I try not to shock people anymore than I have to in terms of character development. I still get letters about how violent and horrific A Promise of Love was. I haven’t reread the book since it was published so I just have to go along with what people say. (Once I write a book it’s almost purged from my brain – that’s why I sometimes go, “Who?” when readers ask me about a certain character from a book I wrote ten years ago.) But I never forget that readers also bring something to a book. You can describe a room in very generic terms, and each reader will furnish it according to her imagination. So, one reader’s “violent” will be another reader’s “no big deal”.
That said, this blog post may gross some of you out and I do apologize for that upfront.
But it occurred to me the other day and it’s a thought that keeps winding its way through my brain like a worm: how can people make pets of those animals they are going to eat?
I was watching a show about a vet the other night, and they were at a dairy farm and talking about how this one cow was someone’s pet. Well, of course my mind went to: what happens after the cow dies? Do they eat it? Do they say something like: “Daisy tastes just wonderful. She sure was a good cow.”
Then that thought led to another: how can people have rabbits as pets? How do you look at a rabbit and know that people eat them? At least when you have a dog or cat, you know it’s not socially acceptable to eat the poor things.
When we lived in France, there were signs at the butcher shop and at certain restaurants that they served horsemeat. For the life of me, I have never been able to wrap my mind around that idea, either.
I have this line in my mind that marks Animals As Pets vs Animals As Food and I just can’t cross it.
What are your thoughts?