I don't understand artichokes. After you peel off the tough outer leaves and dig out the choke, you've got something the size of a sugar cube on a stem. Don't get me wrong, I really like the taste or artichokes; I just suspect that you're getting ripped off when you buy them raw. Since fresh produce tends to be charged by weight, I think you should be allowed to bring in the edible bit of artichokes after preparation and pay accordingly. Same goes for asparagus - snap off the woody ends before you get to the checkout. Might as well shuck fresh peas, take the stone out of avocados, and take all the wilty bits off heads of lettuce before you pay, too. Um...but you didn't read that here. *wink*
After watching a program on channel 4 about the dire conditions in which our livestock is kept, I was reminded why I became a vegetarian 18 years ago. Obviously I had forgotten about these chickeny horrors because I started eating meat again, but now I feel the need to be more responsible for the food I ingest. I will not go vegetarian again, due to the fact that one cannot live a life free of any animal cruelty simply by not eating meat. Well that, and I really like meat. I have, however, vowed to buy free range and organic when I can. After seeing the segment about "hock burns" on chickens (the ammonia from their waste leaves a mark on their legs when they become too lame to stand) and actually seeing these burns on row upon row of chickens at my local Tesco, I quickly ran for the organic section. I used to joke that free range meat was crueller than factory farmed meat because killing a happy animal was just mean. ("Have a beautiful meadow to frolic around in, some lovely food, clean water, all the space you want - and then we're going to kill you and wrap you in clingfilm.") Now I do see the point of eating something that had a decent life and was kept in humane conditions.
Of course the true key to living a happy life free of cruelty is to stuff your face with chocolate and Green and Black's ice cream. Obviously.