Meat Is Boring, Say Top Chefs

TIME magazine recently proclaimed some heartening news in “Where’s the Beet?: How Big- Name Chefs Are Shrinking Their Customers’ Carnivore Quota.”  Six top chefs were interviewed, all saying they are preparing less meat in their restaurants.  Two of them, Mario Batali and Jose Andres, say that meat is boring.  “After four bites of a big steak, I’m tired of it,” says Batali, who plans to open his sixteenth restaurant soon, this one in New York City and entirely vegetarian.   Andres, with six restaurants in Los Angeles and Washington, describes a combination of fruits and vegetables as “a rainbow of possibilities.  It’s more interesting than any meat.” Continue reading “Meat Is Boring, Say Top Chefs”

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism, by Melanie Joy.  Conari Press, 2009.

Ideally qualified to investigate the mindset that permits humans to mistreat and eat so-called “food” animals while lavishing love and expensive veterinary care on dogs and cats, the author is a social psychologist and professor of psychology. She describes the suffering not only of the factory farmed animals, but of slaughterhouse workers, people living near factory farms who become ill because of the factories’ waste products, omnivores who consume a variety of pesticides, hormones, deadly viruses and feces in their meat, and us taxpayers who are subsidizing it all. Meat inspection, which most omnivorous people think is protecting them, is either a joke or nonexistent. It really makes you wonder why a system so hazardous to our health and the environment has continued and in fact, worsened, for so long without a major public outcry. Which is just what the author sets out to explore, in ways that were new to me. Continue reading “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows”

Making Meat-Eating Look Green

In the current (July/August) issue of Mother Jones, Associate Editor Kiera Butler questions the “greenness” of eating plant foods vs. eating meat in “Get Behind Me, Seitan: Why the vegetarian-equals-green argument isn’t so cut-and-dried.” Right out of the starting gate, Butler tells us that until recently she had been a lifelong vegetarian.  Wow, lifelong– that’s unusual and, among longtime committed vegetarians and vegans, enviable.  Yet Butler tells us this in the context of being in a restaurant ordering a burger, that is, a dead-flesh type burger.  What gives? Continue reading “Making Meat-Eating Look Green”

Eating Animals

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Little Brown & Co, 2009.

Bold, convincing, and carefully fact-checked, yet not absolutist. I’m hopeful this book will earn a wide readership due to the author’s reputation. (His novels have earned him inclusion in a nationwide short list of  best writers under 40, and one of the novels, Everything Is Illuminated, was made into a major movie.)  If only all meat-eaters would be willing to look at how cruelly U.S. food animals are treated, perhaps more would change their diets. Especially when vegetarian food is so healthful and delicious. Continue reading “Eating Animals”