Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meat's gross, but does it matter?

Yeah, meat's gross. I could go on for days and cite all the bacteria, cancerous flesh and other disgusting contaminants in it. (Of course that's on top of the animal suffering and pollution it creates.)

But, I don't think that's convincing any omnivores to change their minds about meat. It doesn't hit home. I liken it to the police ads that are trying to reduce drunk driving. They usually claim if you drink and drive, you'll get caught. But we all know this isn't true. People drink and drive all the time, and the vast majority of them don't get caught. And if they do, it's one time out of hundreds or thousands of times driving after drinking.

The same goes for meat. Everyone has heard about salmonella in chicken, E. Coli in beef, and being sure to cook it hot enough, and not cross contaminating utensils, etc. I always knew that it had all this disgusting bacteria and cancerous flesh, but it never made me ill. I ate meat thousands of times and didn't have a problem. So, I concluded that regardless of the process by which meat was contaminated, it didn't matter to me. The argument doesn't stand to reason. If meat were so disease ridden, wouldn't I have been ill all the time?

My point? Pointing out how gross meat is isn't a good tactic, since it a) tastes "good" and b) doesn't make people ill, usually. In my short experience, I've found global warming and personal health to be more compelling reasons to switch.


  1. yes, it's going to have to take a shock for most people to get it. what will it take to shock? total cataclysm?

  2. And the fact that the Government allows producers to keep just HOW gross it actually is a secret makes it even harder for people to make informed choices.

    I posted this to my FB page a few weeks ago. I got exactly 3 responses. THREE. Two from people who are already Vegan, and one from someone who said it proved to her that she would only eat meat in a restaurant that is willing to serve beef rare or even raw (I think she missed my point in a major way, though she was at least circling the bullseye of disease issues.)

    Articles are here:



    Agribusiness is moving us farther and farther AWAY from real food, nutrition and health....and sadly the government is not only allowing it, but preventing us from even knowing if our food is "real" or "ammonia-doctored slime".


    While he isn't Vegan (by ANY stretch), I at least try to get my meat and dairy eating friends to watch this video by Mark Bittman. Its from a few years ago, and of course I don't agree with all of it (especially the part where he dismisses eating less meat for "humane" reasons....though I think he's doing that for the purpose of this specific argument rather than from his personal beliefs), but I find its a good "primer" for meat eaters to at least reconsider a lot of their food choices without feeling that their identities are being threatened.


    (Still love your blog. Been catching up on it today :-)

  3. Wow Tara, that article is disturbing. I wish I could say it was surprising. It amazes me what industry and government will sign off on to save a buck.

    Thanks for the great comments :)

  4. Just found your blog a couple of days ago, after reading Foer's book. I'm having trouble atm to define how to deal with all of it, but fact is: no meat since I started reading. The vegan option: maybe, but I would like to try the veggie one for starters.

    To me, it's not so much about health. Lots of things are not healthy. And I gave up smoking half a year ago, which I suppose is one of the best gifts I could offer myself in health-terms. It was just the suffering that did it. I don't want it, not on my behalf.

    Thx for all the tips though, I'm really happy I found this blog. It's about a person actually doing something, and making mistakes, and try again. That makes it real, and look like something that can be done. Keep it up :)

    Cheers from Belgium,