Lee Pitts: Real Fakes
I don’t know about you but I got really irritated when I learned about the legal battle in which test tubers and tofu fabricators are arguing that they should be allowed to label their product as “meat.” What’s next, are we going to see top sirloin of chickpea, roast beet or leg of lettuce?
Personally, I think we can’t let the impostors piggyback on our good name and if they insist I think we should countersue them for slander and defamation of character. The quacks have a lot of nerve calling their chemical concoctions “meat.”
Because “meat” can’t technically defend itself, here are some points I’d make on its behalf before a judge or jury if “meat” hired me as its lawyer. But, of course, I can’t call myself a “lawyer” because I don’t have the proper credentials. Neither does fake meat, get the picture?
1. Real meat is produced by animal science grads, ranchers, cowboys, sheepherders, hog farmers and chicken pluckers, not chemistry professors in white lab coats.
2. You get real meat from animals, not bunsen burners, formulas or test tubes. It comes from farms, feedlots, and ranches, not laboratories or multi-story greenhouses. Whoever heard of a rutabaga feedlot or a turnip cowboy? Things that produce meat once went moo, oink, baa or cockle doodle doo. Things that produce fake meat are too embarrassed to say anything. Meat’s main ingredients are sunshine, water, and grass, not multi-syllable chemical concoctions.
3. Often, the main ingredient and centerpiece of our holidays is meat, such as ham for Easter, turkey for Thanksgiving, hamburgers and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. (And don’t forget bologna on Election Day.) I defy anyone to name one fake meat that is so well thought-of that it’s the main ingredient of a holiday dinner. That alone should disqualify it as a “meat.”
4. Real meat does not have to be chemically altered to be made more pleasing to the eye. The only things I’ve seen that were the same color as fake meat were found in a box of crayons or in plastic Tupperware® containers in the back of my mom’s refrigerator.
5. I’m not aware of any large restaurant chain whose business is built on fake meat. Where are the McDonalds Impersonators, the Tofurkey KFC’s or the Outback BeyondMeat Steakhouses?
6. There is no better smell in the world than real meat on a barbecue pit or bacon grilling in the kitchen. Speaking from personal experience, the smell of barbecued beefsteak can be used as a perfume to attract members of the opposite sex. How the heck do you think I got my beautiful and intelligent wife to marry me? When cooked, fake meat smells like burning tires or a wet chicken coop and can be used as an insect or rattlesnake repellent. Smoke from real meat cooking on a barbecue pit attracts hungry neighbors and freeloading relatives while the smell of fake meat attracts the fire department, the EPA and the Air Quality Control Board.
7. Real meat can be found in the meat department of your local grocery store and fake meat has no rightful place there. It should either be found with the toilet bowl cleansers, household insecticides or in the pet food aisle. On second thought, I wouldn’t do that to a dog.
8. When you wake up in the morning just the thought of eating a good piece of meat that evening is enough to put a smile on your face the whole day. Eating vegetarian or fake meat has been found to cause depression in people. Really.
9. You can describe the ingredients in meat with just one word, such as beef, lamb, pork or chicken, whereas it takes a laundry list of chemicals to describe the ingredients in fake meat such as dehydrated monosodium gasomate or hydrolyzed extruded soynoflovoromene.
10. You don’t see meat producers lawyering up and going to court to name our product vegetable steak, produce pork, chemical chicken, or lab lamb, so why should fake meat producers be allowed to muscle their way into our meat department? Real meat producers don’t have to try and deceive consumers to buy their product by calling it something it isn’t.
I rest my case.