Endangered Species

Vegetarians and their righteousness have a way of making my skin crawl. More than once I’d like to smack the tofu-munchers up the side of the head with a slab of beef. Now Mark Bittman, who wrote How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and by his own admission is not a vegetarian, has joined the fray in Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler.

Eating beef has now become as socially distasteful as driving a big ol’ car and smoking cigarettes. And wearin’ shit-kickin’ Western boots. Wait: that describes some of my best friends.

One cup of broccoli, a cup of eggplant, four ounces of cauliflower and a half pound of rice, according to the accompanying graphic, supply 320 calories — the same as six ounces of beefsteak –yet consume one-sixteenth as much fossil fuel energy to produce. Let’s not even address the vast nutritional difference between this lame vegetarian diet and a good serving of red meat. The amount of fuel required to cook that half pound of rice vastly exceeds what’s expended on grilling a steak. And what about the expensive olive oil that’s got to be imported all the way from Italy just to make those vegetables palatable? And the garbage disposal necessary to get rid of the damn broccoli? Damn lies, I say! And probably promulgated by a bunch of Communists.

Beef and those who raised it are what made the Americas great, and that goes for Sonora beef, Iowa beef, and Argentine beef. This hemisphere’s beef is still the envy of the entire world. Beef represents more than simply meat; it stands for the strength of character of cowboys and ranchers who raise four-legged animals. All was right and good with the world back in those days, and it’s time that we re-learn those cowboy lessons.

Have all of those Prius-driving, Nike-wearing vegetarians forgotten about leather?

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