So the Prick just ran across, a week or so too late for Christmas, Buzzfeed’s list of the fifteen best cookbooks of 2012. Honestly, not a helluva lot there of interest, save for April Bloomfield’s A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories, written by (as Buzzfeed puts it) “a very particular cook who did not compromise too much here in terms of simplifying her recipes for the home cook, so they do require a lot of ingredients — and often they require a lot of steps. But when you have at your fingertips the secret to making her UNBELIEVABLY ADDICTIVE gnudi, her famous chopped chicken liver on toast, or even her recipe for roasting a whole suckling pig, it is most certainly worth it.”
Sounds like just the thing, so over to Amazon to see about getting a copy: Whoa, just 3.5 stars from readers. What gives?
A whole swag of one-star reviews from humourless scolds horrified that Chef Bloomfield has not only written a book devoted to cooking pigs, but dared to feature a dead beast on the cover of the thing is what.
Here’s a sample of the outrage:
This is the most disgusting cover and should be taken out from any book display…
The cover of this book is absolutely disgusting, revolting and insensitive…
I don’t think I can hold it in my hand without cringing, and I cannot imagine the “book” being displayed where young children are present.
You get the idea. Dozens of would-be Helen Lovejoys quite literally judging a book by its cover and attempting to damage an author’s and a publisher’s profits in the process through minor acts of petty vandalism. It is not just the idea of cooking or eating meat that offends, it is any image that suggests meat might be eaten, or that it might come from a dead animal that has an image of a pig being treated like the latest offering from Larry Flynt. And hang on, weren’t we all supposed to be teaching kids that food actually doesn’t “come” from the supermarket?
This is a small but telling example of why, collectively, militant vegetarians, vegans, and other food faddists suck. Not only do they not want to partake in some of life’s great joys – fine – but they also have a hell of a big problem if other people do.
In fact these one-star reviews and the impulses behind them come less from a genuine concern about animal welfare than from petty minds that do not get that in a free society (if they actually think a free society is a good thing), everyone has to be able to be offended a little bit, otherwise the whole thing falls to pieces. There’s a lot of this sort of thing going around these days, in Australia particularly. We’ve already got plain-packaged cigarettes, it’s not long before someone tries to do the same thing to booze, and while we’re on it, why not make cookbook marketers put their wares in between plain brown covers too? Especially when they’re conning (because that’s what, according to the left-listing Puritan mindset that sees capitalism as a conspiracy to reinforce false consciousness, marketers always do) the public into buying books that will teach them to make unhealthy pork-based dishes that some academic will determine costs the public health system $56 billion a year. While we’re at it, why not subsidies and other “nudge”-type measures to get people to buy more vegetarian cookbooks, or subscribe to the Mung Bean of the Month Club?
And for every veggo who sniffs, “Well, no animal died to make my salad”, the Prick says, how much of your average lettuce or carrot farmer’s day do you reckon is spent killing, trapping, poisoning, or otherwise making life seriously unpleasant for cute little bunnies and birdies who might get to the produce before the produce gets to market?
Answer: a lot.
Consider my order placed.