Meat and Badness, By Mara L.

European Green values have, in my particular case, very much to do with taste. Traditionally crafted produce simply tastes better. My moral lowness (or should I say, potential moral lowness, for I haven’t yet figured out whether eating meat is actually morally bad or not) becomes particularly clear to me when I see my fellow Green-value-Manhattanites abdicate all meat. They actually mean it: they look at eating from their moral point of view.

From the culinary point of view, meat in Manhattan is excellent—and I mean it, genuinely excellent. Better than in most places in Europe. Meat here is something to lift your spirits. When I have little time, but a desire for luxury, I buy fillet steak. When I have more time, I buy the kind of beef that Italians cook in red wine, with lots of herbs, tomatoes, shallots, carrots and so on, and I happily eat it with Rigatoni.

Copyright 2007 Jens Haas -

So where does this leave me with my attempt to blend in here? Here’s my little theory: The artsy crowd that I hang out with is actually not representative. Vegetarians that they often are, they do not mirror the true nature of Manhattan. This place is, in its heart, a meat eating place, which is a truth visible (to me) when I walk down the street. Manhattan is about survival—at least for the likes of me—and survival doesn’t have the patience for vegetarianism. Don’t we need strength to survive the next heart-breaking phone call, when we realize that we won’t be able to make it to the wedding of a close friend? Living in several places takes a toll. And meat, bad or not bad as eating it may be, steels your soul against the onslaughts of exhaustion.