Dear Readers, The world is raining on my burger parade today. On Sunday night I watched Year of the Dog, in which Molly Shannon's character becomes a vegan. She is completely consumed with rescuing animals from food production, to the point where everything else in her life crumbles. The movie struck a chord in my brain, and I woke up feeling less than grade A. I'm not sure why this movie stuck with me so, but it did. Now the only thing which will make me happier is an adorable beagle puppy I can name Pencil.
Then, yesterday morning, Serious Eats greeted me with Ed's post asking, "If we eat less meat, can we save the planet and ourselves?" The facts about factory faming conditions, and CO2 emissions are not new to me, but they are weighing heavily. How can I be a passionate burger blogger and still consider myself a good global citizen? Being a vegetarian is something kids brag about on MySpace. Is it still cool to be seen eating meat?
I like to think I have a pretty balanced diet and don't go overboard in anything. I'm a thoughtful eater, and try not to create undue waste. Preachy attitudes toward consumption bore me, and I thoroughly disagree with encroaching on anyone else's beliefs. I respect vegetarians, vegans, kosher-keepers, those who only eat halal foods, and those with ingredient-intolerance. Can't we all get along? Can we?
I'm worried that the same anger I feel every time I see a Hummer is going to be pointed back in my direction—and am even more concerned that it's deserved. A restaurant around the corner has signs up for "no guilt" ham and roast beef sandwiches. Is there really any such thing? I don't think there should be.
If "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function" (F. Scott Fitzgerald), I suppose I'm in OK shape. Then again, if my ability to function is judged by the rate at which I am writing about burgers, maybe not.
I could use some cheering up.
Feeling overcooked, Lauren
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