In praise of meat-eating

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On the back cover of Scott Gold's The Shameless Carnivore: A Manifesto for Meat Lovers (Broadway Books, 355 pages, $24.95), there is a multiple-choice quiz. Question No. 3 asks:

The following meat is NOT approved for retail sale in the United Sates, even with USDA inspection:
a) Armadillo
b) Kangaroo
c) Iguana
d) Island fox

The most alarming thing about that question is not which one is NOT approved but that the other three ARE!

You have to read the book to find the answer. I've been skipping around the book and haven't found the answer yet.

The Shameless Carnivore

Fair warning to vegetarians: You will not like this book. It is an unapologetic celebration of sizzling animal flesh.

"I don't get it," Gold writes. "Where at one point in American history a vegetarian would have been branded as a godless communist and advised to return forthwith to the CCCP, abstaining from the consumption of animal flesh these days is largely viewed as an enlightened life decision, even though it's not what most of us do."

The author grew up in New Orleans, where his younger meat-eating included "critters" — squirrel, rabbit, etc. — as well as the requisite seafood and sausage. In researching the book, Gold decided to eat 31 different types of meat in a month, including goat, antelope, rattlesnake, and yak.

"Several of my friends were eager to ask if I'd be eating dogs and cats, a common practice in certain areas of the Far East. ...Neither dogs nor cats are legal eats in this country and hence ineligible for my Month of Meat list, for which I am grateful."

He goes on to say, however, that if he were in a foreign country where a gracious host took pride in serving it to him, then of course he would indulge. ("I'd just try not to think about my family's golden retriever as I forked a chunk of canine into my mouth.")

Gold also delves into the science of meat, such as why some chicken can taste dull while other chicken tastes more "chickeny"; why certain other meats "taste like chicken," and why different meats have different colors.

The book is definitely interesting, and the author is as passionate as a person can be about his subject, but beware: If you do love meat, the lovely medium rare slices of beef on the book's cover will make you salivate and draw you in; but once you're in, it's possible that all that information could actually steer you in the other direction.

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2 Comments

Carnivores are destroying the planet. The inhumane beef, pork, poultry and fishing industries are more responsible for global warming, pollution and other environmental crises than all the fumes released by planes, trains, automobiles and boats. The countless tons of grains, corn and soy used to fatten mistreated "food animals" should instead be utilized to end human starvation. Meat is murder. The original and idyllic diet of man was meatless (Genesis 1:29).

Brien: Thanks for reminding me why I don't like many vegetarians. Your self-righteousness is pathetic.

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This page contains a single entry by Teresa Budasi published on April 7, 2008 7:58 AM.

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