I'm okay eating things that were once alive if I don't have to think about what they are. Like lobster--I can't crack a whole one, but give me a claw and I can pretend it's a shell with treasure hidden in it and I'll suck out all the meat with a smile on my face, because I'm not thinking that this was once attached to a whole living creature. I'm easily distractable.
So I was sent this today by email: I've heard of the same type of thing being done with cows, putting them in a some kind of mechanical hug before the slaughter so they are relaxed and the meat is more tender.
Which now has me looking at my once yummy burger off the grill in a new way. Oh, yes, let's hug that cow and then BUTCHER IT. Let's lull it into thinking life is pretty good and then SLIT ITS THROAT. I am disgusted. Humane treatment of cows? This feels like a big fat karmic lie.
So I looked it up and found that stress from the butchering process can cause dark cut beef.
The adrenaline causes glycogen breakdown, which in turn causes low lactic acid which means the pH is higher and the meat is less tender.
I'm wondering too if the increased cortisol in the cow's blood at the time of slaughter would effect us too.
Mostly I'm wondering why anyone would ruin my happy little burgers-are-awesome world and tell me these things so that I am afraid of hugs and hamburgers at the same time. Stop trying to make me tender!
(Let's not even talk about how some cows are fed the blood of the slaughtered cows. Why aren't people worried about creating a superrace of Vampire Cows??? That's what I would be thinking about when I was feeding Bessie the fresh salty warm blood of her ex-bestfriend. If this is making you sick, just wait for my post on viral infections at the POOL tomorrow.)