Worst of all from this point of view are those more uncivilized forms of eating, like licking an ice cream cone—a catlike activity that has been made acceptable in informal America but that still offends those who know eating in public is offensive….I admit it never occurred to me to think that licking an ice cream cone, or noshing on a snack while walking around town, was a harbinger of social decay. This sort of massively overdetermined analysis is replete in Kass' school of thought, and I really just don't understand it at all.
[Eating] on the street—even when undertaken, say, because one is between appointments and has no other time to eat—displays in fact precisely such lack of self-control: It beckons enslavement to the belly. Hunger must be sated now; it cannot wait. Though the walking street eater still moves in the direction of his vision, he shows himself as a being led by his appetites. Lacking utensils for cutting and lifting to mouth, he will often be seen using his teeth for tearing off chewable portions, just like any animal. Eating on the run does not even allow the human way of enjoying one’s food, for it is more like simple fueling; it is hard to savor or even to know what one is eating when the main point is to hurriedly fill the belly, now running on empty. This doglike feeding, if one must engage in it, ought to be kept from public view, where, even if WE feel no shame, others are compelled to witness our shameful behavior.
(One might also wonder about the consistency on display here. After all, couldn't one as easily say that eating things with your teeth is the natural way of doing it, the way nature intends, and all this "utensil" nonsense is just amoral human artifice? Possibly, but I prefer to think that neither God nor the moral system really concerns itself with such mundane trivialities as what sharp object we use to dissect the food we eat.)