Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eat Me

Is there anything about David Sirota that isn't perfectly engineered, seemingly in a lab somewhere in San Francisco, to adhere to the standard cliché of the American liberal? He pens an entire column not only pompously extolling the virtues of being a vegetarian but basically calling those who choose not to be "destructive" to the planet and our culture, then he writes a follow-up in which he bitches about how the meat-eaters who complained about the first column are the ones trying to impose their worldview on everyone.

I'm not a vegetarian, nor will I likely ever be; if you are, fantastic for you, because I absolutely couldn't care less what you will or won't eat. What you choose to put in your body is just that: your personal choice. If you don't like meat, don't eat it -- but the last time I checked, it wasn't the world's carnivores who occasionally feel as if their personal choice is also an assumption of the moral high ground and one that gives them the right, as Sirota did, to lecture those who choose differently. In other words, no, meat-eaters aren't generally the ones writing long-winded, self-righteously high-minded columns decreeing that everyone else is a hyper-violent barbarian who's helping to destroy the Earth.

I swear, sometimes I think Sirota -- who remember wrote an entire book essentially blaming Ghostbusters and Die Hard for our current political climate -- is just pulling everyone's chain. That he's doing some kind of performance art.

Because if not, then Oliver Willis may be right when he refers to him as "serially stupid."


Katie said...

I get lectured incessantly by carnivores on the wrongness of my vegetarianism. Then again, I live in Texas....

J. Dack said...

No toy guns and no football for his kid huh? Because he could get an owie or a mixed message about killing.

Let's congratulate him in his journey on down the path of raising a giant pussy..

Chez said...

Fair enough. I suppose part of it has to do with where you live. But do you get lectured because those carnivores think you're ruining the world and yourself by not eating meat? Once again, that moral high ground argument, at least in my experience, has been largely the property of the vegetarian folks. Carnivores are generally more like, "Shut the fuck up and eat."

Cindi said...

What a weirdo he is to bash vegetarian foods on the market. His argument makes no sense. Meanwhile, yes, I try not to preach to people & I don't mind if people eat meat around me. It is our personal choice what we eat, you are exactly right about that!

Chez said...

And you, Cindi, are a non-meat-eating goddess, as we know from watching TV. : )

Janiece said...

Is it wrong that I don't know who David Sirota is?

Chez said...

Nope. Not one bit.

Nicole said...

Oliver's right.

Sirota always makes me want to pull his hair out.

Not Anthony Bourdain said...

We should all eat less meat for the good of our health and that of the planet (though, like cigarettes, the developing world's consumption will more than make up for our moderation). But Sirota is a douchebag. And, really, a good starting point is to tell people to stop eating the lard-laden shit that Paula Deen cooks up.

Eric said...

It occurs to me that the best response to Sirota's passive-aggressive screed is actually the stock photo his own editors used to illustrate it: a man licking his lips as he gets ready to tuck into an entire roast chicken.

I mean, seriously, surely they could have found a stock photograph of a slaughterhouse floor or one of those machines that extrudes chicken slurry or something (anything) instead of undercutting the whole thing before he even got started with the ranting and hand-waving and blah-blah-blah. A dead fish staring into the camera. A picture of a six-week-old Big Mac, even.

nicole said...

@Not Anthony Bourdain

Excellent points.

We could also eat less factory raised meat.

John Foley said...

A few years back I was grocery shopping at the Pavilions in Santa Monica (already a bad start). They had a little table setup by the deli with a nice lady handing out sample cups of turkey chili. Everyone who walked by either took a cup or didn't take a cup... except for one special snowflake, a cute blonde who took that opportunity to giggle and sneer "I don't eat meat." The correct response would have been "no thank you," and that's it. The poor woman making 10 bucks an hour handing out food samples doesn't want to hear about your trendy diet choices. Someone's handing out free food, you don't need to give them back a dose of smug condescension.

Luke Weiss said...

fucking stupid argument. The vegetarian fare produces plenty of 'destruction' environmentally, and is demostrably NOT healthier. The only thing we know about vegetarians is that they generally have lower average blood pressure. But no other measure of health suggests anything veggie diets are superior. Additionally many vegetarians suffer from deficiencies of B vitamins and other micro-nutrients. which leads to gastro-disorders and other pleasent stuff. Additionally the BP measures are from stats comparing american meat eaters, who eat the most inflammation inducing meat on the planet.
If we are actually looking for an environmentally responsible diet, we would need to eat plants grown in poly-culture (just about 0% of the veggie diet conforms to this), and pastured animal meat (a fairly small portion of the market).
So this goon is full of shit.

Ursula said...

When I first became a vegetarian (now I’m a vegan) all sorts of people would get terribly upset and start arguments with me over my diet. And I’m mean all sorts of people: once, while talking to friends and discussing restaurants choices for that night a complete stranger started to harass me about my teeth and lack of protein, top of the food chain, the sufferings of plants etc. He overheard our conversation and felt the need to lecture me. I find that, for the most part, I was always defending myself in conversations I never started. Now I avoid the topic completely. I feel worse for my husband, who does eat meat. Poor guy is always getting the “your wife won’t kiss you now” and “someone will be sleeping on the couch tonight” jokes. Ugh. People need to mind their own business.

LK3 said...

Try being in the complementary health field and being a meat eater. I am surrounded by know it all holier than thou people preaching the wrongness of my eating meat. Having studied nutrition for many years there is no doubt in my mind there is no one way to eat that is "right" and healthy for everyone. On top of that, it is no one's business to police or preach what other people eat. Period. Especially Sirota.

Anonymous said...

Oh his follow up article is fucking hilarious.

He attacks people who bring up Hitler...and then list men who arguably are genetic freaks, implying that by switching to a meat free diet, I am going to be the next heavy weight champion.

I'll tell you why I find people who espouse vegetarianism for everyone contemptible...they are almost always white assholes perfectly okay in destroying all culture but their limited one.

What we eat forms an important social bond with our community. His argument that everyone must accept his dietary restrictions is akin to eliminating all languages except for the most popular one as it would make commerce, global politics, and finance easier.

I'm proud of my culture and I enjoy tasting and experiencing others. The world would be a much shittier place if everyone was some white, pretentious asshole from Colorado.

I mean why stop with just meat. Lets force the entire world to accept all of David Sirota's values. We could all sit around being boring, annoying assholes.

Anonymous said...

I've got to say, I'm a little bothered by the idea that this is a vegetarian vs. carnivore debate.

I don't know a single person who eats only meat.

We, like the other apes, evolved as omnivores. The self-righteous among the vegetarians can choose to call use "meat-eaters," but that doesn't mean we have to play along.

I feel the same way about those who say they "believe" in evolution. Science doesn't ask for our belief, it asks for critical reasoning and a willingness to weigh evidence. If you say you "believe" in science, to differentiate yourself from those who believe in religion, you've already lost the argument, I think.

joe! said...

In other words, no, meat-eaters aren't generally the ones writing long-winded, self-righteously high-minded columns decreeing that everyone else is a hyper-violent barbarian who's helping to destroy the Earth.

yeah.. but that's because we can't. now, i'm a meat-eater, and for whatever reason, i think of it as a vice (more for humane issues than environmental.) i also don't agree with this guy's holier-than-thou tone. but there are people who strongly feel for every slaughtered animal and believe we are committing genocide. with that perspective, how can you NOT passionately decry the eating of meat? (i know i'm bringing up another point altogether, but i think it's interesting nonetheless.)

Katie said...

Regarding the cultural/regional difference... The lectures I get are usually about how I'm destroying Texas culture, judging them unfairly, or incapable of understanding how animal husbandry works. I get told I'm stupid or that I'm a bleeding heart liberal (that last bit might be true).

All this because I say, "No thanks, no hot dog. No burger either. No, no chicken. Really, (awkward pause), I'm a vegetarian."

I think a lot of people just assume that I'm judging them and strike preemptively. I also smoke, drink heavily, and have frequent premarital sex. I'm not going to start throwing stones at anybody's lifestyle. I just want people to stop trying to make me eat things I don't want to fucking eat. I'm pretty sure that's not something people outside of the south have to deal with.

That said, many of my fellows are sanctimonious assholes. Feel free to smack the next person who tries to give you a lecture on cholesterol.

Steven D Skelton said...

Secret to a great Prime Rib

1. Bring it to room temperature before you cook it. Depending on size, this may mean up to 12 hours or so sitting on the counter.

2. Cook it first between 200-225 until internal temperature reaches 118.

3. Take it out and let it rest for 20 minutes.

4. Put it back in the oven at 500 until internal temperature hits 130.

5. Rest again (15-20 minutes) and carve.

Your prime rib will be perfectly uniform (near) medium rare from the center all the way out to nice blackened crust on the outside.

Serve with a side of more prime rib and homemade au jus.

toastie said...

This reminds me of how much better a senator Al Franken is than a radio host. He used to have Sirota on all the time and introduce him with "My Sirota" (Sirota dubbed over Sharona). That still makes me cringe.

Nathan said...


Is it OK if I have a little horseradish sauce with that? Mmmmmmmm!

JOSEPH said...

Does this pretentious blowhard know that living is a sexually transmitted condition that ends in death? Drop that cap gun, snowflake, you're surrounded by idiots.

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Mart said...

I researched vegetarian diets and cook books about twenty years back. So research says as long as a dairy-and-egg-atarian, no concerns with protein, nutrients, etc. Although still need many times the acreage of a vegan, an octo-lacto vege is considerably less invasive than a daily meat eater. I believe there are too many people for the little rock we live on to sustain; and this was my little part to reduce my families impact on it.

I never proselytize or complain when people eat meat, as I realize it is the norm (and I ate meat for 33 years). But man do meat eaters get angry with me. A group of co-workers sit me down to holler - why are you killing your children? The factory fellows I tour with, and neighbors I go out with are brutal at lunch and dinner.

So if you are out with a vegetarian who does not get in your face, please stay out of theirs. And when they recommend a hole in the wall ethnic restaurant, listen to their advice. You may get the best meal (with meat) you have had in ages, and vege-boy will be happy too.