My man did the shopping tonight. While unusual, this is not completely unheard of. On occasion, he even goes to the supermarket of his own accord. When that happens, bread and bananas are usually on his list, but he calls me to hear what else to get. Like this evening, when I texted him to get some chicken.
“Hey. How many poof-chickens do you want?” (He said “plofkippen”, but I think “poof” quite accurately describes the way the chickens balloon to full-grown size within weeks of being born.)
I told him I didn’t want any chicken if it wasn’t free-range. He answered “okay, I’ll put it back, but this is getting out of hand.” “This” referring to my refusal to purchase meat if it doesn’t come from an animal that had a bit of leg space while still, uhm, able to use it.
And while I didn’t take the bait (I like to choose my battles and have a bigger one to win in a completely free range barbecue for our wedding), I have been thinking about it all evening. Is it out of hand to want to eat free range meat?
Sure, it would be out of hand if we had no access to other food. I think so anyway: if the choice is between a starving Laura and a happy chicken, well… sorry chicken. Thing is, it isn’t. There are So Many Choices out there. Like tortillas, and vegetables and cheese, glorious cheese:
Also, my conscience would not be a good dinner companion if I told it to go fish every time it was more convenient. You’ve heard me whine, can you imagine what my inner voice must be like? No, far better to let poof chickens be and get something it won’t object to. Which isn’t an easy feat, but lucky for me my conscience is on the lax side and just needs me to try. So I get free range eggs, even if there are stories about chicken stress, caused by birds decking it out to establish a pecking order every time they walk past one of their many feathery friends in a commercial free-range chicken coop. I eat tofu, even if I can’t be sure an Amazon forest wasn’t cut down to make room for the soy plants. And I make my man buy shrimp with an MSC logo, when I really don’t know if that means anything.
What I do know is this. This is not deprivation.
This is good food, with no unhappy animals*.
*What? The shrimp were happy before they were pulled above water, no?
Shrimp avocado salad
Based on a recipe by Dinner: A Love story
- 1 avocado, ripe but still a little firm
- 100 gr of cooked shrimp
- juice from half a lemon
- 250 gr cherry tomatoes, cut into small pieces
- small red onion, diced
- large handful of cilantro, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, mix the tomato pieces with about a third of the onion dice. Gently mix in the shrimp, then sprinkle over most of the lemon juice and the cilantro. Mix gently again. Half the avocado, scoop out the flesh and cut into small chunks. Add to the bowl, and mix, still careful to keep things intact as much as possible. Taste, and add more onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed. Serve as is, or over tortillas that you’ve crisped up. (Or over tostadas, if you are lucky enough to live in a place where you can get them.)