Jun 292010
 

It tastes like freedom.

June 29, 2010

I love meat. I love rare steaks. When my grandfather makes carne asada, it’s cause for celebration. Meat in all its forms is an essential part of my diet. I am a proud carnivore.

But would I be willing to give it up for the sake of planet?

That’s the assertion made by the UN and reported in The Guardian this week. Within a few decades, we simply won’t be able to feed the population, and even with parts of the world already starving, the Western World and much of the planet may soon need to switch to alternate sources of protein and vitamins. It’s either that or we start breathing something besides oxygen.

There are other reasons for switching to a vegan diet world-wide, says the report:

Agriculture, particularly meat and dairy products, accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, says the report, which has been launched to coincide with UN World Environment day on Saturday.

Would I be willing to do this? Would you?

Whenever someone talks of doing something for the common good, of forcing some measure on the planet for the sake the many, I instantly want to say “no.” Who are you, sir, to tell me I can’t have meat. How dare you dictate my diet! Say no to the one-child policy! Don’t tell me what political party to vote for!


Favorite meat by ~Nestea-Desu on deviantART

And yet…

Maybe it will come to that. We’re already working on chicken that is texturally identical to the real thing and is soy-based. If we can make a steak that cooks like a steak, smokes like a steak, and bleeds like a steak… maybe.

Maybe I’ll do it.

Whenever I try to explain the appeal of meat, I always have to get cultural. Meat is so integral in Mexican food. A cousin of mine once tried to go vegetarian. She lasted all of a day. You can’t be vegetarian in Mexico, I often joke. There are too many things that require lard, fat, pork, beef, chicken… Meat is in our blood. I’m type A1 Sauce.

If the thought of a rare steak grosses you out, I can’t empathize with you. The taste, the sensation of blood, it’s all more than the taste. It’s primal. This animal died so that I may eat. This being was once alive and now it’s not.

I live. It dies.


Predator by ~Nartum on deviantART

I know people who can’t even see bones in their meat or they’re reminded it’s an animal. I prefer to see the bone. I’d prefer to see the whole animal. Brains, liver, tripe, ovaries, stomach, everything… there is almost no a part of a cow or pig or chicken I haven’t tasted. Some would call it sadistic. In fact, people HAVE called it sadistic.

Nothing sadistic about enjoying food. Food should be a joy to eat and prepare. Food is about sensory experiences as much as it is about nutrition. If we wanted to, we could live on nuts, soy, and vitamin supplements. It would be tasteless yet nourishing.

But we crave flavor. We want textures. When the right smell hits us, it’s like we’re children again and can’t wait for dinner to finish cooking. The smell of cooked meat, or even raw meat for some dishes, is even more primal than that.

If it meant we saved the planet, though…

Yeah, I’d do it. I’m not so selfish as to think I should be able to eat a burger and kill the Earth at the same time.

I love steak, but I like breathing more.


Save the Earth by ~Sidoneon on deviantART

And now on to something less depressing.

  • Ever wanted to have an AT-AT? No? What about a miniature AT-AT that was as lovable as a dog… only armor-plated and armed with twin blasters?
  • It seems the middle class isn’t having as much sex as it used to, and this article looks at everything from the decreased gap between gender roles to the overworked nature of our country. An interesting read to be sure…
  • What if Jesus wasn’t actually crucified but was instead just tied to a pole? Would the symbolism of the cross be destroyed and punch a hole in the fabric of Christianity?
  • How do you get people to buy your food storage products? Show them how well they can handle dinosaur meat.
  • And finally, thanks to reader Eden Hirtzel for showing me this video. I’m hoping Muriel or other future demons in Charcoal Streets doesn’t come across like this, but it’s hilarious either way.

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