One of the aspects I like most about working at a newspaper is the chance to go do all sorts of things I just would never do in my normal life. Some of those are things I'd never really think I'd want to do, but then they turn out to be enlightening. Friday i took my second trip of the year to a butcher shop, this one a Halal market. After covering the pig slaughter in 2009, I figured I'd had enough watching the way animals become meat. That assignment is still the hardest (and in that, one of the best) assignments I've done at the Oregonian.
But Friday was a good refresher -- not nearly as heart-wrenching, but I do think it's important to watch the way a whole animal is broken down into the disconnected pieces (I mean disconnected emotionally) that then get served up to the world. Plus, the butchers were so nice and excited to have me there. They told me all about their particular food ethos and about where the cows and lambs came from.