In all likelihood, the closest I’ll ever come to being vegan is my nine-year stint abstaining from red meat. I know that there are a lot of people who can make very passionate, very reasonable, very convincing arguments for vegetarianism, and even veganism, but all of my best intentions collapse when I’m staring down a medium-rare cheeseburger or almond-crusted tilapia.
For a few years there, it seemed as though The Guardian‘s George Monbiot was a better man than I. I have no idea if he was keeping to a vegan lifestyle himself, but he was very clear in his assertion that veganism “is the only ethical response to what is arguably the world’s most urgent social justice issue.” Famine around the world could be alleviated if the west weaned itself off of meat–which we consume in disproportionate amounts compared to the rest of the world–and dedicated more of its farmland to growing fruits, grains and vegetables for human consumption rather than for livestock feed.
Today, I salute Monbiot for his humility, because he just did something we should all be more willing to allow people to do and admitted that he was wrong. He gave a well-researched argument an honest listen, and walked away convinced that being carnivorous really can be both awesome and socially responsible.
“I no longer believe that the only ethical [course of action] is to stop eating meat,” Monbiot wrote Monday, as part of a much larger and more fascinating article. There’s no word as to whether he spent the rest of the day hungrily bobbing for chicken fingers at the nearest pub, compensating for needlessly spending eight years on the moral high road, but while I investigate that, you should read the whole article, which makes some pretty reasonable statements about the way the western world produces meat.
One of my favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother centers around the gang engaging in one of my favorite pass-times: Hunting down the best burger in New York. (For my money, by the way, it’s at Stage Restaurant on 2nd Ave.) However, being HIMYM at its best, the episode makes a greater statement about life in New York: It opens with a voice-over lamenting the way the city has changed over the years, with favorite rock clubs, dive bars and lounges giving way to drug stores, restaurants and banks.
Spots you love tend to disappear around here. Sure, some places that have played a big role in my personal experience of New York so far are still around—we still have Skylight Diner and the UCB Theater, for example—but in the eight years that I’ve been here, even hallowed institutions like the Second Ave Deli have shuttered their doors. Other places that are still open, like Castro’s in Fort Greene, are barely recognizable.
For me, though, I think my biggest New York loss will always be K’av’eh’az.
Well, I’m three days away from getting on a plane, taking a deep breath, and hoping that I make it back to New York when flying through Moscow. If I make it through Moscow’s notoriously difficult airport system, though, I just may be ready to make the most exciting meal I can imagine: A freakin’ Mobius strip bagel!
I don’t know who on Earth thought about this long enough to figure out how to do it (or, for that matter, why they thought to do it in the first place), but it’s probably end up being the best math to happen to breakfast until Domino comes out with sugar hypercubes.
(Thanks to Geekologie for catching this.)
Seriously, it’s like having breakfast with Escher.