Friends, we have a situation.
According to the latest numbers from Tyson Foods, America's largest producer of meat, we are no longer eating it. Their profits are down 61% this past quarter, which is quite drastic, and puts us in a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, no one should be eating meat from Tyson, seeing as they're the same Tyson that still, evidently, uses gestation crates, which is simply indicative of their shoddy and mostly-disgusting operation. The fact that they're losing a billion dollars in sales should be a cause for celebration. But, actually, it's a cause for concern.
You see, Tyson themselves are so big, that this kind of dip in sales can't be due to a large group of people taking a stand specifically against the company. Purchasing protests just don't work on that large of a scale. Instead, it's evidence that us Americans are eating a whole lot less meat. Which is scary.
Ever see "The Birds"? Or read this essay from John Jeremiah Sullivan about how animal attacks are drastically on the rise? Or see this video of an angry cow? Now imagine what's going to happen if we continue to cease our eating of them? They will multiply, conquer, and destroy us. This cannot be argued. It's basic science.
Luckily, there's a solution to this problem, and that's to eat more meat. But, you know, not meat that is factory farmed and processed like Tyson. More of the good farm-to-table, grass-fed stuff. (We're already eating them, no need to make them more angry at us.) And also luckily, there's plenty of places in L.A. which offer humanely-farmed meat. Here are a few:
Blue Cow Kitchen
The Blue Cow Kitchen downtown supports farms, ranches, fisheries and artisans that "are guided by the principles of sustainability" -- a complete list is available here -- and have an impressive carnivore menu as a result. The Short Rib Poutine and Steak Sandwich will satisfy, but a not-so-hidden secret is their great happy hour (Monday through Friday, 4:30pm to 6:30pm) that features Pink Eggs & Ham for two bucks.
A relative new kid on the block, Cooks County already seems like an old pro when it comes to their meat selections. While the menu changes occasionally -- all depending on the ingredients they're picking up fresh from local farmers -- if you walk in and they have either Slow Roasted Pork Loin or Beef Shoulder Tenderloin, flip a coin and let fate decide.
The Eveleigh in West Hollywood embraces a "seasonal, local-farm and market driven menu," and cite their influences as being from old-world European and American country cooking. That said, I'd like to see a country farmer create a meal as delightful as their Sonoma Lamb Meatballs, the Confit Duck Leg, or the mouth-watering Eveleigh Burger.
Perhaps they don't have as carnivorous-sounding of a name as you'd associate with eating a ton of meat, but Tender Greens -- with locations all over L.A. -- has plenty of farm-to-table meaty options to choose from. Among the best are the Backyard Marinated Steak (which comes from grain-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free cows), and the duo of Salt and Pepper and/or Chipotle Barbecue Chicken (raised on the range in Northern California, "not in cages").
Of course, if you're more into trying your own hand at delivering up some carne, you can always head over to a local meat market and buy it by the pound. Here's the best:
6333 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(in the Farmer's Market)
McCall's Meat & Fish
2117 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Lindy & Grundy
801 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
So, then. What say you in regards to the meat-eating stats: