3/3/2015: Digesting the Meat Racket


Caryn gives her thoughts after interviewing Christopher Leonard and discussing his book The Meat Racket.


Caryn Hartglass: Hey everybody. We’re back, and as I mentioned before, this is one chilly March 3rd, 2015. I’m just amazed looking out of my window, watching the programming, snow. It’s going in all different directions. It’s white everywhere. The sky is white. I’m fascinated by it, just fascinated.

Yeah, okay, what did you think of that conversation with Christopher Leonard of The Meat Racket. So my question to you is are you a meat eater? And what is your defense for meat eating? I’d like to hear it, or read it perhaps, and if you are, and you think it’s important to eat animals, I want to know. Send me an email info@realmeals.org. Okay? I try and be respectful and pleasant when I’m talking to people who promote meat eating, and as he said, many people are floored knowing that he still eats meat after uncovering everything that he did. He wrote the only way to avoid them, meaning Tyson, is to become vegetarian.

What’s going on is… I’m speechless. I don’t even have any words for what’s going on for the meat industry and how they treat not only animals, but people. I wanted to mention before, the Tyson company, they reap about 28 billion dollars in annual sales. They have a network of more than 6,000 industrial chicken farms that grow about 2.1 billion birds every year. This book came out this year, but I believe these numbers are from a few years ago. The company slaughtered 7.2 million cows annually, killing more than 19,700 everyday. It killed 20.5 million pigs every year, many of them born at the company’s contract farms in Oklahoma. And Tyson’s meat is eaten by almost every American consumer, whether they realize it or not.

This is a book that you must read. I know I say that about a lot of books, but this one is really critical, and if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, and you don’t believe in killing animals, and you have people around you that insist that meat eating is good, at least they need to be knowledgeable on how their meat is created, and the poor farmers who are involved in being exploited as well as the animals. I call it serfdom, as I mentioned before. This is new feudalism, and if we allow it to continue, these few corporations, these powerful corporations are going to make most of us feudal serfs all over again. History repeats itself.

Now, I don’t like to end on a sour scary unpleasant note, so let’s talk about food, because this is all about food, and I have been eating so well this week I wanted to share some of the dishes we’ve been creating and the recipes we’ve been posting. Now I mentioned I started a new blog, and it’s three weeks old today. It’s called What Vegans Eat. And I just may direct Christopher Leonard in an email to some of those recipes so that he knows he doesn’t have to eat meat. These foods are so delicious.

Now one of the favorite things that I made this week: I don’t know if you tried it before, using chickpea flour to make an omelet. Who’s done that? Raise your hand! It is the easiest thing. It is the most amazing thing. Now some people call it socca when you make a chickpea flour crepe. When you add a mob of vegetables to it, it looks like an omelet, it tastes like an omelets. It’s the most delicious satisfying food. It’s gluten free. It’s amazing. Now some people may have tried chickpea flour before and didn’t like its beany taste. And I always recommend to add some of your favorite herbs and spices to kind of meld that flavor, and it’s just so delicious. Delicious and nutritious is what I love to say.

And we’re finishing up our winter share that we picked up in mid February, and there’s just a handful of the gangliest of the vegetables that we got that have been saved for last. And two of them were celery root and kohlrabi, and I love these vegetables. It’s not that I don’t like them. I just forget about them and forget what to do with them, and yet it’s so simple. So the celery root just was peeled and got chopped up and went in a soup. It’s got incredible flavor, and yesterday I made the kohlrabi, and I peeled it. It has a very thick fibrous skin, so you have to get all that it off. And I cut it in chunks. I did the simplest thing, I boiled it in some leftover potato water, water that I cooked potatoes in, added some onions and garlic, cooked everything until it was soft, blended it up until it was puree, and it is the most delicious flavor. I didn’t even add salt and pepper to it.

I’m crazy about these simple foods. I don’t need to help support people going into debt in a million, two million dollars, to create a number of large factory chicken houses, and raise hundreds of thousands of birds, either for meat or for eggs, so that I can have animal foods. The plant foods are so incredible. Let’s just give the people who want to farm, to farm organic vegetables. Let’s pay them really fairly. And can we, at some day, get rid of this factory-farming scenario. I just feel at some point, either it’s going to crumble, or we’re going to crumble it, and I would like to see the factory farm system crumble first. But you know, that’s up to you.

So you have this information, you’ve listened to this program, there’s a book that you can read. Now you have your work to do. We all have to let everybody else know about this, we need to be communicating with our government officials. We’ve got to get louder. Louder and noisier. And one other little bit of just good news — speaking of getting louder and nosier — just came into my inbox from Food and Water Watch, an organization I like very much. It says, “Good news! The New York GMO labeling bill just cleared its first committee. Minutes ago, the GMO labeling bill passed out of the consumer affairs and protection committee in the New York assembly. This is the great news and the first step towards the right to know what’s in our food.” It is good news. It’s a small step, and we have a lot further to go. So, stick with me, and let’s stay loud, okay? Stay warm too if you’re in this cold part of the country. And remember, have a delicious week.

Transcribed 10/1/2016 by Kevin Zhao.

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