Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bad Reporting: Mother Jones thinks we should eat meat

Oh, how it pains me to be calling out Mother Jones - the last bastion of the free press - for bad reporting. Alas, it's true. While the article was published nearly two years ago, it was linked in their Facebook feed today and deserves to have the glaring fault in the article pointed out.

In the article Steak or Veggie Burger: Which is Greener, Kiera Butler describes her decision to give up life-long vegetarianism in favor of meat. Her reasoning is that... well, honestly I can't make sense of her reasoning. She compares grass-fed beef to faux meats in terms of environmental impact, concluding:
So plant protein is usually the greener choice, as long as it's not overprocessed.

 And yet she decides to eat meat. I guess the basic reason is the premise she begins with:
But a girl can only eat so much roasted kale before she starts craving protein: tofu, veggie burgers, and the (okay, creepy) occasional piece of fakin' bacon.
And therein lies the flaw in Butler's self-justification. (And I don't mean her failure to recognize that roasted kale contains protein.) While she makes a convincing argument that processed faux meats are nearly as bad for the environment as real meat, she implies these are the only two options.

Want a veggie burger? Make one at home from whole foods. Want the protein from soy with less impact than tofu? Eat edamame. To imply that processed foods are the only option that vegetarians have when they want something protein-packed or "meaty" is just a sign of utter laziness. They're called "convenience foods" for a reason.

And honestly, who are the vegetarians or vegans that are eating faux meats at the same rate that carnists are eating real meat? Most carnists I know have meat at least twice a day. If Butler was eating faux meats twice a day, I'm completely certain she was in the vast minority.

This was shockingly shoddy reporting from Mother Jones, usually such a trusted source.

1 comment:

  1. Last time The Beet-Eating Heeb checked, processed faux meats did not involve the killing of a cow in the prime of its life.

    Kudos to you, Veggie Mightee, for calling out a sophistry, even if it's from a source we like.