Near Henry Meat-free (opinion)
Dear waitress who lectured me about how cattle ranching on public land is good for the land, how grazing fees are unfair, and how if we knew our history we wouldn’t be tearing down statues: I was wearing my SMITHS tee shirt the whole time you yacked at me. And across your state, which in my humble opinion as someone who has hiked across the land ranchers probably assume nobody sees, has been destroyed by cattle.
I ate your burger to fit in and be polite and gagged down as much of that milkshake as I could while you yacked so I could excuse myself, but I’ll probably puke it up in a black pile later. I feel like a traitor for eating that after what I’ve seen in Utah’s backcountry, but it was a strong lesson. I’m not only supporting unsustainable food but unsustainable way of thought and action by buying part of a dead cow and many dead cow footsteps worth of dead soil, and countless cow shits worth of polluted water, and cow farts of polluted air, and cow fat and enterococci of human disease and suffering, and by supporting your numb thinking. This time around hiking Utah I’ve realized you absolutely cannot call yourself green or an environmentalist or whatever if you eat cow, even “free range.” Ranchers seem to be skirting the rules and I’ve seen cattle grazing ALL the public land, including small corners of National Park. All the gates are open right now. Very few places I’ve seen where cow haven’t recently been. I’m done “tip-toeing” around the cryptobiotic soil on public land when cattle have already trampled it all, why? To go half to waste and a portion in our bellies? If I don’t buy cow meat or leather, and I don’t step on crypto, I can feel more blameless. But that feels a little voiceless, too.
Anywho! I still love the taste of cow, but I eat very little of it. I have been a more strict vegetarian for about a third of my life, but I’ve also had bouts with anemia. Whatever works for you, I’m just reporting from Utah, where the only farming is cow farming (and uranium I suppose). My Smiths tee-shirt says “Meat is Murder.” SMITHS in UTAH? Get it?!