For lunch one day a couple weeks earlier, I had half of a duck, set on top of wild rice, resting on my plate. Most of the eight of us around the table had the same thing. The duck had been pretty much destroyed with an excess of heat; it was desiccated and tough, the meat was seized-up and fibrous. I took another bite and looked around. Everyone else was struggling to chew it and swallow. I took another bite.
I started getting pissed off. Whoever had done this was a jackass.
“You know what?” I finally said to my friends. “Whoever did this is a jackass.” I took one more bite and began gathering some steam, saying, “Really. What were they doing?”
“Not cooking it right, obviously,” someone said.
Someone else said, “Don’t throw stones too hard because in a few weeks, you’re going to be the one screwing up the duck.”
“No, seriously. Consider a duck. Who doesn’t love a duck?” People at the table next to us turned to look. “They’re cute, they’re cool to watch. They’re tasty. And—damn—this duck once walked around. It was happy. It enjoyed itself. And look at it now. This creature truly died in vain. No, I won’t be the person screwing it up. This animal got completely disrespected. A pointless, useless death.”