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January 08, 2015
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I’m not saying we should torture animals to death. I’m just saying that we don't know how delicious it would be if we did.

California overturned the ban on foie gras. It’s now once again legal to eat the liver of a duck that’s been force-fed until it pretty much explodes.

Some people think that slow-motion exploding an animal is torture and shouldn’t be allowed. Other people think it’s fine. I’m not going to take sides. But one thing is clear: We’ve only begun to explore what painful deaths might make animals tastier. Here are some ideas. I’m not saying we should do these. I’m just saying that we haven’t, so we have no idea whether they taste amazing.

Poking a deer with a needle

I’m not talking about one killing blow, I’m talking thousands of pokes over the course of years with needles of various sizes. Some of them would be so gentle they would almost feel good. Others would be like “Ow.” Some would be big painful knitting needles, some would give him tattoos of Joan Didion quotes, some, as a nice change, would contain heroin. But you would never leave the deer alone, even when he’s just trying to go to the bathroom. When he finally develops a full blown case of stress-induced depression, you kill him and eat him.

What I think this would maybe taste like: If chocolate was meat.

Making a duck’s liver SMALLER

We know unnaturally swollen duck liver tastes incredible: Fatty, rich, and flavorful. But have we tried the opposite? By which I mean, every week a skilled thoracic surgeon cracks the duck’s chest and removes a bit of his liver. With anesthetic, of course. But major surgery every week is still pretty torturous for a duck. Think about the medical bills.

What I think this would taste like: The remaining tiny liver would have to be really lean and strong. It would be like eating Superman.

Saw with rabbits

I’ve never seen the Saw movies (too scary) but I understand the premise is a series of terrible choices. This would be like that but with bunnies. Hey bunny, you can either gnaw off your own ear or get thrown out of an airplane. Also, we have your daughter.

What I think this would maybe taste like: Depends what the bunny chooses.

Slut shaming a chicken

One of the cruelest things a human can do to another human is to question her sexual choices. But have we ever tried doing this to an animal, and measuring what the blows to her self-esteem do to the relative tenderness of her flesh? “Hey chicken,” we might say. “Nice feathers, you tramp. Where’d you get those, Victoria’s Beakret? Maybe you wouldn’t get slaughtered if you weren’t such a whore.”

What I think this would maybe taste like: Something other than chicken, because chicken is boring.

Giving a cow a human brain and then slaughtering it as usual

This is not extra cruel per se, it would just be happening to a cow who fully understands death, because she used to be a human graduate student. Also you would kill her just before the final episode of Mad Men, so she never gets to know what becomes of Don Draper.

A potential downside of this one is that it’s murder.

What I think this would maybe taste like: The tenderest, juiciest steak that was ever your friend Sarah.

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