I’m going to get to the issue of pink slime in a round about way by explaining how I came to realize I shouldn’t necessarily not eat veal anymore.
For years I didn’t eat veal, I mean eating poor little cows in tiny little houses that can’t move around is pretty damn dismal, depressing, and cruel. And I still believe that the conditions that veal calves are raised in are dismal, depressing, and cruel. But then I realized that I eat chicken and their eggs and that the cramped and crowded conditions that they live in, often after having their beaks cut off, are dismal, depressing, cruel.
So I found myself in a dilemma, either I give up eating chicken and eggs that are raised in inhumane conditions or I am a hypocrite for being willing to have one species suffer in a certain manner but not another. So weak hearted and human as I am, I decided to at least be consistent. For my (I think) 31st birthday I ordered the veal at a very fine restaurant in D.C., and you know what, it wasn’t really all that good. At this point in my life I do still eat some chicken that is raised in conditions about which I know nothing, but the eggs I eat are grocery or farm bought free range.
It is worth noting that similar moral wrestling to the above led Ms. DailyDisgust to be a vegetarian–now an almost exclusively vegetarian flexatarian.
On to the pink slime, or as the beef industry prefers, lean, finely textured meat. The stuff is pretty gross, don’t get me wrong. But personally I’m willing to eat hot dogs, well-known as “everything but the squeal,” which have to be treated with nitrates, so I don’t see what is wrong with the beef equivalent. The same goes, but to a lesser extent in terms of my actually eating them, for chicken nuggets–a product made with delicious mechanically separated meat.
Additionally, yes, the tiny leftover parts of the chickens, pigs, and cows certainly seem disgusting in isolation, but don’t we owe to those same animals to ensure we are getting the maximum use of their bodies after we kill them simply for our nourishment? These types of processing all, if nothing else, do provide the most meat with the least waste.