Frank Bruni on the Less-Meat Lifestyle

Former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni was afflicted by gout, and told to greatly reduce his consumption of animal products and alcohol. Devastating news for a man with his orientation towards food:

Well, I can offer a report from the front lines of carnivorous cutback, and from a person to whom meat, glorious meat, wasn’t just one of the food groups (in collaboration with dairy) but the grand emperor of them all, more commanding, more regal, more deserving of — I don’t know — half of my caloric intake on a normal day? Two-thirds on a special one?

So, how’s he faring on a diet that contains vastly fewer animal products?:

You never really quite appreciate just what a cornucopia of food alternatives exists — just how many culinary directions you can set off in — until a few are cut off and you’re forced to re-route yourself. That’s a lesson that people with celiac disease and with diabetes have learned. It’s what vegetarians have long asserted.

Beautifully put, and a superbly written piece. I suspect that for the foreseeable future, it’s the less-meat and flexitarian crowd far more than the vegans who are likely to drive the greatest reductions in society’s demand for meat. If I’m right, then the wrongheaded belief that cutting back on meat entails massive sacrifice may be the animals’ single greatest enemy. Bruni simply annihilates that belief in his terrific article—one every omnivore should read. (Thanks, Hillary.) Link.