Tuesday, August 14, 2007

fast food nation

Allie and I watched Fast Food Nation a week or so ago. With the exception of a thin slice of Canadian bacon I had in California, I haven't eaten any meat other than fish since.

I know, it's a little odd. I'm married to a vegan. Been with her for seven years. I've heard a lot of her arguments against eating meat. Not only that, I actually toured a meat processing plant back in 2000, after which I wrote probably the most gruesome lead of my writing career, and I still had steak that night. Yet I've kept eating meat, with only the faintest bit of guilt and disgust.

ThenI watch a DVD and suddenly I'm averse to meat.

Guess it was powerful movie.

Or maybe I was just ready for a switch.

What got me was the climax of the movie, when its most sympathetic character was led across the floor to her own symbolic death: a job pulling kidneys from stench ridden intestines. As she moves slowly along she watches the cows killed with a single jolt between the eyes, drained of their blood and dismembered. It's one of the most masterful montages I've ever seen in a film, balletic almost.

In the nearly two hours leading to this scene, we're given a top to bottom view of that fast food chain, from the Big One burger wrapped in waxy paper to the illegal immigrants making the dangerous passage across the border to fill jobs in the meat plant. It reminded me of that movie Traffic because it revealed a secret world few can deny being a part of, and it showed the many ways in which it worsens society.

And since watching it, I haven't had the stomach for beef. Or pork. Or chicken.

I'm not sure how long this will last. I think I will eat meat again, but for now m sense is it'll more than likely be from local, grass-fed, humanely raised animals.

I think Allie's pleased with this recent turn. And I don't think she's the least bit jealous that it was a movie, of all things, that ultimately persuaded me.


MAWG said...

That is a gruesome lead.

I've also been leaning away from meat recently. Its more because of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables than anything else, but I've also found tofu strangely appealing. Maybe it is a reaction to the bush administration.

I'm even planning to grow some of my own (vegetables, not tofu).

KC Sponge said...

I have recently given up meat myself - though I do allow myself a little pork now and then (can't pass up a cuban sandwich if it's within my reach and don't know of a good soup without a little ham hock - eww) . . . and Fast Food Nation surely helped that along. Great film - great choice.

John McEnroe said...

Hey man upon your request, I watched you enjoy a ribeye at The Outback Steak House, and suck back a blumin onion. Grow a pair allready. Let's not forget the time you ate meat from a vending machine located next to the pool at a crappy hotel in Santa Fe. Yes you were drunk, but that alone should have been enough to turn you, and me.

You know you love cowboy art!

Waldo Oiseau said...

I live with a vegetarian of sorts (he eats fish). My consumption of beef, etc. has gone down and it's not bad. Those bocca burgers are pretty darn good and finding new recipes for cooking fish is fun.

I haven't read it yet, but heard it's an excellent book: The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Applecart T. said...

how can you live without chips??
: )

(like tortilla ones - do they qualify as unprocessed? i'm just wondering, since there's that whole "eat local" movement, too. i haven't looked very far into it, because i have a hard enough time organizing life for regular meals anyway, but i am curious. . .if indigenous people used to make and eat something way back when, like mashed up corn that was cooked as a pancake, does it qualify as local?)

also, what is the use for cow liver? : ( i know every part of the animal should be consumed, but hmm, wow, three pounds of liver. it's a meat "they" always say is unhealthy.

maybe it's not. it's all about moderation.

eating is difficult!