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11.19.09 Meat, the Fuckers

I love animals and I love meat. It's a mind-numbing conundrum and one you can read all about in the news these days. From the works of  Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser and now even the novelist-turned-nonfiction-writer Jonathan Safran Foer, many of us have come to know a lot more about factory farming, industrial agriculture, our government and even our own hearts than perhaps we wanted to. And let me say right off the bat that I'm aware I'm writing from a position of privilege. I can afford to buy the boutique meats that let me breathe easier. But if you learn even just a little bit about factory farming—about how we're forcing ruminant cows to eat our government-subsidized surplus of corn, thus destroying their digestive systems and making them so ill they need to be shot up with the antibiotics that are ultimately destroying our own health; about how the amount of methane gas released from factory farms far exceeds air pollution from cars—you know the answer is not just different meat. It's less meat. In a perfect world, no meat. But this isn't that. Still, for your own health and for that of the planet, it's not a bad idea to consider building your diet around legumes and whole grains and vegetables. Invent a new paradigm for your plate, beyond the antiquated notion of meat, starch, vegetable.
Tagged — beef shank