I'm no vegetarian, in fact I firmly believe that if God didn't want us to eat animals, He would not have made them so darn delicious.  To compound that, have you seen my canine teeth?  They're like razors; and furthermore, I do love me some good-good In-N-Out, crisp bacon wrapped around a tender Fillet Mignon, and some Panko encrusted Veal Parmigiana.

The fact remains, that much of the US meat industry is riddled with problems.  Government subsidized corn and soy artificially drive down the price of meat in this country to the point where a double cheeseburger costs less than a large tomato.  I love double cheese burgers, but still, that shouldn't be so.

Hormones, antibiotics, animal rights.  Cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, obesity.  Hinduism, Zen Buddhism - even Catholics abstaining from "meat" on Fridays.  Mass production, pollution; there's a new pun in "pork-barrel" corruption.  Your own health, the overall health of the animals.  The reasons to eat less meat are many, why do we consume so much of it?

It is practically "Un-American" not to have meat at every meal.  A wonderful Spanish professor of mine, the late Tim McGovern, told me a story about ordering a cheese pizza in Commerce, Texas where the Manager came out and watched him eat it - because he had never heard of someone ordering a pizza without meat.

Yes America, we are like that.

According to a recent article in USA Today, the Department of Agriculture estimates that it takes about 15 pounds of feed to make 1 pound of beef.  Later in the article they quote Nathan Fiala, a doctoral candidate in environmental economics at the University of California Irvine, "A family of four that gives up eating beef one day a week has basically traded in their pickup for a Prius."

I don't want to lecture about the horrors of meat but I got to thinking as of late because some friends of mine are going vegetarian from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  They'll owe the other one $100 if they cheat.  I thought it was a great idea.  

Think about this for a second, Smithfield Packing Company in Tar Heel, North Carolina is capable of butchering over 32,000 pigs a day (according to the Wiki).  That's faster than one pig every three seconds.  If you don't think that's your ham, they make Butterball.

And just in case you haven't seen any good footage from slaughterhouses recently, I'm posting some here.  This video was shot by an undercover investigator from the Humane Society who was employed as a "Floor Cleaner" - and you thought you had a crappy job



What's the best quote from the flick?  One guy says to the Inspector after a cow stumbles and falls to the ground because it's too weak to walk, "That looks like you Friday night!"  Hilarity ensues.

Runner up quote?  USDA Inspector, "Next time just tell Frank or Terry, 'cause that's something I'm not supposed to know.  'Cause I could shut them down for that."

The website Extension.org has a pretty in-depth, but not over the top, explanation about how much grain it takes to fatten a cow.  It is worth checking out if the topic interests you.

So now that we've got that out of the way... BLT with Peanut Butter anyone?

Authordavid koch