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Eating - or not eating - animals

I finished Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer this week. A quick read if you find factory farming interesting. Or horrifying. This is the latest attempt to better educate myself about the journey food takes in getting to my stomach.

Gory details aside, Foer lays it out there. You do not want to know how a chicken breast becomes juicy or the actual amount of waste that is produced on a factory farm and what’s done with it. (Maybe a fecal fountain to go with a side of asthma?)

No judgment is being passed, since I have eaten meat in the past month. The occasions are few, but it’s easy to fall back to the “I eat it because it tastes good” mentality. Or when my dad grills steak because he still thinks it’s my favorite meal. (I loved steak so much as a kid I would eat the leftover fat.) Clearly my convictions are not stronger that the desire to please my father.

My journey to vegetarianism is obviously not complete, but is getting close. The more I learn the less meat I eat. It’s becoming harder to ignore the terrible treatment of the animals, appalling factory working conditions, massive environmental effects and resulting health issues. (Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.)

But not everyone wants to know. It’s easier to stick fingers in one’s ears and sing la-la-la. (My dad did this when my sisters and I discussed the movie Food, Inc.) At 73, no way is he giving up pork products.

So I’m on a farewell to meat tour, which should wrap up by 2011. On the schedule: filet at Capital Grille, Kobe burger at Blanc, Paco shrimp at JJ’s, chicken at Stroud’s and maybe even a few Taco Bell Tacos. (I’ve been told their meat comes in boxes stamped “Grade D Edible,” but maybe that’s a myth.) And I’ll wrap the whole thing up with bacon ice cream.

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