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by on April 2, 2013


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  1. I showed this article to my roommates and they all replied with some form of disgust or aversion. Although I understand the importance of the article is to illustrate the U.S.’s continual killing of animals and our insatiable appetites, I think an aspect we are quick to overlook is the cultural relevance. In a sociology course last semester (Self & Society) we talked about how different foods are respective to different cultures. Therefore, we interpret pig’s blood as repulsive whereas in Asian culture’s its a delicacy. The article begins citing how South American and Middle Eastern countries consider the Guinea Pig a delicacy and have several ways to prepare it. However, the American justification of killing Guinea Pigs seems contrived; the argument that it’s better for the environment sounds just as applicable to a pet dog. Foer, who argues for the humanity of dogs in his early chapters, would most likely be repulsed by this story. I was also terrified to hear that Connecticut was cited as one place with an influx of Guinea Pig requests. I work at a restaurant in Connecticut… I have concerns.

  2. While I understand rodents don’t sound that appetizing, I think this article brings up a few really good points. Factory farms have become a large part of American culture, and unfortunately, our food has become less diverse and is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases. Also, the treatment of factory farm animals is quite cruel. I would feel much less guilty eating a Guinea Pig that was raised on a fairly unprocessed diet than a chicken injected with hormones, bleach and antibiotics. If restaurants and supermarkets offered more diverse meat options, this could help prevent targeting chickens cows and pigs and encourage more animals to be raised in a more natural environment. This would help improve the quality of life of slaughtered animals but would also benefit consumers. If we eat a wider range of foods, we absorb more nutrients that certain foods do not contain. On another level, if we try more types of foods, we become more culturally aware. The United States is a blend of cultures from all over the world. It makes sense that Peruvian or Columbian restaurants would want to serve Guinea-Pig if it is considered a delicacy in those countries. Isn’t one of the primary purposes of going to restaurants to experience other cultures? For me, it seems unfair to say that eating bizarre foods accepted by large pockets of American culture is concerning. If someone is repulsed by the thought of eating Guinea-Pig, they can always choose a different option on the menu. Is killing a rodent really more harsh than killing a chicken, fish, deer, rabbit, cow, dolphin or duck?

    • The only reason why this article is relevant is because Americans see Guinea pigs as pets and we don’t kill pets. As the comment before explains factory farms are a large part of American culture so we do not have the experience of having to raise an animal ourselves for the sole purpose of consuming it later. For this reason I see nothing wrong with the growing demand for Guinea Pigs, it is the same as eating any other animal in my opinion. Many of us do not even question what we are eating when we consume all this modified and processed food, if these Guinea Pigs are raised on unprocessed foods than they are better than the animals Americans are comfortable with eating. I myself enjoy trying “bizarre” foods from different cultures and see nothing wrong with the aspect of eating a common house pet to Americans.

  3. Yeah I think this ties in perfectly with Foer and his section on eating dogs. It goes to show eating food is such a cukturak thing as well as a nutritional thing. Obviously guinea pigs are some peoples pets, but others object because they are rodents and gross, or at least thats the argument. Yet we eat food that is fed hormones and blood and forced to grow so fast its bones break. If we saw the animals we eat we probably would prefer the guinea pigs but we have covered the farming industry in a veil to protect our cultural views in a way. Every culture has a different view of food and we should learn that they are just that, cultural differences, and that people who eat horse or dog or guinea pig are not barbarians. And if we do think that maybe we should go check out the food we eat before it is killed in a horrendous manner.

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