La Fiesta Del Chivo Should I eat it?

Once upon a time two tween cousins from Manhattan went on vacation to their parents' native country, the Dominican Republic, as they did each year. Only one summer, their lives changed forever. After spending a long morning playing with a goat they considered a friend, they were traumatized when they learned that that very goat, which they named Pablo, will literally be their dinner.

I was one of those two little girls. My cousin and I saw and heard the poor goat be killed and made into a Sunday supper. From the animal's squealing, to the washing and seasoning of the remains I will never forget our friend the goat. And it was that very day that my cousin and I said we will never eat lamb again. I stuck to that promise- until two weeks ago!

Apparently chivo, or goat is part of large family gatherings and celebrations in many Dominican homes. I was surprised to see my uncle in my parents' kitchen wearing knee-length shorts, a long shirt and black socks as he prepared a lamb feast. My mother had already prepared a side dish of ribs and fried chicken for me as she assumed I would have nothing to do with the lamb. But it smelled so good after being marinated in rum and spices (I'm not much of a cook) that I couldn't resist! Although it was delicious, I think I enjoyed eating it more because I was surrounded by family.

I should mention that I tried having lamb again a week later and after two bites, I spit it back out. It may have not been cooked the same way, or perhaps I was just more aware of the flesh that I was about to consume. During my hiatus, I read many books, meditated and reconnected with my spirituality. I've noticed that after being in such peace and becoming more aware of things, I've recently been thinking about meat way too much before eating it. I don't have plans on becoming a vegetarian, but I often remember my pal Pablo (the goat) and the process of how meat gets to our dinner table.