Volume 1 Number 14
Volume 1 Number 14
Welcome to Friday fluffherders! It's time for another edition of Ask FluffiesAreFood, the advice column that seeks to answer questions of fluffherders and fluffy eaters everywhere! If you have a question, just PM me on the Booru!
For today's edition, I want to start with one of the great innovations being shown at the Fluffherders' Association of America Convention, which is just wrapping up today at the Harris Convention Center near our nation's capital in East Sacramento, California.
The most exciting development of this year's convention is the Skettiland Express, a revolutionary new form of automated butcher shop for a medium-sized or larger fluffherder operation. The shop consists of three pieces. The first piece is outside the shop proper: a miniature train with 109.5mm gauge tracks, called the Skettiland Railway. This train comes with an autonomous locomotive and up to eight cars. Each car can hold two adult fluffies; there are also foal cars that can hold up to eight foals. Each fluffy is first told that it is their turn to take a trip to Skettiland. After making good poopies and peepees, each fluffy or foal is fitted with a permanent anal plug and strapped into a car. After the rest of the herd has a chance to say goodbye and wish the lucky fluffies well, the train steams off to Skettiland, which takes the train through a tunnel in one end of a shack at least 3m by 9m.
The magic begins once the fluffies are in the shack. First the entire herd is sprayed with a mist that smells like marinara sauce. The fluffies inhale deeply and their hearts race with excitement, which gives the butcher nannites in the mist a proper chance to get introduced to the system. Within seconds, the nannites go to work, first quietly and painlessly severing the fluffy's brain from the rest of the nervous system, then cutting off the signals to the heart and diaphragm while sealing the coratid arteries shut. The nannites then finish the last phase of their work, which is to separate the hide of the fluffy from the flesh. After a minute, the fluffy is dead and skinned from the inside without feeling any pain or having lost any blood.
Then the butcher robots inside the shack go to work. Each fluffy is extracted from the skin and neatly butchered. The version we saw turned each of eight adult fluffies into a nearly intact hide, two sides, four pounds of boneless leg meat, two fluffy cheeks, one tongue, one brain, one belly, a lump of tallow, a jar of blood, and a plastic bag of bone meal. The pegasus also yielded two wings and a plastic bag of neatly plucked feathers, while the unicorn's skull was completely stripped of flesh and left intact. The work of butchering eight fluffies, which would take a pair of butchers two hours, takes the Skettiland Express ten minutes.
Beering-Crawford, which manufactures the Skettiland Express, tells us that this is the default configuration for their turn-key system. Beering-Crawford representatives say that one can configure the Skettiland Express to harvest fluffies in other ways, such as by adding modules to smoke meat or turn meat into finished products such as sausages, or by configuring the nannites to give the fluffies an agonizing but silent death that makes the meat more savory.
The Skettiland Express is estimated to cost $49,999 WUSA in its default configuration, and should be available by Summer of 2081. Even if you don't run a large enough operation to merit owning one of these yourself, the savings in time and waste reduction might be enough to consider buying one to share amongst twenty or more family-size fluffherding operations.
With that, on to today's question, which comes from sugarnacid:
Hearing protection is inconvenient when cooking with live fluffies since hearing in a busy kitchen is a safety concern. Also, some prefer to eat fluffies in a normal restaurant setting without hearing loud SCREEs everytime a waiter comes out. Is there some kind of muffler plug to allow breathing but no ear piercing screams for those who work for long hours in the food service industry?
To answer this question, I met with famed chef Tanya Harper, who is also at the Convention this week. Tanya is head chef of the Michelin star-rated Sleeping Pegasus in Chicago.
Faf: So Tanya, you cook both live and dead fluffies at the Sleeping Pegasus, right?
TH: Correct. Most of the fluffy we serve is butchered fluffy meat sourced from small operations on the West Side, but the Sleeping Pegasus is unusual in that some of our dishes start as live fluffies that are then cooked while still living. In fact our very popular pan fried chirpies, and our signature dish, whole fluffy cooked on hot rocks, both start with live fluffies.
Faf: As you're aware, fluffies are like pigs in that they scream very loudly when they're in distress.
TH: Right. The scream of an injured fluffy can top 120 decibels. Even a cooking chirpie can top 110 decibels. Sound levels like that can cause permanent hearing loss.
Faf: So, how do you cope with the noise levels while stil maintaining a safe kitchen environment, and without the noise escaping to the dining area?
TH: It's tricky. We have to cook live fluffies in a separate kitchen that is sealed off from the rest of the restaurant with sound-proofed doors. No line cooks are allowed in the Live Fluffy Kitchen; you have to be a specially trained sous chef, at least, to work in there. Hearing protection is mandatory. The fluffies scream from the moment they realize they're about to be slaughtered for food, and the screams only get worse through the butchering, skinning, and cooking phases. But once the fluffies or foals are cooked to the point where they can no longer scream, they can be carried out, pan and all, to the regular kitchen, for final preparation and plating.
Faf: Do your chefs ever find the screaming traumatic? I mean, aside from the noise levels?
TH: Well, of course. Not only are the screams loud, but they're in English, and often with the fluffies and foals begging for their lives, declaring they "nu wan be nummies," asking why mommy or daddy doesn't love them, asking for anyone to come save them from meanie humans and worstest burnies. Adults can still scream in complete sentences when they're halfway cooked, which can be a horrifying experience for anyone. PTSD is a real problem, and we did have one experience where a chef ran screaming out of the establishment and never even came back to pick up his things or his final paycheck. To address this, we require our chefs to attend counseling at least every other week to make sure they can still do their jobs.
Faf: It sounds like a huge expense.
TH: It is a huge expense. We feel that it's worth it to give our customers the quality they deserve. Our customers have rewarded us with their continued patronage, which, in the cutthroat restaurant business, is everything.
Faf: So, as you know, there have been near-misses in the last few years where deranged former fluffherders and butchers have been caught just short of committing mass violence to stop the butchering of fluffies for food, under the delusion that the fluffies are actually human children. Have you ever had an incident of workplace violence
TH: We haven't, thank goodness. That said, we have policies in place to prevent this kind of violence. Aside from counseling and training, every live fluffy chef undergoes mental health screening and a background check. A chef with a history of anxiety or severe trauma can't work with live fluffies effectively. Usually we look for chefs with just the right amount of sadistic tendencies to enjoy the work, without necessarily wanting to extend their sadism to non-livestock animals or humans. It's a delicate balancing act, but not unusual for any business that slaughters fluffies.
Faf: Thank you for your time, Tanya.
TH: My pleasure!
Ask FluffiesAreFood is a service of the Fluffherders' Association of America. If you have a question about raising, slaughtering, or eating of fluffies, you may comment here or send FluffiesAreFood a PM via Fluffybooru.