Eating Meat--or Not?

Mitchell Feinberg for the NYTimes

It's true that I eat meat: the humanely raised, grass-fed kind. I have been surprised by how many restaurants offer it. There's even a full on BBQ place that's all organic near where I live. In fact, to eat good meat that's not full of hormones, antibiotics and that won't contribute to any being's misery has been my New Year's resolution for a few years running. (Sometime towards the end of the year I find myself at a dinner party or in Chinatown breaking it, hence the need for a re-up.)With the end of the year approaching there comes a slew of help from the New York Times, and, of course, literary star, Jonathan Safran Foer whose recent book is Eating Animals, and why we shouldn't.

I have to confess that these days I eat mostly vegan anyway. No dairy, no sugar, no meat, no wheat (not that vegans avoid gluten). It's not quite a question of ethics, but what is easier to digest. And what will keep me healthier now that it's plague season. (The subway: H1N1 incubator?) According to the Times, 1% of Americans in 2009 are vegan, and it's getting easier and easier to find vegan food. Not just at ethnic resautrants such as Indian and Thai, but in mainstream America. A 17-year old Long Island boy---a vegan---managed to instigate a slew of vegan fare at his father's pizzeria where he works. It attracted a vegan crowd. Moo-Cluck Bakery on Long Island sells retail and wholesale. And it's not just the vegans who like their cakes: the bakery owners, "took a box of several dozen Moo-Cluck cookies to a family Christmas party of 30 people last year, intending it for a vegan relative." The vegan arrived too late to enjoy the gift. Half an hour after Ms. Cummings brought them into the house, the cookies were gone, she said. “All the nonvegans ate them.” If cutting out meat, dairy, and sugar seems dire to you, consider this: vegans eat cookies like everyone else. Here's a cookbook to prove it: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (Da Capo). That's sounds like holiday fun (though the reviewer of her sister's vegan cookies in this article thought they tasted "like homework.")Decide for yourself. Make your own resolution.