The Ethics of Eating Meat

Periodically I enter contests. I don’t know why, because I rarely win. (You may still remember my entry to the Los Angeles Times “Best Burger” contest, which I was certain I would win until I discovered it was actually a “Burger with the Most Facebook Likes” popularity contest.) But hope springs eternal.

A couple months ago, my pal and sometime-Skinny-Girls-sidekick Nat sent me a link to a contest in the New York Times. “You should enter this,” he said. It was an essay contest on the ethics of eating meat.

More than an actual desire to win (the prize in this case being not a car or a trip to Hawaii but simply that your essay got published online), I enjoy entering these sorts of contests because it is a good impetus to think and write about things I might not otherwise think and write about. And though I often think and write about an ethical approach to eating meat, I had never gotten down to the actual marrow-bones ethics of it. (Nice recipe for marrow bones here, by the way…) More

The New Soy Technology

Some friends of ours had German guests visiting, and were going to take them to In & Out Burger. “I hope they have soy burgers,” said friend Amanda. “Our friends don’t eat any meat.” I suggested she get them regular burgers and tell them that they were soy burgers, and that they’d made incredible advances in soy technology. Germans are gullible that way. Suffering a national cuisine inferiority complex with France and Italy as neighbors, they’re likely to act overly knowledgeable and tell you they already knew that.

Meat grown in a lab

I was reminded of one of my younger sister, Siobhan’s, bouts of vegetarianism when we were teenagers. I was trying to get her to eat a chicken breast, and she was protesting. “They don’t have to kill the chicken,” I said, “they just cut the breasts off and they grow back. Like a lizard’s tail!” She glared at me. She also wasn’t buying my contention that to get chicken broth, all you had to do was wring the live chicken out over a pot. (More like “juicing” a chicken.) More