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View Diary: Leaving America: Iceland Calls (216 comments)

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  •  Fell out of love with Iceland.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..right when, during a tour of geothermal facilities, someone attempted to serve us a plate of horsemeat.

    I happen to love horses, always have, and seeing them on the menu was a bit of a deal-breaker.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:08:16 PM PDT

    •  Hence the "meat culture" I mentioned in the negs. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, cpresley, GayHillbilly

      On the other hand, as a vegetarian, I find most non-vegetarian's attitudes on what meat is acceptable to eat and what isn't to be rather morally inconsistent.  For example, pigs score better than dogs in many intelligence tests, yet you'll see people freak out if dog gets served but who will happily chow down on pork without a second thought.  Why?  Is "cuteness" grounds for deciding what gets killed and what doesn't?

      •  Amazingly, your value scale is irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

        when determining what I choose to eat, or avoid.

        I realize this may shock you.  I will give you a moment to adjust.

        Back to normal pulse and respiration?

        Ok.

        I love horses.  Icelanders eat horses.  I do not approve.  It's internally consistent, morally and logically determinant, and topically relevant.

        "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

        by Wayward Son on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:46:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me add one word: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueness

          "I love horses" because...?

          Also, horsemeat is a tiny fraction of meat consumed in Iceland, just like puffin and whale, the two other commonly-cited objections to Iceland's traditional foods.

          •  It wasn't a tiny fraction of the serving tray.. (0+ / 0-)

            ..that was set in the near-center of our table.

            And it wasn't a tiny fraction of the horse that they killed for it.

            It was pretty much 100% of both.

            "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

            by Wayward Son on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 04:23:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Neither of those... (0+ / 0-)

              affect or address what I wrote in my last post.  

              !) Using an unsupported "because I like them" as a "moral" justification means that a serial killer could likewise justify their killings because they like them.  Liking something is not a valid moral underpinning.  There must be a broader moral underpinning for it to be morally consistent.

              2) How much horse was put on a plate in front of you has absolutely no bearing on how much the average Icelander eats.

              •  And neither of your points.. (0+ / 0-)

                ..have anything to do with the subject of my comment, which was why I wouldn't live in Iceland.

                That's the topic.

                Not your moral projection.  Not your holier-than-thou narcissistic denouncements.  Not your insistence on putting your value system into other people's lives, made even more humorous by your insistence that you 'never would do such a thing', which lasted approximately 10 minutes before being violated.  

                "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

                by Wayward Son on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 04:44:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                  "made even more humorous by your insistence that you 'never would do such a thing'"

                  To quote:

                  And the only questions I ask of them when they raise the topic are about the consistency of their moral beliefs (E.g.: What standard they use to decide what's right to eat -- is it a "cuteness" standard?  Can they logically justify cuteness being a criteria, as opposed to, say, intelligence?  Would they be willing to press the button and watch the animal die?  If not, do they think that whatever moral issues would stop them go away just because someone else does the dirty work?)  But again, I only even go that far if they're trying to start a debate on the subject

                  If someone starts eating a plate of meat in front of me, I'm not going to start lecturing them on the evil of their way.  But when someone stars condemning others for what they eat, yes, of course I'm going to take part in that conversation.

                  I see you don't want to address the moral inconsistency of your stance.  That's fine.  Just remember the implications of having a morally inconsistent world view before you choose to condemn someone else .

    •  Also Whales... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, GayHillbilly

      You'll see whale meat on the menu from time to time... People in places like this (where it's very hard to grow enough food for sustinance) have a tendancy to eat everything that moves. They also eat puffins (which I'm told are not that tasty)... Some old dishes include putrified shark meat, ram testicles, etc... Though, I think you'll see less and less of that stuff as time marches onward.

      I think it's a bit unfair to apply one's cultural/moral standards to another culture which has a very different history... except in cases where there is a clear objective moral case to be made.

      I spent a month there a few years back... Loved every moment, and would love to go back for an extended stay.

      Freedom isn't free: tax idle money

      by walk2live on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 03:31:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree completely. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, Dvalkure

        Just look at the language.  The word "hvalreki" can be used to mean windfall / jackpot / godsend, etc, but it literally means "beached whale".  Because when a whale would wash ashore, it was a sudden, huge influx of meat, for a people who were often living hand-to-mouth (until the 20th century, Iceland was one of the poorest places in Europe).  There were all sorts of rules about how the meat would get distributed.

        As a vegetarian, I don't try to push my moral beliefs on others and only ask that they do the same to me.  And the only questions I ask of them when they raise the topic are about the consistency of their moral beliefs (E.g.: What standard they use to decide what's right to eat -- is it a "cuteness" standard?  Can they logically justify cuteness being a criteria, as opposed to, say, intelligence?  Would they be willing to press the button and watch the animal die?  If not, do they think that whatever moral issues would stop them go away just because someone else does the dirty work?)  But again, I only even go that far if they're trying to start a debate on the subject.  I wouldn't have many friends if I tried to shove my views down others'  throats  ;)

        If I recall correctly, the highest rate of vegetarianism among first-world nations is in Germany, and it's only at 10% there.  So I don't expect much along that front from anywhere.  I've met some Icelandic vegetarians before, mind you -- they do exist!  :)

      •  It's certainly not unfair to apply my own (0+ / 0-)

        standards, when the topic at hand is whether to move there, or not.

        In fact, it's the only standard that can possibly be applied.

        "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

        by Wayward Son on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:47:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rocky Mountain Oysters (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dvalkure, petral

        ... are bull's testicles.  Some people eat them as a delicacy.  It's one thing I'd never be able to choke down, even if I were starving, I believe.

        I agree with you:

        I think it's a bit unfair to apply one's cultural/moral standards to another culture which has a very different history... except in cases where there is a clear objective moral case to be made.

        Some people think snake meat, dog meat, and cat meat are either delicacies... or staple food products.

        Some people eat insects of various kinds, raw or dipped in various things, including chocolate.

        When the Donner wagon train people were starving, they ate each other.

        When people are hungry, they will eat almost anything.

        [Well, okay.  A few caveats apply, such as food allergies; some ingested foods come up faster than they went down if one is allergic.  Yes, I speak from experience.]

        I've never come as close to instantly projectile vomiting as I did sitting with friends at a local bistro when I lived in another state nibbling on strange fried coated meat dipped in a sauce, and when I asked what it was, someone said 'rattlesnake meat.'  I'm totally terrified of snakes, and snake meat of any kind is a revolting idea, let alone the reality.  Someone stopped me (momentarily) by saying 'no, no, no, it's really pork!'  I still headed for the bathroom and became ill because I figured the fellow was lying.

        Every Xmas eve I refused to even try lutefisk [literally: lye fish - lye is the preservative] as a kid because it's so unbelievably stinky.  At age 41 I tried it for the first time..., and loved it!!!  Well, okay.  My mom was a fantastic cook, she changed the water often to remove the lye on the fish for what seemed days before baking it in the oven (she thought over-cooked boiled lutefisk was akin to boiled glue), the fish came off in flaky pieces, and we dipped it in butter (NOT margarine).  Lutefisk has virtually no taste at all, in spite of the horrendous smell.

        My immigrant Scandinavian ancestors brought their eating habits with them.  Lutefisk was poor-people's food.  Nowadays (when it's made well), it's a delicacy, especially every holiday season here in America in Scandinavian-American communities.  Go figure.

        Point being, survival, traditional and modern eating habits clash nowadays..., and we must not judge our ancestors or the customs they left us.  That food which we refuse to eat now kept them around long enough to produce us....

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 06:21:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Horsemeat were often used for sacred (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rei

      purposes (blot) in the old Norse religion. The Christian church outlawed it. Interesting that they still eat it in Iceland.

      "Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly." Kos

      by Mariken on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:13:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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