I just finished reading Fast Food Nation, a book Eva calls “Train Wreck Literature.” You can’t put it down, but you are so disturbed, you really don’t want to know what you are reading.
In September 2006, I was a carnivore with a taste for all things filet. I loved beef cooked medium rare, hot dogs at ball parks, chicken grilled, baked and broiled. Meat and I were great friends.
Then I read Omnivore‚Äôs Dilemma and learned a bit about meat manufacturing in the United States and the way workers are treated. And there was that little tidbit about how we’ve completely screwed with nature and begun feeding ruminants (cows) not the grasses they are meant to eat, but corn. And roadkill. Oh, and other dead cows — which only stopped when Mad Cow Disease popped up in response to our desire to have big fat cows.

I don’t really need another soap box, nor do I want to come off as preachy. But I will say this — if you have the chance to read Fast Food Nation (or see the movie, which I found morbidly entertaining), you won’t regret it. We have few things we can feel in control of these days. The environment? Eh. I recycle and pray. Sudan? I’m still writing letters and there are still 3 million people living in refugee camps. The food I eat? Absolutely. Not only am I swearing off meat, I’m giving up my McDonald’s ice cream cone habit too. I cannot support this company. Did I mention there is “shit in the meat?” Yep. And the response when workers get caught in the machinery or when an animal is incorrectly gutted? They irradiate the meat and we end up eating it all.

My review: Five out of Five stars, absoloodle.

Two of my favorite quotes:
“Over the past twenty years, the United States has swung too far in one direction, weakening the regulations that safeguard workers, consumers, and the environment. An economic system promising freedom has too often become a means of denying it, as the narrow dictates of the market gain precedence over more important democratic values.”

Oh — have faith. We do have power to change this.

“Nobody in the United States is forced to buy fast food. the first step toward meaningful change is by far the easiest: stop buying it. The executives who run the fast food industry are not bad men. They are businessmen. They will sell free-range, organic, grass-fed hamburgers if you demand it. They will sell whatever sells at a profit. The usefulness of the market, its effectiveness as a tool, cuts both ways. The real power of the American consumer has not yet been unleashed. The heads of Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s should feel daunted: they’re outnumbered. There are three of them and almost three hundred million of you. A good boycott, a refusal to buy, can speak much louder than words. Sometimes the most irresistible force is the most mundane.”

The vote is in: veggies win.