A “treatment” for an essay I got the inspiration to write the other day after nearly throwing my radio out the window:
Something about the way Jonathan Safran Foer talks about his new book, Eating Animals makes me want to buy a copy just to burn it.
Let’s get two things out, right now.
I’m a vegetarian.
I haven’t read the book and don’t know if I even want to.
I have, however, heard Foer in a couple of interviews, and he comes off (and this is to someone who hasn’t eaten meat in some time) as holier than thou. He repeatedly talks about the hidden costs (economic, environmental, moral, etc.) of eating meat, but misses the bigger point.
People who argue for vegetarianism the way Foer does make me want to fry up a big batch of bacon in my skillet and then fling cold bacon grease at them (no one needs to get hurt).
The moral/ethical argument against eating meat, at least in America, is ultimately a bourgeois one and isn’t effective.
The overwhelming majority of Americans eat meat, and aren’t going to respond well to being chided by the hipster author of the moment.
Ellen DeGeneres (yes, that Ellen), herself a vegan (no animal byproducts at all) raised the $64,000 question during her interview with Foer:
I think one thing is … people are having hard times feeding their families. So if you can go get a burger for a dollar, if you can feed your kids and if it’s affordable and if it’s readily available, they’ll say that it may not be possible, they can’t afford to eat another way. cite
Foer responded with a bunch of drivel about the externalized costs of eating meat.
I’ll grant Foer’s point about the externalities of eating meat. But this isn’t how we’re going to change how America eats and thinks about food.
The food economy in the U.S. largely isn’t a result of personal choice, but public policy that incentivizes factory farms at worst, and discourages smaller family farms at best.
In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan addresses this. He specifically points to farm subsidies and the (disastrous in his view) effects they have on our diet and food choices.
Let’s incentivize eating vegetables and provide disincentives to factory farms who artificially reduce the price of meat.
You might call it a “carrot and steak” approach.
Sitelines 2008. A short promotional reel I made for work, for something I believe in.
I’ve said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.”
— Andrew Sullivan, TheAtlantic.com
NY Governor David Paterson, with one of my favorite lines at the DNC so far. Check out ~4:17 for the goods. “If [McCain’s] the answer, the question must be ridiculous.”
Joe Biden is the right partner for Barack Obama. His many years of distinguished service to America, his seasoned judgment and his vast experience in foreign policy and national security will match up well with the unique challenges of the 21st Century. An Obama-Biden ticket is a very impressive and strong team. Biden’s selection is good news for Obama and America.”
— Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) via TPM
Dawn Dunning in Hostile Takeover: Mariko Mori Musings - another day at work - from a Butoh-inspired dance piece by Richard Move
The Faint, Terminal 5 — if you look closely, off stage left, you can see Will running his magical projections.
From the photo shoot yesterday; from an upcoming performance by Richard Move’s MoveOpolis!: Red Cicciolina