I am icked out by most burgers…
I think it’s icky to kill cows.
I think it’s icky to grind cows up so that there are the parts of more than 100 cows in 1 burger. (That’s right, Karen! It’s icky!)
I think it’s icky to feed corn to cows – partly because they weren’t created to digest corn and partly because it’s a super inefficient and wasteful use of corn.
I think it’s icky to force them to live months on end standing and laying down to sleep in their own feces.
I think it’s icky to destroy our planet in pursuit of Big Macs.
There are other reasons I’m icked out, but those are the big ones for me. And before I go saying what really keeps me from eating most animals, let me also give you the disclaimer that no one can be passionate and active about every issue. I don’t have anger towards individuals who eat meat, especially if the individual is passionate and active about at least one other issue in the world.
We all contribute to global ickiness.
I’m convinced it can’t be prevented without complete withdrawal from modern society. And… in attending law school, I’ve taken on the mantra that every person only has so many shits to give. So, don’t make it your mission to save cows and the planet. That’s cool. Instead, save children, immigrants, crime victims, whales, minorities, the local bookshop, whatever. It doesn’t bother me if you don’t give a shit about the things that matter to me, so long as you don’t waste your life not giving a shit about anyone or anything.
So, for the record, I’m cool if you want to eat a beefy burger right in front of me. The chances of you seeing me eat one in front of you are real slim, but you do what you need to do.
The thing is, it’s actually an issue of stewardship in my mind. It’s about caring for the planet and creatures God has entrusted to us.
God spoke the planet, animals, and us into being. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said…”
I love the first chapters of Genesis. They are gorgeous and poetic, which is fitting because creation is gorgeous and poetic. I have been blessed to experience some truly sublime pieces of creation: glacial lake, horses and hills, canyons, mountains, trees, saguaros, the ocean, Moose. Cows.
I try not to be judgmental or to press my own theologies onto others, but I believe it is sinful for humans to destroy and disrespect creation. I think factory farming is destructive and disrespectful. I think people who eat factory farmed animals are complicit in the destruction and disrespect of creation.
I also try to understand that there are matters of conscience and whether to eat meat almost certainly falls into that category. So I try to rein myself in with that thought.
So… to the true topic of this post: The Impossible Burger
Friend Hannah posted this thing on FB a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t really get why the labeling issue really made much of a difference.
I used to avoid fake meat and have only recently gotten into the idea of fake breakfast sausages and whatnot. They don’t strike me as particularly necessary or helpful to my diet, except that they have a stomach feel that I sometimes miss. I don’t really miss the taste of meat. Protein really isn’t difficult to find in the plant world, despite the fact that EVERYONE who finds out I’m a vegetarian stresses to me that I need to make sure I get enough protein. *Scroll down for a side quest if you’re interested.
So, yesterday evening, I grabbed dinner with Sameehan and ordered The Impossible Burger. It came to the table and it looked like a beefy, dead animal burger, despite the description stating that it was a veggie burger. I tasted it and it tasted like a poor dead cow, only better. It tasted pure. Like nobody was (or at least fewer people and beasts were) mistreated in its creation. I later realized it didn’t sit in my stomach for two days, weighing me down like I’d gained 20 lbs. overnight. It was delicious and perfect, but I wondered if it was made of dead cow. That’s how authentic the taste really was.
Then, today, I read this article about alt meat. And I gotta say, I hope the article is right; I hope in a few generations the cows and creation will be suffering less. And I totally get why meat producers might be fighting label battles. I don’t love the idea of genetic modifications that make the Impossible Burger taste better than the Beyond Meat burger, but one battle at a time. Also, I’m glad to know I didn’t accidentally eat a dead cow last night. It’s just a totally legit veggie burger.
Thanks for reading
*Side quest: Not to be a jackass, but I think you carnivores are obsessed with protein and are generally getting way too much of it at the expense of other vital parts of your diet. In fact, I think carnivores generally (not all of you, but most) are way less healthy than I am.
You do not need six servings (let’s be honest, you probably aren’t limiting your portion size to one serving per meal)… You do not need six servings of dead animal a day in order to get out of bed in the morning.
The DRI suggests 46 grams of protein for me each day. There are other reputable sources to look to for protein recommendations and they vary. You can calculate it as a percentage of your daily calories if you want, but 46 grams for women seems to be widely accepted. I may need a little bit more than that, because of my weight, activity level, muscle mass, etc…
If you google this ish, you discover the following: a cup of walnuts has about 18.28 grams of protein, a cup of black beans has about 15.24 grams, an avocado has about 4.02 grams, an ounce of cheese has about 7 grams, an egg has about 6.28 grams. Let’s be honest, I’m probably not limiting myself to one ounce of cheddar or one egg per meal, so my common practice of eating a bowl featuring a can of beans, some rice, an avocado, and three eggs over-easy is plenty of protein for a day. The fact that I love eating a whole pizza, with a crap-ton of walnuts on it is also enough. The amount of nut butters I eat, the cashew milk I put in my coffee, and even my spinach intake are enough to more than equip me for survival. There is no need to worry about my protein intake, so it would be great if people would stop talking to me about it.
Also, 3 ounces of beef has about 25 grams of protein. 3 ounces of chicken has about 20. So if you eat two chicken legs for a meal, you have gotten about 40 grams and if you eat a t-bone, you’ve probably gotten somewhere between 50 and 100 grams of protein depending on where you bought the thing. If you eat meat 3 times a day, you are likely getting about 3 times the amount of protein that’s recommended, and that does not count the cheese you’re eating on your burger, the avocado you added, or the beans on the side. It doesn’t count your oatmeal, the protein bar, or the damn protein powder people buy. So, realistically, you carnivores are probably getting more like 4 or 5 times the recommended daily protein intake, depending on the day and your particular habits.
Thus… it would be nice if I could somehow murder the misconception that vegetarians are generally protein-deprived. Getting enough daily protein is not difficult. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and it wouldn’t kill folks to go meatless every now and then.