of information about me. Coming as I do from a chinese family, I've probably eaten assorted animal bits that don't normally cross the dinner plates of my whitey western friends. None of this is exotic really. It's not eating new and interesting animals as much as munching the parts of animals that most people already eat but simply not those bits. We're talking here about chicken feet or tripe or the odd chunk of ear or heart or what have you. Now, I've been spending a good bit of time watching Andrew Zimmerman's show, Bizarre Foods, on the travel network lately. The entire idea is he travels around eating the nastiest crap he can find. It's like a one man fear factor though he tries to blow smoke up your ass by telling you that he believes that the way we can bring the entire world together is through experiencing one another's food. I'm just not sure that we could get Osama and George Bush to reenact hands across America simply by putting a table of pigs feet and camel humps between them.

Anyway, I'm pretty stoic about most of the things he eats. You couldn't pay me to consume most of it, though not necessarily because of the taste but it doesn't usually disgust me. It's just that he ends up buying shit from these open markets where there are probably more maggots per square inch than camel fuckers in iraq. The idea of spending my time squatting over a third world toilet for the next 16 hours is about as unpleasant way to spend my time as I can imagine. I'm getting a bit far afield here. The point is that I usually don't have any huge bias against what people around the world choose to eat or not eat. It's pretty ethnocentric and arrogant of us to turn up our nose at the idea that some people out there might want to eat guinea pigs or donkeys or whatever. That being the case, I've known for some time that I do have one red line that just cannot be crossed.

Turtles.

I cannot stand the idea of people eating turtles. I imagine for most people asked this question they would say dogs or cats and I'm not sure exactly why the idea of killing and eating a turtle so offends me. I don't just find it repulsive but morally reprehensible. There's just something incredibly repugnant about the idea to me. I'm sure part of it stems from the fact that I had a couple turtles as a kid. They were some of my very first pets and I still remember them very fondly. I still think about Tommy the Turtle occasionally. My sisters and I used to dig up my mom's garden looking for earthworms to feed to him. I was heartbroken when he finally ended up escaping.

Yes, you read correctly. My turtle ran away and vanished. We had him in a bucket and there was a monsoon of a deluge outside. When I went to check on him after the storm, the bucket was full of water and Tommy was gone.

Now, it's not just the fact that I had a turtle as a pet that can explain my visceral reaction against eating them. I mean, I've had dogs and gerbils and even a guinea pig for a couple days (another escape story), but I could see eating them in the right circumstance. Not them particularly, but another member of their species I wasn't personally attached to. Turtles just seem more helpless to me. It doesn't take anything to hunt down a turtle and there's just no chance for them to get away. It also doesn't help that many turtles are endangered. I keep thinking that they have enough problems to deal with that they don't need the fact that there are some sick assholes out there turning them into soup and shit. Eat a fucking cow, you twat waffles. There are god damn cows everywhere. Leave the turtles alone.

This is probably about as close as I'm ever going to get to some sort of hippie agenda. If you're ever going to throw something like this back in my face, I'd bookmark this page since it's likely to be the only example.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
sweetseadragon
Mar. 18th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
Andrew Zimmerman is a freak. I find him to be rather obnoxious. Anthony Bourdain is more my style, but he only eats maybe half of the stuff that Zimmerman does.
henwy
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
Well, bourdain is only half the size of zimmerman so it makes sense really.
jirel
Mar. 18th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to say this but I ate turtle soup and quite liked it. I was in New Orleans at the time (early 70s) and we had Breakfast(actually brunch) at Brennans, a culinary experience so good that all three of us that were there still remember it to this day (I know because 20 years after the fact I mentioned to the two others on seperate occasions and got "ummmms" from them both.) It was also my first experience with Bananas Foster. A GREAT desert.
henwy
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
It's just not right.
austin_boo_moo
Mar. 19th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
I watched this show the other night, and yeah, I pretty much had a nasty reaction to him eating the turtle leg in that turtle soup. Ugghhh. The other part that bugged me was when he was eating the frog dish. I mean, fine, eat frogs... I don't care. But the fact that the legs and arms and head were still sitting there in the dish, looking up at you? Christ, no, I don't want to see that.

Surprisingly, though, I didn't have much of a reaction to the lizard in the sake. Go figure.

I would love to travel to some of these countries, but I'd be very hesitant to try their foods. I'm very experimental when it comes to foods... but I have a very sensitive stomach. If a food is even slightly undercooked, you better believe I'm going to be heaving my guts out or spending the day on the toilet. Also, the food has to *smell* good for me to eat it. I know that foods don't necessarily taste like they smell... but I have a super sensitive gag reflex and sense of smell, so if it smells nasty, there's no way I'm going to be able to eat it.

Yeah, I just might be a giant overly sensitive baby. :p
henwy
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
I have no clue how good my stomach would be traveling and eating weird crap. Usually I just eat whatever and deal with the consequences. I once made a big pot of clam chowder and left it on the stove overnight having forgotten about it. I decided to risk it the next day and ended up spending a good amount of time vomiting out both ends.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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