Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My play and meat

One of the crazier things I did in Europe: I went to a McDonalds.

This was the first time I have eaten at any fast food restaurant since reading Fast Food Nation back in the early 2000s and learning about the general unsavoriness of American agribusiness (I have gone to In N Out Burger which Eric Schlosser so graciously allows ethically sensitive yet fast-food-desiring readers to enjoy with minimal liberal guilt). Since then, I search for the free range and the grass fed and the Niman Ranch when I purchase for home and Trader Joes thankfully makes easily available. Many restaurants in SF seem to lean towards the less industrial in their meat selection, though not all of them do, and I still eat at those places (Sunflower's shaking beef is out of this world), thus a major hole in my resolve to eat only pleasantly killed and handled meat.

Meat has been popping up in conversations a lot recently, due in part to the fact that my play Hunter Gatherers kicks off with a lamb slaughter in an urban apartment (beats an opening dance number). I like to start my plays with gentle events. We were discussing in our read through the relation between man and meat, and how distanced we are from the acts committed to feed us. I was just reading Kite Runner, which has lots of chilling and gripping passages about lamb slaughter, which makes me never want to accept a cube of sugar from anyone ever again. And then I heard author Michael Pollan on the radio and have just started reading his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, a book about our food chain. I'm early still in the book, only finishing the chapter on corn, but the meat's coming up.

Well, anyway, I figure McDonalds in Europe doesn't count, because they have better meat and rules over there, right? I still hold to my pledge of never getting most fast food ever, and I'm curious to see how the new book will affect my eating.

Finally, I would like to conclude that every Starbucks in Paris was packed.


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