There are ominivores, vegetarians, Canadian vegetarians, vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, those like myself who follow the Benedictine Rule of dieting (that's what I'm calling myself for lack of a better defining term - the Benedictine Rule calls for brothers to eat only the meat of fish and fowl - no chomping on 4-legged animals; 4 pints of ale/day and all the Benedictine I want), and raw foodists, to name but a few. It's the latter that made me consider a new diet.
There is a very small number of raw foodists, Jainists, vegetarians, and vegans who claim that all life - even plants - can feel pain; therefore plants should not be cooked (though I can't see how "chewing" is less painful than "boiling" or "frying.") I have a solution (pun intended) inspired by a recent posting on the Rev's blog: If you're really concerned about causing your food pain, you should sedate it before you eat it.
Introducing: the alcohol-soaked raw food diet. You can start simple: Mix yourself a martini and place three olives in it. Wait 5 minutes before consuming the olives. They'll never know what happened, I can assure you. I had originally thought of the Bloody Mary and all of the veggies and other goodies you could put in one of those babies, but you'd really have to do in a couple, two, three tomatoes per meal, and that would totally defeat the purpose.
If I were to follow this diet, I'd have to find a way to exempt the tomato....and the shrimp.....and the anchovy....I'll just stick to my Benedictine diet, shall I?
But what about the potatoes that were yanked from the dirt to be fermented to make the vodka in the first place? I'll admit I haven't thought this through completely. I mean, the alcohol itself comes from fermented fruits and potatoes and other plants, so you'd have to do some plants some serious harm to begin with just to produce the alcohol. Sure, you can make cider pretty easily from ripe apples and pears that have ripened and fallen from trees thus causing them no pain, but olives soaked in cider would taste pretty disgusting. And what if you hate olives? For the olive-loathing sweet tooth who can look the other way while sugarcane is being slaughtered for the production of rum, you could souse strawberries or raspberries in rum for a pretty tasty alternative. Maybe people who only eat rum-soused fruit could be further classified as "pirate vegetarians." Arrrr.I can't help you if you're worried about the pain the ice will feel as it melts.
For those who want to be even more ultra-humane: The ice in this cocktail will further numb the berries to any pain.