It’s Alive!

In my previous post, I spoke of my love for Trader Joe’s Organic Triple Ginger Instant Oatmeal. Today, I’m reconsidering my position.

It seems that the oatmeal is developing a survival instinct.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve gotten the preparation down to a routine:

  1. Put 1/4 cup plain oatmeal in a bowl.
  2. Add one packet of TJOTGIO to the bowl.
  3. Pour in one cup of water and mix thoroughly.
  4. Nuke for one minute and forty-five seconds.
  5. Optionally, add blueberries, stir, eat, rinse bowl.

Today, at Step 4, the oatmeal attempted to escape. It began to climb out of the bowl and flowed toward the front of the microwave in a massive wave. I turned off the microwave with nearly fifteen seconds remaining on the countdown, and was able to stun the oatmeal by hurling blueberries at it. It tasted just fine, but…

You might be tempted to blame today’s mishap on random chance. Perhaps the high humidity–we’ve had rain showers all day–or a slight fluctuation in the microwave’s power output caused the problem.

But there’s more.

Maggie also had TJOTGIO for breakfast. By itself, without mixing in any plain oatmeal or blueberries. She followed the preparation instructions on the packet to the letter.

Everything seemed normal. The microwave finished its cycle with no independent action from the oatmeal. She picked up the bowl, added a little milk, and carried it to the table. At that point, we discovered that the oatmeal was simply biding its time. As she set the bowl down, the oatmeal leaped out and tried to climb down her legs to freedom!

So now we have a dilemma. What are the ethics of eating a prepared food–and one of vegetable origin at that–that has a will to live? It seems like a different question than whether it’s moral to eat other animals.

I’ve come to terms with my omnivorous eating behavior, but I’m starting to question whether I should continue eating plants if they’re going to continue to try to escape the plate even after being harvested, chopped into pieces, and cooked.

I have no doubt that protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Oatmeal will be setting up on the sidewalk in front of the house any moment now. More power to them; anyone who can muster the outrage to stage a nude protest in fifty degree rain deserves to be heard.

But it doesn’t answer the important question: should we skip the stuffing we were going to have with our turkey dinner tonight?

Happy Holidays, y’all!

2 thoughts on “It’s Alive!

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