In his weekly food column for TIME, Josh Ozersky writes about "The Gastronomic Case Against Eating Baby Animals." The self-professed meat lover and founder of Meatopia takes an unusual point of view on the subject of consuming young mammals. While he acknowledges the hypocrisy of "the peculiar blindness of people who fawn over puppies and kittens and devour their barnyard analogs," he does not fall in the animals-are-too-cute-to-eat camp. Instead, Ozersky thinks we shouldn't eat baby animals because they simply don't taste as good as older animals. He claims:
If you want to taste what meat really is, then don't eat lamb: eat mutton. You already know how much better a great steak is than a thin, wan piece of veal, so wouldn't it follow that that steak would taste even better another year down the road? Food writer Jeffrey Steingarten is still talking about a 10-year-old draft ox he ate a couple of years ago in Spain.
One of the reasons that meats like veal and lamb remain popular is that other people disagree with Ozersky, and some, in fact, love eating baby animals. Spanish baby eels are considered a delicacy, and suckling pig is often considered a "special occasion" dish.
To further complicate the issue, there is also the morality angle to consider. Although there are farms that raise baby cows (and the like) humanely, thoughts of animal cruelty seems especially present when speaking of baby animals.
What do you think?
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