January 28, 2008

Meat Has Feet

There is a nice piece in the Times' Week in Review by Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, entitled "Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler." For a variety of reasons over the last year we've significantly scaled back the amount of meat that we eat-usually only one meal a week-, as well as being more circumspect in the types of meat that we do eat. If you've explored either of those two options and happen to be a fellow member of the semi-voluntary poor as we are then you quickly learn that the one quickly informs the other - i.e., if you want to eat meat of higher quality produced under conditions that in some measure take into account the fact that animals have not only utilitarian but intrinsic worth then you really can't afford to eat that much meat. Bittman touches on most of the reasons that have played a part in our own transition to meat skeptics, so I won't belabor any of those here, and in doing so he gets a few quotes from two of my favorite authors whose works are also worth checking out: Tyler Cowen, economics professor at George Mason and preposterously prodigious blogger over at Marginal Revolution; and Michael Pollan, the seemingly everywhere darling of the foodie nation whose latest book, In Defense of Food, I have not yet read but I'm number three on the waiting list down at ye olde public library (sorry Michael, I can't afford meat or hardcovers these days, although $13.17 is a ridiculous price for a new hardcover, what is the mark-up on books these days that they can offer that price!) but about whom I'm fairly confident in recommending just about everything he has written and in light of the present topic his Omnivore's Dilemma is a great place to start for those who are interested in starting (and yes, that is a paperback!).

Also worth a look:
Michael Pollan - Unhappy Meals (essentially the premise of his new book)
The Meatrix - can not be explained, must be experienced.

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