Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Appearance v. Reality

As you can see, my dog Oli loves the woods behind our house. But a few months back he chased a cat into those same woods only to return with blood spurting from his paw. It turned out that he had cut an artery, and I'm grateful that we live so close to the vet as a thirty pound dog only has so much blood to lose.

At the vet, they put a tourniquet on his leg and knocked him out so that they could tie off the artery and stitch him up. When they removed the sutures a few weeks later, the wound re-opened and we had to return to have it stapled shut. As you can imagine, none of this was much fun for me, my dog or the vet, despite the vast sums of money they earned in the process.

The cut appeared to have been caused by a piece of broken glass. Oli and I traipse through those woods almost every day, and since he was only injured once, I decided it was a fluke. We now stay away from the vicinity of where he was hurt, and I thought that meant we'd be safe. Until yesterday, when virtually the same thing happened in an entirely different part of the woods. He didn't get the artery this time, but it was a terrible cut nonetheless and certainly worse than any I've ever had. If you don't believe me, there are plenty of bloody paw prints still in the snow.

There was another rush to the vet, and now he's lying beside me with a bright blue splint on his left hind leg. As my friend and fellow cook Chris said, "If he's going to be running up bills like that, he'd better get himself a job."

If you're wondering why I'm writing about this on a food (and tea) blog, here's the tie-in. Whoever threw that bottle into the woods may have thought that their action had no recourse, but years later it would cause great suffering and financial loss. Hmm, what other aspect of our lives does that sound like? How about.... food! Our effect on the world based on the kind of food we eat is just as direct a relationship as bottle-tosser to pup.

The woods behind my house are gorgeous, but if you look hard enough you'll find that they're in fact full of broken glass and rusty metal from years of irresponsible dumping. Same with that gorgeous steak on your dinner plate. It might appear perfect in every way, with a rich marbling, juicy pink center and salty crust. But unless that steak was sustainably raised (pastured, local, humanely slaughtered, etc.), you have to learn to associate it with the pesticide, synthetic fertilizer, petroleum, antibiotics, and cruelty that went into it. Even if it looks fine.

Do the woods in the photo above look dangerous? Perhaps a little foreboding in a Hansel and Gretel kind of way, but dangerous, no. Yet they are, as is that steak (or tofu, for that matter, depending on how and where it was created). Instead of not seeing the forest for the trees, I've been not seeing the broken glass for the forest. But we're not going back there anymore, unless I get Oli some Muttlucks.

Just like Oli's accidents, that beautiful looking, planet destroying steak is another reminder of the lesson our high school English teachers tried so hard to drill into our Stone Temple Pilots-addled brains: appearance versus reality.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Amanda said...

You're such a good photographer!!

Karen said...

poor oli! hope he feels better soon...

Jon Lee said...

OMG. Dood. You've become an awesome writer. A big old leap from dog paw to food sustainability. I can't wait when you get your own food column.


Hua Cai said...

kobe 9 elite
cheap nba jerseys
cheap football shirts
karen millen uk
tory burch outlet
oklahoma city thunder jerseys
seattle seahawks jerseys
ray ban sunglasses
san francisco 49ers jerseys
baltimore ravens jerseys
ed hardy t-shirts
ray ban
mbt shoes
soccer shoes
true religion jeans
cheap mlb jerseys
cartier bracelet
coach outlet canada
louis vuitton handbags
timberland boots
chanel 2.55
cheap snapbacks
replica watches
lululemon outlet
toms shoes
prada shoes
iphone 6 cases
coach outlet online
hollister clothing store
mizuno running
air jordan shoes
oakley sunglasses
ed hardy clothing
thomas sabo uk
air jordan 11
nfl jerseys
nike huarache
ralph lauren polo shirts

Wenhao Guo said...

gucci shoes
beats headphones
air jordan shoes
ugg boots uk
oakley sunglasses wholesale
ray ban sunglasses outlet,ray ban sunglasses,ray ban,rayban,ray bans,ray ban outlet,ray-ban,raybans,ray ban wayfarer,ray-ban sunglasses,,rayban sunglasses,cheap ray ban
los angeles clippers jerseys
toms shoes outlet online
supra shoes
arizona cardinals jerseys
lebron shoes
oakley sunglasses outlet
north face jackets
beats by dre
nike mercurial
mizuno running shoes
mulberry outlet
ugg uk
nhl jerseys wholesale
kobe bryant jersey
hermes bags

chenlina said...

louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
ralph lauren polo shirts
jordan retro 11
celine bags
coach outlet
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
michael kors uk
concords 11
nike air force 1
christian louboutin outlet
coach outlet
mont blanc
tod's outlet
louis vuitton outlet
vans shoes sale
burberry outlet
christian louboutin sale
michael kors handbags
kate spade handbags
prada outlet
louis vuitton
jordan 3s
michael kors outlet online
uggs outlet
ray ban sunglass
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton online shop
coach factory outlet
timberland uk
ralph lauren outlet
oakley sunglasses sale
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
north face jacket

Wenhao Guo said...

herve leger,
nba jerseys,
toms outlet,
oakley sunglasses,
juicy couture outlet,
north face outlet,
ralph lauren,
michael kors factory outlet,
true religion jeans,
replica watches,
pandora jewelry,
nike free 5,
true religion jeans,
kobe bryant shoes,
soccer jerseys,
ralph lauren shirts,
michael kors handbags,
kobe shoes,
rolex watches uk,
cheap nba jerseys,
christian louboutin uk,
nike outlet store,
ugg outlet,

方松腾 said...

michael kors uk outlet
lululemon outlet
ray-ban sunglasses
hollister clothing store
chanel outlet
mulberry bags
fitflops sale clearance
coach outlet store
ghd hair straighteners
kate spade handbags
ferragamo outlet
true religion jeans
fitflops sale
discount oakley sunglasses
ralph lauren outlet
ralph lauren polo shirts
ray-ban sunglasses
kate spade outlet
cheap ray ban sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
tiffany and co
oakley sunglasses
fitflops sale clearance
rolex watches for sale
coach outlet store
mulberry handbags sale
true religion outlet
tory burch outlet online
mulberry handbags
oakley sunglasses

Anonymous said...

Yeezy Boost

Oakley Outlet Sunglasses

Oakley Outlet

Toms Outlet

Kate Spade Outlet

Nike Air Max 2015

Longchamp Outlet

Kate Spade Outlet

Nike Outlet Store

Yeezy Boost

Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet

Adidas Outlet

NFL Jerseys Wholesale

black yeezy boost

Nike Air Max 2016

Nike Flyknit

Longchamp Outlet

Ray Ban Outlet

Nike Outlet Factory

Burberry Outlet

Adidas Yeezy

Ray Ban Sunglasses