The $330,000 Hamburger

I once tried to become a vegetarian. It was short–lived. It was my sophomore year of college and I was ready to give up meat. I lasted about a month before Thanksgiving hit and I was off my diet. I never tried it again.

The other day, I was sitting at on the deck by my parents’ pool and I announced to the family members sitting near me, “I don’t like steak. There, I said it – it’s official.”

My seven-year-old niece Madelyn responded with, “That means you’re a vegetarian.”

“No,” I said. “It doesn’t.” And the two of us had about a five-minute conversation about who was right.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 6.54.23 PMWell – for the record, I am not vegetarian; I just don’t like steak. Other meat, sure, I’ll eat it, but steak – bleh! (Maybe this is because it was always too expensive to order in the restaurants and I would always respect my mother by not ordering it when we went out to eat.)

So today in the news, I learned that researchers have created a $330,000 burger from stem cells. Is this really worth it? The article boasts that, “Artificial meat would eliminate the need to raise and slaughter billions of farm animals.” Noted. But honestly, to spend $330,000 to make a fake hamburger. GROSS! This just baffles me.

I grew up on a farm. We raised sheep, chickens, and rabbits. We showed some of the animals at the county fair and sold them at the auction. The animals were killed and people ate the meat. This is just sort of life for the farm animals.

I have many friends who are vegetarians, vegan, or who think that eating meat is bad for the environment. I totally think these people can have their views, but I also think that there is a natural part to the food chain that allows me to eat meat. And so I do. Though I once wrote a story about how my grandmother’s soul had moved on to the cows in the field, I don’t actually believe in this bit of reincarnation (mainly because I don’t know enough about how reincarnation works). Plus – my grandma would have been a flower rather than an animal. I don’t like animals so I wouldn’t really wish for her to be one of them. Perhaps it is my hatred toward animals that makes me like to eat them. If so, I am a heartless wench, but that’s ok. At least I’m not the one wasting $330,000 to make a fake hamburger in my basement.

Tata for now.



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