Here, for your amusement, edification or shock and horror, depending on your point of view, I now present my scale for rating foods and other useful items.
A bit of backstory: I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 15 years old, so about 6 years now. 😉 😀 😛 McDoc had spent some time being veg before we met, but found it too anti-social and gave it up. He’s back into it now, thanks to my nefarious influence. He reserves the right to eat what’s available when circumstances become desparate — like when we were in Kansas. (Though when we stopped in Salina, KS [that’s Sah-LEYE-nah, not Sah-LEE-nah, you U.N.-lovin’ commie], we lucked out and found an awesome Mexican restaurant that actually had a vegetarian section on its menu. I was shocked.)
I have it as a goal to minimize my use of products that kill or harm animals. I’ve learned over the years that it’s probably not possible to 100% pure about this, that is without 1) withdrawing from many aspects of society 2) being inconvenienced to a degree that will drive you crazy unless you’re some kind of a saint, and/or 3) being a complete pain in the ass. Did you know, for example, that gelatin is used in the production of photographs? Yes, the stuff that makes a cool and refreshing, not to mention low calorie, dessert, but has the distinct disadvantage of being made from animal bones. As another example, I have managed to minimize my use of leather, but I still buy leather shoes sometimes, because the non-leather ones tend to be non-breathable and of crappy quality. And fake leather products are often petroleum-derived, which is also problematic. There’s always hemp, but it is not appropriate for every occasion, style-wise.
So there’s always the risk of hypocrisy with any ethical endeavor. I have come to the conclusion that we each have to decide for ourselves where we draw our purity line.
The Karma-Harmin’ Scale goes from 0 (no harm) to 10 (great harm). Here are some examples:
0: Vegetables that you grew yourself, organically, but without killing any insects. If you can manage this, a unicorn will join you for lunch.
1: Organic veggies bought at a farmer’s market.
2: Organic veggies bought at a locally-owned grocery store.
3: Organic veggies bought at
Whole Paycheck Whole Foods.
4: Free-range, organic eggs/dairy.
5: Fish that you caught yourself.
6: Free-range, organic meat/poultry.
7: Factory-farmed eggs/dairy.
8: Factory-farmed meat/poultry; over-fished varieties of fish/seafood.
9: Anything at McDonald’s. Yeah, I know they serve salads now. I still will only go into a McDonald’s to use the bathroom. Here’s why.
10: A bacon double cheeseburger with a shrimp milkshake and a side of chicken tenders.
Of course, this is all very subjective. But kind of fun. I think someone ought to start a chain of barbecue restaurants called Bob’s Karma-Harmin’ BBQ. It would be very postmodern and ironic, don’t you think? 😉