The Strib published a howler today by something named David Banks. In the interests of equal time (and because I am in the pocket of Big Meat) (Whoa! That didn't sound very good) (Yet it makes me giggle uncontrollably) I offer a rebuttal.
So, you're a vegetarian or vegan who is sick of going to bed hungry every night? You think you may be teetering on the verge of partaking of the flesh? Here are a few thoughts to push you over to the Reality-Based Diet Community:
1) Everything you've been told about the health benefits of tofu is a lie:
An American Heart Association committee reviewed a decade of studies on soy's benefits and came up with results that are now casting doubt on the health claim that soy-based foods and supplements significantly lower cholesterol.
The findings could lead the Food and Drug Administration to reevaluate rules that allow companies to tout a cholesterol-lowering benefit on the labels of soy-based food.
The panel also found that neither soy nor the soy component isoflavone reduced symptoms of menopause, such as ``hot flashes,'' and that isoflavones do not help prevent breast, uterine or prostate cancer. Results were mixed on whether soy prevented postmenopausal bone loss.
There. So if the only reason you eat that crap is because you are going through your, um, life changes, you've got an out.
2) Cows are yummy!
3) Banks writes that we ought to have "empathy" for tasty animals. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "empathy" thus:
[T]he action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
Now, if you are able to vicariously experience the feelings, the experiences, and - especially - the thoughts of a chicken, your problems run way way deeper than your diet. I can safely say that the only "experience" of a cow that I ever understood was when I burned my hand on the grill when flipping a New York Strip.
4) Contrary to what Banks asserts, quality of life (and death) doesn't matter. It's a fecking cow.
5) You know those four pointy teeth you have toward the front of your mouth? They're called canines. Their purpose is to tear flesh.
6) If you're an Italian vegetarian, say goodbye to Sunday Gravy. Not only is this one of the most meat-intensive comfort foods ever invented, many versions of this dish also include veal!
(And I make a damn fine gravy, if I do say so my damn self.)
(Just ask the Notorious B.I.L, who has had it, and will be supping on it again this Sunday.)
(I have really gotta stop with the parentheticals.)
7) Without meat we'd have little use for barbecue sauce.
8) An all vegetable diet makes you poop a lot. And don't get me started on the farts. Or the breath. It's better to keep "nature's broom" (leafy vegetables) in the closet, until you actually need to be cleaned out. How much has the nation's GDP suffered due to the lost productivity of vegetarians who are constantly sitting on the can?
9) Finally, like that drooling doorknob Banks said: it's not easy to avoid meat. There's a reason for that.