Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ridding ourselves of abominations

I hate liver. I mean, I really detest the stuff. It is ugly to look at, disgusting to handle, foul-smelling when being cooked, and has a nasty taste and vile texture on the tongue. It would be safe to say that I consider it an abomination.

How anyone can eat that gross, repulsive substance is beyond me. Aside from being horrid to look at, an assault on the nostrils when being cooked, and revolting in the mouth, it’s not even healthy to eat! It is full of cholesterol and, if you consider what the purpose of the organ is in the body, eating it is like eating a filter full of toxic chemicals! Yes, I know it is high in iron, but so is just plain old red meat…not to mention modern science has come up with a host of ways to supplement your iron without ingesting lots of cholesterol along with a cocktail of toxins that are trapped by the liver but not excreted by the body, plus antibiotics, hormones and pesticides to which the animal was exposed. It is also very high in purines which can lead to gout, an exquisitely painful form of joint inflammation, and kidney stones.

One would think that, having such an aversion to liver, I would stay away from it. Believe me, I’ve tried. But I am forced to view its disgusting presence in the supermarket, pictures of it fried and plated on menus, and even watch people eating the disgusting stuff. I have had liver forced on me repeatedly as a child, and in adulthood, people have actually tried to seduce me into eating it through subterfuge and outright falsehood: “Oh, but it is pâté, not really liver. Here, try a bite! It doesn’t taste like liver at all!” (Yes it did!)

I don’t know what is wrong with these hepatophiles that they can’t keep their abominable predilections to themselves. Those of us who don’t share their penchant shouldn’t have to share it, not even by observing it or being seduced into participating. Not only is it patently disgusting, it is a health hazard to eat the stuff, and people simply should not be allowed to do that…especially in public!

Think about it this way…oleander is a lovely, hardy plant sold in nurseries all over the world. But its sap is highly toxic and it is not sold as a food or even as an herb or food additive. Just as the unhealthy qualities of oleander are known, so are the unhealthy qualities of liver…high cholesterol and purines, repository for toxins…well-known. So, why is one allowed to be sold for human consumption and the other is not? Why are parents allowed to force it on their children? Why is it sold and consumed openly, despite the disgust and revulsion it generates in a majority of people? If people are going to be allowed to compromise their health by eating this toxic stew, shouldn’t it be behind closed doors and without the explicit consent of the community? Are we not, after all, our brothers’ keepers?

I think the public sale and consumption of liver should be banned. It is for the good of the health of the community, good for us as a whole and good for the individuals who are merrily poisoning themselves with this noxious stuff: by making it unavailable in the market place it will be easier for them to abstain and to even convert to healthier choices in food. And that, after all, is the goal: a healthier community through healthier individuals. We cannot allow this small faction to indulge their aberrant gustatory fancies at the expense of others, and the health problems brought about by ingesting high cholesterol, high purines and retained toxins ultimately costs us all in lost man-hours in the workplace and higher medical costs.

What of individual freedom of choice? Well, there is plenty of precedent in law that prevents people from indulging themselves at the expense of others or even at the expense of common decency. There is no right to eat liver…you won’t find it in the Constitution anywhere. And if the government can ban other substances and behaviours under the banner of “for the common good,” then banning the sale and consumption of liver is well within the scope of the government’s rights. And if the government can prohibit people from walking around naked on city streets or having sexual relations on the courthouse steps or marrying their dogs, then it can prohibit them partaking of a substance that most of the rest of us find absolutely disgusting.

So, when the petition arrives asking you to support a bill banning the display, sale, preparation and consumption of liver, please sign it. It will benefit you not only in saving you from having to look at the repulsive stuff and having to watch people actually put it in their mouths, it will ultimately cut down on sick days taken from work and the cost of treating their self-induced ailments (which raises your health insurance premiums). It’s a win-win situation for all of us. We can’t let a small coterie of deviants continue to hold the rest of us captive to their ghastly tastes and practices!



  1. Where do I sign?! I share my disgust of liver with you my friend, can't stand it!

  2. Down with liver! I agree, lets get rid of the stuff!!

  3. God--I SO hate liver. I cannot believe some people (my husband) actually like it. It makes me want to vomit to even smell it--yuck!



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