Meat and Morals

I spotted this car parked in my neighborhood and squealed:

How cute! Look at all of those adorable animals!

Cutie-patootie car

It became a little less cute when I saw the back.

Oh. Boucherie. (Butcher’s shop).

They kill the cute animals.

Good marketing ploy, though. It stuck with me.

For the record, I’m not a strict vegetarian. I just went to a new BBQ restaurant in Paris last night, for crissakes. (More on that later!)

It does always bring up issues for me, however. I consider myself a pretty principled person, but when it comes to eating meat I seem to have slightly wayward morals.

I actually do believe that it’s better for the environment to avoid meat. (Not just a belief. There’s science to prove it).

I also think the industrialized meat industry is unethical and I really don’t like the thought of putting food into my body that’s been pumped with antibiotics and all sorts of other ugly things they feed the animals.

I think the situation is slightly better in France than in the United States, but it’s not all happy, free-ranging cows here.

Still, I really like meat. Sometimes I feel like it gives my body a boost. When I’m feeling weak, a good burger gives me strength.

So my compromise is that I try really, really hard not to eat meat. But I allow myself to when the craving is strong. When I really, really want to. (See, lax morals. I realize this is a flawed system).

Anyway, when I heard there was an American BBQ joint near the Bastille…well, let’s just say I started salivating just thinking about it. I went to check it out last night.

I grew up in North Carolina, so when I saw a Carolina pulled pork sandwich on the menu, I kind of had to go for it. It was between that and the ribs (my friend tried those), but I wanted a little taste of home.

It was good. Yes. I wasn’t that impressed by the cornbread and beans, though they were fine. But that sandwich. When was the last time I had a pulled pork sandwich? Or barbecue sauce, for that matter?


At 5.80 euros for the sandwich, it’s going to be hard to avoid this place. I’m near the Bastille all the time.

I found a recent TED talk called “The Weekday Vegetarian.” This is perhaps what I am.

While I like the idea of fully committing myself to something, I also know I am making an impact by minimizing my intake of meat. And still really enjoying life and not depriving myself because gosh darn it, that there meal was good.

It’s all about choices, right?

(I’m trying the vegetarian Indian restaurant, Krishna Bhavan, tonight to atone). πŸ™‚

Blues Bar-B-Q
1 rue Sedaine, 11eme
+33 (0)1 48 06 79 53
Tues-Sat: noon to 10 PM
Sun: noon – 8 PM

Krishna Bhavan
24 rue Cail, 10eme
+33 (0)1 42 05 78 43
Daily 11 AM-11 PM

17 Responses to “Meat and Morals”

  1. 1 Kate May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Mmmmmm! Reading this reminded me to add some bottles of bar-b-q sauce to my stock of food stuffs moving to Paris! Any other suggestions? I have about two more weeks to get it figured out.


  2. 3 Sweet Freak May 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Sion, I think you and the Weekday Vegetarian have it right. The whole point is awareness, choice and compromise. You shouldn’t feel guilty for eating red meat, but you should know where it comes from and what it takes to get to your table (and belly!). After two strict weeks of nearly 100% veg (no meat, dairy, fruit, sugar, caffeine, wheat, grains – nothin), I’m thinking of expanding on my Vegan Mondays and generally just dialing back the seafood, dairy and sugar in my life. Peas and carrots, Amy xo


  3. 5 Susan ( May 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    You can get black beans at Delices D’Orient (3 locations) as well as kidney beans and a lot of other vegetarian favorites. We always try to eat vegetarian several times a week. I believe in everything in moderation but it’s not that easy finding vegetarian food in Paris so I usually make it at home. Thanks for the tip on the ‘cue joint – I’ll have to check that out!


  4. 7 Lee Isbell May 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Maybe the body is saying it needs something from meat when the meat craving hits?

    Was just riding through French countryside in the Dordogne and saw free-ranging geese, destined to be foie gras. I was happy to see they looked happy in the moment, even though I won’t be eating the fruits of their sacrifice. They were beautiful, in fact. Sad.


    • 8 paris (im)perfect May 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Hey Lee. Oh yes, the body is saying something with its cravings. I’m big into listening to what the body is saying, too!

      Oh foie gras. Yeah, I still can’t really do foie gras – especially if I think about what it is!


  5. 9 buffy May 20, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Love Carolina BBQ!!! Funny it has made it’s way to Paris. Hope you are doing well. Have a great weekend! Buffy


  6. 11 Franck May 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

    To avoid any problems with the bad food, I decided long time ago to bite the animals in their natural environment.

    Franck, cell number 5594, prison de la SantΓ©, Paris


  7. 12 Adam May 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Is it really better for the environment to eat – for example – tomatoes from Spain that have been grown in kilometre-long polytunnels, or beans from Kenya that have been treated with all kinds of chemicals and transported half-way across the world, rather than a good, local free-range chicken?

    I don’t see it as a meat/no meat problem, but rather that we should change the way all agriculture works, and eat as many local products as possible – whether that be an apple or a pig!


    • 13 paris (im)perfect May 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Adam. I completely agree with you. I was going to talk about local food, too, but I hadn’t even meant to go off on the vegetarian tangent. The post was originally just going to be a picture of that cute car πŸ™‚

      The problem is definitely the way agriculture works. I do *not* buy produce that’s shipped halfway across the world, because yes, that completely defeats the purpose. Not environmentally-friendly at all!

      Of course I’d rather eat a good, local free-range chicken. But going out to most restaurants, do you really think that’s what you’re getting? I don’t think so.

      When I studied in Ghana, we had chickens roaming in our backyard. When it was time for dinner, my host sister would go and kill one. While I never could work up the courage to kill the chicken myself I made myself watch. THIS is where food really comes from. And I did not feel any guilt in eating that chicken, as it had lived a nice, cage-free life.

      Of course we can’t really have free-ranging chickens in our yards in Paris, but that’s still my image of what guilt-free meat eating should be.


  8. 15 Alison May 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I wish I didn’t eat meat but the truth is I really, really love it. I have definitely changed my attitudes about where my meat comes from. I’m really picky when i shop and try to only buy meat that been ethically raised. It’s not a perfect solution but I think it’s better than blindly buying whatever meat is on sale at the local grocery chain.


  9. 17 Julianna May 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I have been vegetarian for 13 years, but not vegan — I do eat eggs and dairy products. There are lots of types of vegetarians, and some people who eat chicken and fish but not red meat call themselves vegetarians, too — then, of course, modifying themselve by adding “I don’t eat any red meat.” It’s all a matter of degree. My particular type of vegetarianism stems from owning 4 dogs, and the benefits to the environment and my body are just happy by-products. Vegans will look at me askance since I can’t give up eggs and milk, which foods also promote animal cruelty in an industrialized setting. I guess my point is that anything anyone can do that benefits their own bodies (and consciences), animals, and the earth — no matter on how small an adjustment — will have an impact. Good luck!! πŸ™‚


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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