I love me some meat – you may have noticed that. I recently ordered a steak sandwich for dinner because it meant I’d have had three different meats that day, and I thought that was a nice achievement. I struggle even keeping my lunches vegetarian (though I blame my office location for that one). Most of all, I love a good steak. By now over half my birthday dinners have been in steak restaurants, and it’s probably the only food (other than ice cream) I can eat until I’m sick. I have solid carnivore credentials.
This has all been increasingly difficult to justify, especially my cow habit. It’s impossible to ignore the mounting evidence that says our cattle overproduction is pretty terrible for the planet. I get that. So for the past couple of years I’ve been taking great satisfaction in how little beef I eat in the UK. I never cook it at home, and I only eat it out a handful of times a year. See what a good little environmentalist I’ve become?
But after 10 days in the US, I realized I’ve just been fooling myself. I somehow managed to eat beef on a near-daily basis, mainly in burger form (and some excellent kitfo and jerky). My restraint isn’t noble, it’s just a cultural thing: the UK isn’t that in to cow. The burgers are usually cooked badly, the steaks are mediocre 99% of the time, and the only reason I don’t cook it at home is because I always do it badly (truly bizarre when you consider I prefer it nearly raw).
My staying in the UK is probably the single biggest thing I can do to halt climate change.
(But about that beef jerky: I’ve been going to this place in Bishop, CA for ages. Every trip to LA I try to dream up a reason to make the 600-mile round trip to pick up some jerky. Obviously I don’t often come up with one.)