Eating industrial meat takes an almost heroic act of not knowing, or, now, forgetting. – Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
SCENE: McDonald’s Drive-Thru
[A man pulls up to the pick-up window. It is very late.]
DRIVE-THRU ATTENDANT: Here’s your triple quarter pounder.
MAN: Huh? I didn’t order that. I ordered a southwest salad without chicken and apple dippers.
DRIVE-THRU ATTENDANT: No, you ordered a triple quarter pounder. It’s 12:30 in the morning and you’re the only customer I’ve had in the past ten minutes.
MAN: You say potayto, I say potahto. Whatever. I’ll just eat the beef.
[MAN grabs the bag and scarfs the burger down with barely disguised bloodlust.]
SCENE: Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Cincinnati, OH
[A couple is seated at a table. WOMAN wears a Donna Karan Jersey Dress, black, with a bateau neckline, cap sleeves and banded tie detail at a gathered natural waist. MAN wears a Savile Row suit. His shoes are New & Lingwood British Stamford Loafers.]
[When they talk, the couple leans in to exchange intimate whispers.]
[WAITER approaches with their meals.]
WAITER: For the madam, we have the chili rubbed dry aged bone-in rib, 24 oz, with cipollini onions & sisho peppers. And for the gentleman, we have the rack of lamb, in-house dry aged, natural jus. Bon Appetit!
[The couple stares at their plates, speechless.]
WAITER: Is there something wrong?
WOMAN: I thought I ordered the baked polenta triangoli with wild mushroom bolognaise and braised escarole.
MAN: And I specifically ordered the porcini crusted tofu in the red wine sauce with the root vegetable gratin.
WAITER: Regrettably we do not serve either of those dishes. Are you aware that you are at a steakhouse?
WOMAN: A steakhouse?
MAN: You jest!
WAITER: No, I’m quite certain this is Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. I’ve worked here for four years.
WOMAN: Arthur, for heaven’s sake, you must have taken a wrong turn!
MAN [does a facepalm]: What a dithering idiot I can be.
WOMAN [to the waiter]: He can be so absent-minded sometimes.
MAN: Well, Patricia, since we have this bounteous feast in front of us…
WOMAN: It would be a shame for it to go to waste…
[MAN and WOMAN exchange glances, then tuck away with gusto.]
SCENE: Prehistoric times
[CAVEMAN is hiding in the bush with SON. Both hold spears.]
[WOOLY MAMMOTH saunters by.]
CAVEMAN: Aha! Dinner!
[CAVEMAN spears WOOLY MAMMOTH with expert skill. MAMMOTH falls with a single shot. CAVEMAN and SON run over to fallen prey.]
SON: Wait, dad — this is wooly mammoth! You say you no eat meat! You say it compromise your good conscience!
CAVEMAN: This wooly mammoth? You is sure?
SON: Pretty sure.
[CAVEMAN grunts. SON scratches his armpit.]
CAVEMAN: Oh well. Tofu taste like pterodactyl crap anyway.