Sometimes, as a sort of meditation, I close my eyes, breathe deeply, and reflect on the greatest things I’ve ever tasted. I try to recreate every bit of it in my mind, not just recalling the memory, but almost reliving it. And 90% of the time, the porterhouse from Keens Steakhouse is where I find the most peace. I have a deep, spiritual connection with this steak. I do not just love it—I am in love with it. Though I’m unsure if I’ll ever be able to taste that glorious porterhouse again, the fact that it lives on in my heart means that I will never be able to go vegan. Even my soul eats steak.
Though it sounds contradictory, my vivid imagination and taste-specific synesthesia have helped me eat less meat. As much as I love the stuff, I’m old and wise enough to know that things like climate change, factory farming, labor conditions, and my triglyceride levels are far more important that my personal desires. I’m not going to stop writing meat–centric recipes, but I’m trying to add more vegetarian ones to our magnificent Takeout library. Thinking about the Keens porterhouse reminds me that good meat is nothing short of a religious experience, so eating it should never be mindless. I need to start treating all of it like a special, once-in-a-while thing. If I’m going to eat steak, I’d rather splurge on a good one a few times a year than eat shitty steaks once a week.
I believed my gradual move to a semi-meatless lifestyle as a mindful, responsible decision. But according to a highly vocal subset of people, these choices have made me an immoral, depraved she-beast whose opinions have nothing to do with ethics or science and everything to do with neutering Uncle Sam.
In all the reflecting I have done on steak and the greater good, I never thought to examine what sort of ideas the 5G waves have been implanted in my brain while I sleep. Have you been reevaluating your relationship with meat in recent weeks, months, or years? If so, do you happen to hate America?