Monday, August 08, 2011

Meat comes from animals, people.

My buddy SH came and visited from Kampala this weekend. We mostly just
hung out and talked about the futility of existence, but we did enjoy
the best feast I've had in a good while. I also moved into MSF house
on Thursday night. On closer inspection, the place looks like a frat
house--it's had 1,000 different people live in it for short periods of
time for several years, so nobody has much incentive to fix or clean
anything. The yard and the dog are still as awesome as expected, and
there was a praying mantis to greet me in my room, so it's all good.

P&O were back in town with P's parents, and the office had a goat
roast for them at Mbugwa's house. Mbugwa is a very nice taxi driver in
town that we like to use because he does awesome things like drive
safely and clean the battery terminals in his car while he's waiting.
He also lives a couple houses down. P&O paid him to slaughter a goat
and several chickens for us. I watched with rapt attention for a
couple hours as he killed, skinned, and cleaned the goat carcass,
explaining everything as he went along. He said a little prayer of
thanks before slicing the goat's neck and made sure it was over
quickly. He and his sons were very professional about the whole thing,
and he used literally every part of the animal down to the hooves.
When it was apparent we had drastically over-estimated the amount of
food we'd eat, he invited the dozens of neighborhood kids watching
longingly from just outside his front gate into his compound to finish
off the leftovers. So when offered some kidney, intestine-packed
sausage, and ribs, I couldn't really find anything wrong with
partaking. I thought the whole thing was pretty fascinating--a few of
my friends were totally grossed out by the slaughter and then chose
not to eat any meat. I, on the other hand, had no problem with it.
When people ask why I'm (normally) veg/vegan, I usually say "because
meat is cruel, inefficient, and bad for the environment" or something
like that. But I guess I clearly don't think it's cruel to kill an
animal under all circumstances, I mostly think it's cruel to force
animals to live in cramped filthy conditions and then pay an
undocumented immigrant less than the minimum wage to kill them by the

Sunday I wandered over to Busia, Uganda, bought some fabric, and
climbed the tallest building in town--currently under construction,
and at eight stories tall, home to what will be only the second
elevator in all of Western province. (Also home to the liquor
store--scotch, but no bourbon, so sad.)

Don't read this awesome New Yorker article about how energy efficiency
just makes people use more energy. First of all it's gated, so unless
you're a subscriber, you can't. Second, the planet is doomed, and
that's not fun to hear.

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