Unless it is the kind of bell one would ring a death knell with. Bean and I (and Sprout, but he still doesn't count in cases like these) decided that we'd like to go visit our dinner. On a farm. Where it was still living.
It...seemed like a good idea. I don't know.
Kelsey and I have been talking for a good long while now about buying half of a cow from a local rancher, which is a great idea, environmentally speaking, and it would also allow us to look like the complete assholes we are. "I bought MY beef from a LOCAL rancher. Oh yes, it's grass fed. Oh yes, I'm supporting the local infrastructure. Oh yes, I practice what I preach. Please allow me to spend the next few minutes telling you why I'm better than you and also why Michael Pollan is my savior."
Well, we haven't done that yet. But what we have done is bought half of a hog from a lady nearby. It's "going to market" tomorrow where it will be butchered and packaged and when I go to pick up my hams and bacon and chops and roasts, it's going to look just like it does at Whole Foods, only I will have actually paid more for it. And I'm just not feeling fulfilled by that, precisely. I know the point is really to buy locally produced food from a conscientious farmer, thereby dropping a pebble into the bucket of waste and sloth and obesity and hatred and dishonesty and if enough pebbles are dropped maybe there's a chance we'll fill the bucket up with righteous pebbles and displace the scum. But it still seemed too removed, because to me, the other point was to establish a firmer relationship with my food, and if that was going to come in the form of rubbing my bacon's snout between the eyes, than by gum, that's what I was going to do.
So that's what Bean and I tried to do. We found the address where our pig was supposed to be living out its last hours, but after getting out of the car and walking around a bit, we could see neither hoof nor snout of any porcine wonders. My girlfriend who decided to accompany us said in my ear, "Maybe it's better that way. I mean, I don't know if I would want to meet MY dinner."
And maybe it is better that way. I wasn't totally sure I wanted to either. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Plus, Bean was totally into it.