Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On Meat...

I read an article recently, at the prompting of a colleague I met recently, by Mark Bittman, food writer for the New York Times. It concerns meat, and how we, as the West, and now, increasingly, the developing world, eat meat. How much of it we eat, primarily.
This follows close on the heals of a post I read on of Serious Eats, which also concerned meat, more specifically the killing of it by those who intend to eat it, as opposed to the killing of it by professionals bent on profit. In truth, what I know about the meat packing industry might suggest that they are not all professionals, but I can't swear to it without more research. I think this idea originates with Fast Food Nation, now surely some years out of date.
Much of this is also related to Mark Zuckerberg's recent declaration that he kills his own meat.
In any case, I also happened to have a lovely lunch at a vegan restaurant this afternoon, The Green Panther, close on the heels of another pleasurable vegan meal, and some astounding 'milk'shakes, at Strongheart's, in Syracuse, NY. A meat-free lenten fast also helped clarify the vegetarian lifestyle, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
All told, it means I'm slowly beginning to think through the implications of my own diet choices, which, as I am often fond of saying, could be described as ideologically carnivorous. Another of my favorite food writers, Michael Pollan, in his Omnivore's Dilemma, argues convincingly for meat eating, at least in the case of food one has killed oneself. Recent debates with friends and colleagues suggest that meat itself is not an issue so much as the industrial production of meat in North America, which I understand can be  unsettling.
My own philosophy has not yet been successfully hammered out. I have, in the past, hunted, and likely will again in the future. I am unlikely to give up meat all together, but I have made attempts in the past few years to reduce my consumption. Days at the Rodeo are an exception, obviously.