DOES THE NEW YORK TIMES HATE MEAT?
By Alan Caruba
A perfect example of this is the January 27, 2008, rant, “Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler,” authored by Mark Bittman, who writes for the “Dining in and Dining Out” section of the New York Times and is identified as the author of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Accompanying Bittman's identification is the disclaimer that “He is not a vegetarian.” However, if one looks like a vegetarian, walks like a vegetarian and quacks like a vegetarian, he probably is a vegetarian.
Bittman's commentary is a cornucopia of assertions and cherry-picked facts that beg to be rebutted, but I shall choose just a few, starting where he started. “Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government.” By subsidized, the reader is asked to assume that the raising, packaging, and distribution of meat products depends on government subsidies to exist and that the oil industry does as well. Unlike the European Union, those engaged in either industry in the United States of America are expected to make a profit on their own, without such dependence. It’s called capitalism.
Visible to whom? Do supermarket sections offering abundant choices of meat products suggest anything other than the fact that people want meat as part of their diet? Does anyone really give any thought to how it got there?
The only people recommending we eat less meat are vegetarians. Indeed, they would have us not eat any meat! But Mark Bittman, we are duly informed “is not a vegetarian.” And Santa Claus does not live at the North Pole. (In 2000, the New York Times reported that it was melting and had to later retract this absurdity.)
The heart of his screed about meat is this:
Where to start disassembling this environmentalist horror story? Let’s begin with the fact that there are now more than 300 million Americans, most of whom enjoy a good hamburger, a tasty barbeque, a thick steak, a slice of ham, a rasher of bacon, the endless ways chicken can be prepared, ad infinitum. Millions more around the world have adopted our food preferences, just as we have adopted theirs.
If parts of the rainforest, in Brazil, for example, are being destroyed, the Wall Street Journal recently informed us that the U.S. mandate requiring more ethanol has driven up the price of corn and soy. Brazilian ranchers and farmers want to cash in as well. As the leading exporter of meat, ranchers “looking for pasture land are clearing forests, accounting for about two thirds of the loss….” Brazilian Farmers want to plant more corn and soy. This is what is meant by unintended consequences.
Since the day when the Pilgrims got off the boat at Plymouth Rock, Americans have been totally obsessed with what they eat. Other than the Fourth of July, the most quintessential national holiday is Thanksgiving, a huge feast to celebrate the good fortune of being American.
Does it take energy to raise, butcher, and transport meat? Yes, but it also takes energy to light our cities and towns. Does this generate greenhouse gases, i.e., carbon dioxide and methane? Yes, but humans exhale about two pounds of CO2 every day. Cows also contribute in their own way. How much of the earth’s atmosphere is represented by its CO2 content? Somewhere in the vicinity of 0.038 percent.
Bittman piled “fact” upon “fact” to demonstrate the horror of meat production and consumption, but a funny thing is happening around the world as economies in China and throughout Asia are now improving, putting more money in the hands of more people, many of whom are now buying and consuming meat.
Bittman, of course, attributed “heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes” in part to our enjoyment of meat. Other than the morbidly obese, the American preference for meat as part of our diet, does not point to any specific disease factor.
For example, the Japanese eat a very low fat diet and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. The French eat a high fat diet and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. You cannot connect the dots because there is no connection.
How much and what we eat is largely a matter of economics and, when there is plenty, Americans and others around the world eat across the entire spectrum of food.
It is only the crypto-environmentalists and vegetarians who are making claims that eating meat is bad for the environment.
In November, Associated Press reporter, Seth Borenstein, wrote:
This is pure quackery. It’s absurd nonsense, based on the increasingly discredited hoax called global warming.
As Dr. Jon Robinson, who holds a Doctorate in Health Education and Exercise Physiology, and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition, noted several years ago:
I will not cite any more nonsense from the Bittman article, but I call attention to it to remind you that the human stomach is designed to digest meat. Human beings are carnivores (meat-eaters), while many other living organisms are herbivorous, i.e., are plant eaters.
Meat is meat. It is part of the environment, not its enemy, and neither are you. Eat! Get some more exercise. Enjoy life and pay no mind to the New York Times.
Science, Ethics, & Human Health:
Human Health & Public Policy
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, and Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly commentary, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet website of the National Anxiety Center, which is located at www.anxietycenter.com.
Caruba has a daily blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com.
Caruba’s new book, Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy, has been published by Merril Press.
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor