I found myself ranting a little on someones blog yesterday. I decided I wanted to post that thought/rant somewhere I could read it again and again to remind myself how passionate I felt at that moment. So, here it is...
I have SO many issues with buffet restaurants, I don't even know where to start.
1. On a germophobe scale of 0 to 10 (0 being able to lick a $5 bill without wincing, 10 being unable to leave your own house due to fear of germs) I'm about a 6 or 7. I carry Purel and wet wipes everywhere and use them often. If I have to do something crazy like go on a subway, I go armed with a wet wipe in each hand and use them as a barrier between my hand and the metal bars that you hold on to (cause I sure as hell ain't sittin' down!!) So eating at a buffet, watching people breathe and cough around food..watching kids jump up trying to see what there is while they grab things and throw them back, and watching new tubs of food being dumped from a pail out of the kitchen on top of the food that has been sitting there for a few hours already...ALL kind of a sore spot for me.
2. They make me sad. The buffet restaurant is 'in general' full of people that 'in general' should not be eating at a buffet restaurant. It seems to be where people go when they are nervous that they are not going to get enough food with their order at a normal restaurant. I find myself looking around and wondering if these people are happy with where they are at. Part of me wants to sit with each table of customer's and ask 'Why?' Not to mention the clarity regarding what I would look like if I ate that way every day. The proof is in the puddin'!
3. Waste. Wastey, waste, waste, waste. I hate waste. But more specifically, the waste of meat products keeps my up at night. So, it's 11:00pm, the restaurant is closing. Those chicken breasts have been sitting out under heat lamps for what, an hour? Two? Depending on the location, possibly a lot longer. For the sake of everyone who eats at a buffet restaurant, let's assume they do the right thing at this point, and throw that chicken out. A week ago, that was a living breathing functional mammal, no different other than species from your grandma's pet bird, or your daughter's puppy. Now, it's carcus lies in the trash. Um. What?
I hope somebody, somewhere in the work enjoyed his little chicken wings, otherwise, his life and death were a complete waste too. I know I know, "get a grip Laur. This is life, they are just chickens. That's what they are for..."
I wish sooo I could see it that way. Two years ago, I could see it that way. Thought nothing of it. I woke up one August day in 2008, looked at my boyfriend and said "I'm not going to eat meat for a while. I need to think about my position on killing animals and eating them. I'll get back to you on this when I have figured it out, but until then, no meat for me..." I have yet to get back to him. I still don't fully understand my position, I just know, I feel better about myself not eating meat. And most of the time, the idea of ingesting meat somewhat repulses me at this point, so it is not exactly an effort making this restriction anymore. That being said, I guess I don't have the same reverence for fish and sea creatures as I do land animals...cause I have NO problem jamming my gob with fish n' chips or shrimp and scallops. Is it because they don't have fur? Because they don't bond with humans? I really don't know. I hate birds...they scare the shit out of me. But I still feel bad that chickens die to be eaten. So, I don't know...I just don't know.
ANYWHO, back to buffets....there is an "All You Can Eat" sushi restaurant near my home. It took me a while to figure out how the place worked since it was an "ALL YOU CAN EAT" but there was no "BUFFET" HUH?. But once I figured it out I was quite pleased. It's "All you can eat"...but if you DON'T eat it, you are going to have to pay for it sucka! LOVE IT! No big tubs of food. No trough. No heat lamps. No fat guys bulging gut rubbing up against the counter and plunging in to the rice when he reaches for his 7th egg roll. Nope. You just keep ordering it and they keep making it fresh and bringing it to you. As your stomach gets full, you start to be much more careful about what, and how much more you order. I was ordering shrimp tempura one at a time near the end. I think this is great. I can't stand seeing the people (usually people who SHOULD NOT be eating like that) lined up at the buffet filling their plates with mounds of food. They seem to think if they don't get it all now, there will not be any more in 10 minutes? It also frustrates me to think about the amount of food that ends up in the trash every single night, from every single buffet restaurant, from every single city around the world. Yikes.
I would love it if all buffets adopted this format. Only order what you want, and what you can eat. I don't think even one chicken should lose a wing so that some glutton can fill his plate with 47 wings, only to realize that after his 4th plate full of mashed potatoes and pork chops, he just can't eat those last 8 chicken wings. Seriously...think about that for a second...an animal is dead. You put it on your plate. You decide you don't want it. It goes in the trash??? There is something very very wrong and disturbing about that.
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