There’s no happy ending for any animal raised to be eaten. Yet, while meat processing is questionable in general — how much is government regulation vs. industry self-regulation — there are a few “upscale” meaty dishes considered that come prepared by tactics that are especially brutal at best and straight up unethical at worst. Here are five fancy meals that have a gross, terrifying history before reaching a human mouth.
In this process, calves are highly restricted in their ability to move in order to “soften” them up, sometimes by a controversially tiny crate. Most live indoors for their entire existence on this planet, experiencing sensory and exploratory deprivation. From birth to death, it’s a lonely, sad, harmful life.
A duck or a goose is held down and force-fed a thick corn mix two or three times a day by way of shoving a long metal pipe down their esophagus until their “fatty liver” eventually grows to six times its normal size. Then they’re slaughtered. That’s their entire life.
The bird is kept in a covered cage or box, with the indefinite illusion of night-time tricking it into gorging itself until doubling in size. Somehow this process used to be worse. In ancient times, Roman emperors would just stab out their eyes to make them think it was nightfall. It doesn’t end there. The bird’s then chucked in a container of Armagnac until they drown (to supposedly marinate them).
It’s a fish (though could technically be lobster, shrimp, or octopus) that is basically is prepared alive (that’s actually the literal translation), so it’s still alive and freaking out on your plate with its skin more or less piled on top of them. You watch it die in front of you, gasping and filleted. Then you eat it.
Shark Fin Soup
Though the bans on shark finning are racking up, this practice is still one of the most cutthroat moves in the ocean. Sharks are caught, their fins are sliced off, and then they’re tossed back, where they either drown, bleed out, or get eaten by predators, since they’re entirely helpless at that point.