Want a dose of insanity? Probably not, but if you’re feeling masochistic today (and since you eat meat, well, there you go right there — masochistic and suicidal all in one) go read through the comments here. Mind you, I do this only under the strict warning that doing so could be hazardous to your mental health.
The Vegan Menace is an interesting sort in that their claims vary from vegan to vegan, and they dance around the points they do try to make. For instance, did humans evolve eating meat, or not? Depends on who you ask, of course, but even those who will acknowledge it ultimately dismiss it as "just an act of survival and desperation in the face of starvation." …As if the evolution of species happens because they’re warm, well fed & cozy, livin’ la vida Eden.
Or, you’ll get the cart before the horse: "we evolved brains large enough to fashion tools for hunting, butchering and that’s why we began eating meat." …Which raises the question of why we’re not observing brain growth and gut shrink in the many species of frugivores.
And maybe you point out that there were no fruit stands along the way of migratory routes around the globe out of Africa (See: Don Matesz) only to be rebuffed: "they had to eat meat to get to where they were going, but then could have settled down to their natural, optimal diet of fruit." …As if we’re having to erect barriers at the gates of Africa to prevent all the primates from undertaking 50,000 year migrations across the planet.
But there’s also the favorite claim that well, "every cell in our bodies use glucose as a primary fuel," seemingly forgetting that every cell in the bodies of all animals, including obligate carnivores like cats & wolves use glucose just as well.
…Or that we "don’t possess the claws and fangs of carnivorous hunters," blanking out the fact that we don’t need them because we have big, tool making brains that serve as our killing weapon.
And you know what? "We can’t outrun predators, just like the frugivores can’t." But the big cats, wolves & bears aren’t the chief human predator…other humans are.
"Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" – Friar William of Ockham
Or, in today speak: "the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one." Want a simple explanation? Somewhere, someplace, long, long ago (millions of years long ago) some population(s) of primates discovered something compelling, that there were a lot of carnivore kills ’round and about and that wow, if you took some of the large bones like femurs and the skulls and smashed them against rocks or smashed them with rocks, that you could break them open and discover a rich bounty of high nutritional density, packed with the prime nutrient that comprises our brains: fat; and specifically, omega-3 fats.
Already accustomed to eating some animal protein and fat via bugs, grubs, worms, snails — and even others of their species or close cousins, it was not a big leap to eat marrow and brain pudding. But evolution takes a long time…but it was also a very long time ago. I don’t know if there’s an answer to the question of how long it actually took from that very first encounter to the birth of the first true upright walking, larger brained and smaller gutted hominid, but the question is immaterial: it took as long as it took and we weren’t coming along until it did.
And so that was the point of singularity, the point of no turning back. Our primitive primate ancestors had evolved to the point that they were no longer primates, anymore, but proto-humans on an entirely different evolutionary path. They had millions of years in which to fully adapt to a new diet which continued to evolve them toward larger brains, more efficient upright mobility, greater stature, far more generalist in terms of nutrient sourcing an utilization — from sea to shining sea and pole to pole. Soon enough, we were no longer niche specialists but could exist, thrive and migrate on virtually anything that didn’t kill us. Hormesis likely played a large role over these millions of years.
Finally, some small bands of hominids were sufficiently prepared to undertake the greatest migration ever in the history of the planet. A migration that took not years, but many thousands of years. Tens of thousands of years. Generations. It wasn’t those coming out of Africa who got to see the Amazonian Rain Forests but their great, great, great, great…grandchildren.
Imagine a bunch of fruit eating chimps pulling that off? And yet, here we are in 2011, millions of years later, and this meal is suicide. Click for the hi-res, but you might want to put on a protective lead vest, first. I’ll explain below.
The weather is beginning to turn a bit warmer, a bit nicer, so I fired the grill for the first time this year. In tow was one artery-clogging, grassfed filet from Marin Sun Farms and one of their New York cuts as well. Rather than the typical red wine reduction sauce that simply has to be bad for you on some level because it’s not raw fruit and doesn’t have much sugar in it, I opted for heart-attack-inducing pastured butter. And I cooked it, which is bad because it’s not raw, not to mention bad bad bad. It’s just bad. I browned it, too, which has to be bad because of fat oxidation and whatnot. And cooking is just bad.
Then I added in a clove of fresh, chopped garlic, which isn’t fruit — I think. At the end I added in a bit of saving grace: fresh squeezed lemon juice. Whew!
I gather together some carrots, celery, cauliflower and broccoli and totally ruined it all as best I could. I tossed it in the devil of all fats incarnate: coconut oil; 89% artery-clogging, heart-attack inducing, stroke promoting saturated fat. Not even offering up your firstborn in ritual sacrifice is gonna get you off the hook here.
You’re dead. Screwed. Game over, man.
From this point, out of fear, loathing and a measure of desperation I dug through the pantry and came up with a tin of Indian curry. Can I be saved, after all? It is an ancient vegetarian culture and oh, what the hell; so with sweat beginning to bead on my forehead and while saying a little prayer, I closed my eyes to hold back tears of longing for the will to live clean and pure…and I sprinkled a tablespoon over the vegetables. Would it be enough? I added a bit more.
Aw, fuck it. Life is to be lived, after all, no matter how short. I tossed them altogether, arranged them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven to roast.
We sit down to eat, heads bowed in shame. With much trepidation I raise my knife & fork but then realize that grace and virtue comes in small doses and unforeseen ways. I can trim the fat! I can trim the fat! Relief sets in. Guilt assuaged, I dig in knowing it’s by far from perfect but also knowing to what lengths I have gone to to mitigate evil.
…And I’ll be dammed but that Lucifer himself didn’t have it out for us. Turns out that grilled grassfed steaks have amazingly succulent fat. No, God and Lucifer, in league! Did heaven & hell team up against us when I wasn’t looking? Are we not now caught right in the middle?
We ate all the fat. Not just the evil browned butter with neutral garlic and grace saving lemon, but the fat on the meat. We. Ate. The. Fat. On. The. Meat! No more point in denying this. Sin is sin. I quickly grab for my iPad. Any churches open at this hour taking confession. …Now where’s my Rosary?
But it was too late. Already feeling the wrath and weight of God, the Devil, Heaven and Hell all at once — and that’s just the mental aspect of the thing — and beginning to feel a little sick and tight in the chest, I resorted to the only thing I knew or could grasp, given my state: SUPERFOOOD!
By the grace of all that that is good, virtuous and most importantly, ecologically sustainable, I crawled over to the kitchen to look; to find, and, #WINNING Yes, there, right before my eyes: the key to Heaven, to health, a long life, and the respect of smelly 20-somethings on Santa Cruz Avenue sporting tie-dyes and dreads: BLUEBERRIES (local and organic, or course). As quickly as I could, I got a handful of them into my mouth; relieved, tasting of their magical powers of life and longevity…as blue juice dribbled down my chin.
As one drop hit the grease stained linoleum, I thought I saw a flash of light. It resembled a halo.
And though the shame and guilt of a debaucherous undertaking lingers I am, at least for now, spared another day.
Don’t share this on Facebook or Twitter. I have enough blood on my hands already.