I eat meat, and I won’t apologize.

It’s been a big week for food, and it’s only Tuesday morning. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines came out yesterday, and Oprah is giving a spiel about going vegan for a week. Wait – maybe I shouldn’t have put those two news items in the same sentence…just for the record, the first holds a lot more weight than the second. Mostly because *cough, cough* the Dietary Guidelines are based on science and undergo a rigorous review process.

Dietary Guidelines
The revised dietary guidelines are pushing for more plant killing in 2010. And way less salt. Avoid processed foods and Twinkies. Exercise. Cook more at home. Right. Got it. Useful little tips to take to the bank.

Vegan Oprah vs. Regular Oprah
I have never watched an Oprah show. The Oprah Show? I don’t even know what it’s called which is a dead giveaway that I am not an expert on her or her shenanigans. Bummer. But the mass amount of tweet alerts last night had me looking up news articles. Apparently Oprah is going on a vegan diet for a week. Personally, I’d like to know how Vegan Oprah is going to be different than Regular Oprah.

The whole goal is rather unclear at this point. To test the diet? To see if she can pass the challenge? To raise awareness for veganism? To uncover all the evil, bad things about animal production? Apparently so on that last one. “Also contributing to the Vegan Challenge is journalist Lisa Ling who will be going straight to the source – into the underbelly of a beef processing plant.

Straight to the source…the source of what? The processing plant isn’t the source of beef. Ms. Ling? I would be more than happy to escort you to several beef sources – all places nestled in this beautiful country with hard-working men and women ensuring their cattle have the best care available. And that “best care” is awfully good as I’m sure you would see if you would take the time to visit.

I am not writing this in an attempt to drop the hammer on veganism. While it is a choice I would never make, I respect others and their decisions to do as they wish with their lives. However, I would also ask for that courtesy to be reciprocated for people such as myself who enjoy eating meat.

Be a vegan, that doesn’t bother me. But I will savor every bite of beef you see below in my freezer, and I won’t apologize to anyone who might be upset about it. Oh, and have a very nice day.

Freezer full of beef

Beef, it's what's for dinner!


  1. Curious, if the source of beef is not from a processing plant (where livestock are made into beef, I might add) then where exactly did you have your meat in your freezer “processed”.

  2. The source of beef as a food item starts long before a processing plant. In the most technical sense, the source begins at the moment of conception, progresses to when a calf is born, and on through that calf’s life. (For some cattle, their entire lives are spent on grass, but even for those cattle that are finished on grain, the majority of their lives are spent on pasture.)

    Yes, I did have my meat butchered at my local processing plant. While beef cattle are “beef” from the very beginning, the processing stage is necessary in order for that beef to be preserved for consumption. I do not have a place set up in my house to properly butcher and prepare the quarter of beef I purchased from a rancher here in eastern Washington. Processing is a part of agriculture – not only beef but the vast majority of crops grown for commercial sales need to go through a processing phase in order to maintain safety and quality for delivery and dissemination through grocery outlets, etc.

    Thank you for your curiosity, and the time you took to comment.

  3. i wonder how many meals Oprah really cooks herself…she talks about her ‘cook’ all the time. There’s no doubt he can whip something up for her that looks and tastes good no matter whats in it. I’m sure she’ll say how wonderful her vegan meals have been and its not as hard as she thought it was. Good for her. Maybe she should stick to it. I have heard time and time again how people that start vegan diets cant maintain them because their bodies dont handle it, that should be your first clue that there is some science involved. Granted there are some people out there can do it but dont try to guilt me or force me to do something I dont want to do or care about. What I do in my kitchen is my business and what you do in yours is your business. I get tired of some people trying to push their ‘bleeding-heart’ ideas on others, we need a more ‘to each their own’ approach. Lisa Ling is hiding her lame attempt to make beef processing plants look horrible under the ruse of ‘hey lets go on this great diet’. I’m sure if you take any instance of life you could find the worst of the worst, if she wants to do a show on an eye opener then why doesnt she find the crappiest daycare centers in the US….I dont care if she doesnt eat meat…just leaves more for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ GO BEEF!

  4. So, then dairy cattle that spend their lives in milk production; where does their beef come from?

  5. @ Curious
    I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand your question. Dairy cattle are bred and designed for milk production. Beef cattle are bred and designed for beef production.

  6. Where do you think bull dairy calves & retired milking cows end up?

  7. @PattyU
    Thanks for your comment and support of the beef industry! I certainly believe being vegan is an individual choice, and I respect the decisions of those who choose that lifestyle.

    I appreciate your observation about highlighting the worst of the worst and shoving it forward as something that is the standard. Beef processing plants are a part of this industry, and no one has said they are not. I’m a proponent of providing accurate information about the big picture, and that starts with looking at the beef industry at all levels from an objective view and not as a means to make a supporting point in another discussion – in this particular case, veganism.

  8. @Curious
    They make good hamburgers too!

  9. and steaks and roasts and everything else in between. In fact, a large percentage of USDA Prime graded beef is actually of dairy origin.

    My point here is that processing plants are a major source of meat. To deny that is a diservice to the meat industry and the ag community.

    Butcher/Processor/Slaughter & Cattle Farmer.

  10. @Amy/Curious
    I appreciate your comments. I don’t think we necessarily disagree now that I understand what point you were making.

    My concern with what is happening on Oprah and the point I was making in this post is the danger of highlighting only negative things about processing plants which it sounds like that could happen very easily in this particular instance. The beef industry – and dairy industry – is so much more than a processing plant. I think we should be looking at all parts – a gate to plate type of view – and not just one part when we are delivering information to those who are not as familiar with the cattle industry as you and I are.

    Thanks again!

  11. Thank you so much for a very valuable view regarding Oprah and her vegan stunt. I shared your post with our followers on Facebook @RealRanchers.com. We’ve been commenting all day about sharing positive facts about eating meat and I was happy to share your perspective too. Thanks!


  12. Thanks for the comment and sharing my post, Liz! It is so important for us all to support each aspect of the beef industry. Maybe if we put all our smaller voices together, we can make a big voice ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I watched Oprah’s vegan show yesterday, and it in NO way convinced me to be a vegan. Michael Pollan was a rock star, and was definitely the voice of reason, telling people it is absolutely not bad for you to eat meat. Thank goodness! And the processing plant…I thought it shed a very positive light on the meat industry. I wouldn’t feel bad about eating a cow from there. The thing I don’t get, is why Vegans eat “fake” animal products. There is vegan meat, milk, sausage, eggs…all just fake food that is processed to look and taste like snimal products? That is crazy to me. I will go ahead and eat real meat and eggs and milk, thanks!

  14. My freezer looks like your freezer, and I personally loved yesterday’s Oprah. If you watch the show you will see that they were discussing supporting ranchers and family farms when you buy meat. The whole point of the show was to become conscious of where your food comes from and how factory farms are harmful to ranchers/family farms and the environment. In fact, a comment was specifically made about how devastating it would be if too many people went vegan because it would hurt the families who are raising animals right. The show was BENEFICIAL to smaller operations and showed us in a positive light.

    I think sometimes we are so quick to be definsive when we hear anything about the beef industry. IT IS NOT ALL BAD!

  15. @ Tina and Annie

    Thank you both for your comments. One of the most positive things from yesterday’s show was the fact that it got people talking about food, the production of it, and differing views.


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