Thursday, 3 April 2008


Just. Yum. Miso soup: roasted eggplant, leek, konnyaku noodles, multicoloured seaweed, soy sauce, miso, fresh grated ginger. Sometimes the key is knowing when not to make things more complicated.
A short rant: Compassion. I've heard many people use the word compassion lately, often about food, almost invariably about the choice to consume animals. The definition of compassion seems to boil down to recognizing the suffering of another and then wanting to do something to stop it. So the practice of compassion is kindness or mercy motivated by a desire that somebody else not suffer. One can extend this to include voluntarily not using power when using it causes somebody else to suffer. So, compassion can describe a particular motivation for not hurting others. I don't think it is particularly compassionate to refrain from clocking people on the street even though you may have the physical power to do so, as there are social (and legal) deterrents in place that would make you pay a cost for using that power. You don't need any sort of personal (sympathetic) motivation to hold back: society has provided one for you. However, there is no cost to using our power to kill animals or cause them to suffer. It is perfectly legal to cause them a great deal of suffering, and even to kill them. We have societal support (and encouragement) for causing this suffering. However, it seems to me that when people claim that it is possible to consume animals and be compassionate towards them at the same time, they bloody well need to consult a dictionary, and look up two words: compassionate and consistent.
This rant was fueled by miso, and brought to you by the letter C.


medici said...

dear kitchen dancer,

this rant made me dance in heated agreement around my living room. there's no moral high ground to be found in either arbitrary compassion or in false compassion. everybody should read "the faerie queene"! oh, the soup looked awesome, too. i had no idea that miso could fuel such a good rant. miso is probably a subversive substance and i am therefore delighted to have a jar or two in my kitchen.

her grace the medici

Tuimeltje said...

My response to the rant is pretty similar to the one of her grace. Except with vicious nodding instead of dancing.

Miso is brilliant stuff.