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The Plate is Political

I've mentioned the panel discussion between New York Times food writer Mark Bittman and local chef Jose Andres a couple of times on the blog. Well, I'm doing it again. But this time, I've got the video!

I'm particularly taken with Bittman's opening statement: He retells the long and winding process that eventually brought him to view food choices as a political -- and more than that, policy -- decision. His evolution has been pretty similar to my own. A report here. An article there. A nagging feeling that beans are a pretty viable alternative to flesh. And one day, you find yourself unhappily looking at your plate and feeling guilty. Frankly, you know better. And if you know better, it's hard to escape the conclusion that you should be acting better. Not necessarily perfectly. But better.

By Ezra Klein  |  May 21, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Food  
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becoming a vegetarian is simple.
stop looking at other animals as food, and start appreciating
them as sentient and living creatures...each one, different, just as we are.
pigs sing to their babies while they are nursing, sheep hang their heads when they are lost from their flock, or feel threatened.
cows suffer and experience great anxiety when they are waiting to be killed.
the simplest way to become a vegetarian is to think about how animals are treated and abused before they come to your table.
when you eat something that has been tortured in order to arrive at your plate, there is something unholy and not good in that transferrence.
i dont know how anyone can eat meat bought out of the grocery freezer, and imagine how that animal lived out its last days.
just think about it. how can you really enjoy that meal?
there is a beautiful bounty of fruits and vegetables this week at the local farmer's markets.....colorful, bright and delicious.
the best time to make a switch is now!

Posted by: jkaren | May 21, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Pythagoras thought that it was immoral to eat beans, though.

Posted by: harold3 | May 21, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

harold 3
"pythagoras thought that it was immoral to eat beans, though."

rumi didnt!
did you ever read his poem,
"chickpea to cook"
it is a very interesting poem!
but still a bit controversial,
even for a vegetarian!

Posted by: jkaren | May 21, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Chickens will eat you if you let them and stay still near them for long enough. They will kill and eat each other when they can.

Posted by: jwogdn | May 21, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"chickens will eat you if you let them"

is that a reason for us to eat them?
or to have them raised under horrible conditions,
and condone and support those practices
by buying their wings and legs
in neat, cellophane packets,
where we dont have to think of them,
as complex, living creatures, that once were alive?

Posted by: jkaren | May 21, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Chef" Mark Bittman? He's not a chef. He can barely cook.

Love Jose Andres, though. So funny.

Posted by: luvtk | May 21, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I didn't call Mark a chef!

Posted by: Ezra Klein | May 21, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I still agree with Jared Diamond when he says that the development of a society based on agriculture was "the worst mistake in the history of the human race."

Posted by: sbguy | May 21, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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