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Should We Eat Meat? Anthony Bourdain v. Jonathan Safron Foer

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  • Should We Eat Meat? Anthony Bourdain v. Jonathan Safron Foer

    Excellent discussion between Anthony Bourdain and Jonathan Safron Foer on meat consumption:

    http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2011/01/03/...we-eat-meat-1/

    He's not perfect, but I just love Bourdain.

  • #2
    I love Bourdain too. His show No Reservations is one of my favorites.
    "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

    People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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    • #3
      Interesting interview--between two of my favorite people, ironically--and though I eat meat, I have to say that Jonathan Safran Foer has a much better argument, in my opinion...
      "The mountains are calling and I must go."
      --John Muir


      "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
      --Tommy Caldwell


      ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
      --Hyperlithic

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      • #4
        @ Clymb - love your signature...the "self" always gets in the way if you let it...learn to swim...flow with the eternal Tao...such is the way of the immortals

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        • #5
          Jonathan Safron Foer has convinced me.

          I am going to start eating dog.

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          • #6
            Great debate, liked that both guys kept their heads.

            Loved that Bourdain said eating meat was a very primal thing.

            I wish he had mentioned you can buy more humanely raised meat, he sort of hints at it but made it sound like only he can do it because he's got all this money, that's unfortunate because audiences will say "well, i'm not some rich world traveling celebrity, I guess all the meat I buy is unethical so the only solution is to give it up" Bourdain also kind of stinks it up when he says he's never eaten dogs and wouldn't because he likes dogs as pets, Safron jumped on that as you would expect he would saying "see! you DO make distinctions with which animals are appropriate to eat!"

            My thing is that at the end of the day, meat eaters vs non-meat eaters differ on a few things:

            - Non meat eaters have a hard on for animals. Most meat eaters don't, the ones that do will look for better meat once they understand the importance of it for health or simply because they want to keep enjoying meat without feeling bad about it.
            - Meat eaters believe animals have a "place" and some of those animals' place is at the dinner table. I am one of those meat eaters. The second a cow sits next to me on the subway train listening to his ipod I swear I'll stop eating steaks. I'm not saying these animals aren't to have good lives, but once those animals have enjoyed their little lives as much as the good farmer allows them to, it's time to hang them high and let them bleed. Life requires death, this is an inevitable fact. I'm sure cows are charming animals capable of bringing plenty of joy to people, but they have been feeding us for centuries and doing a damn good job at it.

            That's probably it. I totally get the feelings of remorse new vegetarians that were former meat eaters feel when encountered with the truth about factory farming. I am 100% in agreement that it's a bad industry. I am 100% for eating less meat if it means all meat would come from a regular farm where the animals eat a proper diet (do we even have enough space in the US for this to happen anymore??) what I'm not 100% for is sacrificing my own health and eating no meat at all. I'd be willing to cut down my meat consumption considerably, including poultry, etc, if factory farming went away completely. Sadly, this may never happen, but as more people learn and more MEAT EATERS try to get humanely raised meat, this might happen. The solution is NOT to stop eating meat, but to find more ethical sources for it.

            The topic generally pisses me off though.
            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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            • #7
              I use to think Bourdain was a snarly, jaded, sarcastic New Yorker.
              Then I read 'Kitchen Confidential' and 'A Cooks Tour' and discovered that's pretty much as he see's himself from time to time - though he seems to have mellowed a little with age.
              His self-effacing, down to earth style of writing and passion makes for some entertaining reading.
              There's a chapter in 'A Cooks Tour' where he gets roped into a (bad) meal with a bunch vegos who cant help but extol it's virtues - with predictable results..
              Good on him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Clymb View Post
                ......I have to say that Jonathan Safran Foer has a much better argument, in my opinion...
                I read Foer's book recently (in exchange for a veggie friend reading Lierre Keith's book) and found it to be well-thought and rather convincing. The main argument in Foer's book seems to be the damage from factory farms/CAFOs. At home I eat meats that have been pastured or raised humanely; we are lucky enough to have a good market in the area.
                Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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                • #9
                  I personally wouldn't eat dog, unless I was really hungry but there is fundamentally no difference between eating a dog and eating a cow. Anyone who can't accept that probably shouldn't be eating meat...

                  In general I find the anti-meat argument about as satisfying as Fruit Stripe gum...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jspradley View Post
                    I personally wouldn't eat dog, unless I was really hungry but there is fundamentally no difference between eating a dog and eating a cow. Anyone who can't accept that probably shouldn't be eating meat...

                    In general I find the anti-meat argument about as satisfying as Fruit Stripe gum...
                    Dude... that fruit stripe gum had a totally awesome cartoon zebra in it's adverts...

                    ...there IS a difference between dogs, and cows that gives me slight pause which is this: Dogs are predator animals higher up on the food chain than cows which are herbivores, and there fore may have more accumulated toxins/parasites. Same reason I'd be slightly more hesitant to chow down on cats. Same can be said for Long Pig. (I only eat free range raw vegans.)

                    A small hiccup, I'm still going to do it given the opportunity, it's just not going to form the foundation of my diet.

                    A friend of mine in college used to go on bouts of "homefree" inbetween semesters. He'd live on the streets for a few months at a time, with other travelers, (d)rainbows, and such. Roadkill, and packs of strays apparently.

                    He had an endearing habit of naming the stray cats and dogs that would show up. "I'll call you taco, and you burrito, and you'll be known as enchilada." Never would tell us where taco ran off too...

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                    • #11
                      I could give up meat and survive. But I prefer to eat meat, believing that it is healthier to eat meat than to eat no meat, and knowing with certainty that my diet is more flavorful with meat.

                      Perhaps I am heartless, but I simply cannot bring myself to believe that killing and eating a cow is an atrocity tantamount to killing and eating a human.

                      Also, the argument involving the dog is something of a red herring, in my opinion. Were dogs suddenly to appear in the supermarket amongst other meats, I would eat them. However, the fact that I will not presently put great effort into killing and eating a dog does not paint me a hypocrite. Now, I suppose that Foer has a point with the dog argument if his target is the group of people who would rather die than eat dog. I am not one of those people, though, and as another poster so aptly put it above, there is no fundamental difference between eating a dog and eating a cow.

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                      • #12
                        My only issue with meats would be to eat predators. I dunno about them. I'm sure maybe they arent that bad to eat, but its just something about eating an animal that eats other animals that gets to me. Id rather eat something that turns crap plant matter I cant consume (like grass) and turn it into nomnoms.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by livinlite View Post
                          @ Clymb - love your signature...the "self" always gets in the way if you let it...learn to swim...flow with the eternal Tao...such is the way of the immortals
                          Thanks man
                          "The mountains are calling and I must go."
                          --John Muir


                          "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
                          --Tommy Caldwell


                          ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
                          --Hyperlithic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TCOHTom View Post
                            I read Foer's book recently (in exchange for a veggie friend reading Lierre Keith's book) and found it to be well-thought and rather convincing. The main argument in Foer's book seems to be the damage from factory farms/CAFOs. At home I eat meats that have been pastured or raised humanely; we are lucky enough to have a good market in the area.
                            The problem though is that he COULD turn around and say "buy meat from your farmers..." but he's simply saying just don't eat meat eat lentils instead. He's GOT to know there's operations out there that aren't as evil.

                            That's of course if he's got an issue with the way the animals are treated and raised, if he's got a problem with the animals being killed for food (which I'd say is mostly the concern of vegetarians/vegans) then nothing will really do for him/them.
                            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                            • #15
                              If people demanded it, humanely raised grass fed meat would be widely available and cheap. The grasslands taken for grain production would go back to a more natural state and the world would be better off. We're in the vanguard and must pay a premium for those that will follow. Now, if we could just get that damn caucus out of Iowa we'd be on our way.
                              Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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