One of the specialties in Jeju is the black pork so we definitely had that — barbecued, stir-fried, stewed. At some point, my brother asked, “I wonder where the pigs are farmed.”
And this was surprising to me. It’s not often that the people around me think about where their food comes from, and how the animals are treated before they end up on our plates.
It’s something I’m not always conscious of either. We take our food for granted. But I’m trying not to. I’m trying to break out of that mindless consumerism, the eating of more than I need to survive.
We are living in an age of excess. Where before, we had to spend a huge amount of energy just to eat a little meat, we now have as much as we want, anytime we want.
And yet, our bodies and our brains have not evolved to accept the fact that we no longer have to stock up. We don’t need to gorge on whatever we can get our hands on. We have enough.
For a while, I thought about going vegan. And in fact, I love plant-based foods more than animal (except when it comes to butter).
But I thought about the why of going vegan and I realised that it wasn’t so much about eating meat. It was more about mindless eating, about forgetting that the food on our plates was once alive.
“Now that it’s the Year of the Pig, would you eat pork or forgo it?” a friend asked during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
“I would eat pork in celebration of the pig’s life,” I said.