The Meat Meme or Memeat!

January 11th, 2011

Very "Clan of the Cave Bear"

I have fallen down so many rabbit holes lately people! I am tumbling, tumbling, tumbling, tumbling, etc,etc,etc,etc.

Still tumbling, tumbling, tumbling, tumbling, etc,etc,etc, etc….

Still going, going, going….


You get the idea?

It’s that time of year. I don’t work in January and February. And I look forward to it so much. And then I come home and I start to fade. I start to fail. I start falling down rabbit holes, lost in a world of conspiracy and mind control and evil government bureaucracy, and fringe societies that can save the world with a new meme. And I start using the word ‘meme’ in every sentence. And suddenly everything is a meme. Meme. Meme. Meme. Meme. You know what? Everything IS A MEME! No. It’s true. Everything is pretty much a meme. It’s hard to explain, but trust me – I am right about this.

Meat is a meme.

That’s one thing I have discovered.

I think I am the first person to discover it.

So I think I should get to name it.

I hereby name the meat meme – memeat!

You know why it is a meme? Because it slowly worked it’s way into human culture until everyone was doing it without even thinking about it. Kind of like cooking.  Kind of like clothes.  Kind of like language.  Kind of like religion.  SEE!  I told you that everything is a meme!

It’s very possible that people used to live without eating other creatures.  Why? Because hey!  Let’s just eat these bananas that are growing on this shrubbery right in front of us instead!  So much easier!

But then the bananas dried up!

And then the people moved to Eastern Europe and the Himalayas in search of new banana plants.

But the bananas didn’t grow in Eastern Europe and the Himalayas.

And so the people said, “Lo. We are starving. There are no bananas here in this neolithic peat bog and this icy mountain range. We must make for ourselves a dinner in our own likeness. And we will call this dinner meat.”

And so they commenced to hunting and fishing and barbecuing themselves a nice little post roast.

And lo, it was very good.

But then some of them said, “Lo. These creatures are much like us. Why should we eat them? For they cause us no harm.”

But then others said, “Because they are really tasty? And looketh. We starveth no more.”

And so they all agreed that no more starvation was good.

And then there was the issue with bleeding women.

And tremendous loss of blood during child birth.

And why are women evolved to shed such a ridiculous amount of blood?

Also hidden ovulation.

Also large headed infants.

And small birth canal-ed woman.

And deep time.

And the connection between deep time and a women’s cycle.

And rivers of blood pouring out of the women.

And meat replaced all that iron that poured out of all those women.

And the women survived to care for their babies that were born with way too large of heads to come out of the tiny hole in the bleeding women.

And so the woman ate the meat.

She ate it in revenge for the large heads coming out of the small holes.

Because even though the woman wanted to, she couldn’t eat the man who caused the large headed infant to come out of the tiny hole nor could she eat the infant that blew through the hole and caused more pain and more blood loss than was really necessary according to the woman.

Because she needed them.

And they needed her.

So she ate a steak instead (extra rare).

And it made her feel a wee bit better about it all.

These are some of the reasons we might eat meat.

According to me and my meat meme.

Even though it seems kind of like a bizarre stretch.

I really did just read a book about all of this and you know, if it is in a book, it must be true – even though it sounds like the ravings of a lunatic.   I hope to write about the book soon. Until then – I leave you with this video that talketh about the meat meme – or as I, Rechelle ‘the discoverer of the meat meme’ have just entitled it – memeat.

It is very good.

You should watch it.

Bon Apertif!


  • Bonnie:

    I had to stop listening to Mr. Bittman after this statement: “Every scientist in the world now believes this.” [global warming]. If he isn’t careful about the truth of the first few sentences out of his mouth, I fear that he will not be careful about the truth of the remaining sentences.

    • jalf:

      @Bonnie: huh? You’d rather he pretended that the issue was still disputed?

      That even though 99.99% of all *qualified* scientists believe it, we must present the 13 remaining scientists who still refuse to do so as an equal faction? As if there’s still some deep fundamental schism and no consensus in sight?

      No, it might, technically and pedantically speaking, be inaccurate to say that “every scientist” believes it. Just like it’s inaccurate to say that the sun comes up *every* morning (it didn’t for billions of years before the Earth was formed, for example). And yet, even scientists happily make this generalization, because it is true in all the cases that matter to us.

      Short of few industry-funded pseudo-scientists and a whole lot of politically motivated, but very loud, non-scientists, there *is* consensus behind this.

      Whether or not you want to hear it.

        • Renee:

          That’s dumb. Anyone can call himself a scientist. And frankly, as a PhD student in biology, most people wouldn’t argue that I’m a scientist, but I have the humility to freely admit that I am in no position to analyze the evidence and render an “opinion” on global warming. What I am in a position to do is recognize that upright academic institutions that produce qualified researchers in the earth sciences and in climatology have trained these people to accurately and thoughtfully collect and analyze data IN THEIR FIELDS. And the vast majority of these QUALIFIED individuals confirm that global climate change is indeed being impacted by human activity.

          31,000 UNQUALIFIED “scientists” should be ashamed of themselves, and ought to confine their future public commentary to fields in which they are educated (if they’re really educated as research scientists at all).

        • jalf:

          Yes, huh. 31000 signatures from “scientists” means *nothing.

          Show me 31000 signatures from scientists *in related fields*, and we’ll talk. Scientists with credentials to show they know what they’re talking about.

          You know the exact same line of argument is used to dispute evolution? “Thousands” of scientists have signed a similar declaration that evolution is nonsense. Just a shame not a single one of them was a biologist…

          Among scientists who know what they’re talking about, there *is* a consensus around global warming. Just like there’s consensus around the theory of evolution.

          And, of course, if you look at the other articles on that site, it’s pretty clear how seriously it deserves to be taken. (hint: not very)

  • Christine from Canada:

    Rechelle: are you really going vegetarian? Did I read that correctly? Did you really mean that to be a new year’s resolution?

    • Rechelle:

      I am giving vegetarianism a try. So far, so good.

  • Samantha:

    Great video……I agree that the food industry is the enemy but only because people again bought in to it. Also why is overpopulation never discussed??? And I mean too many people are contributing to polluting the earth as well. That should be part of the discussion too. They have no trouble pointing out too many animals like deer cattle, Canadian geese etc do they ever think these animals wouldn’t be such a problem if there weren’t so many people?

    • Samantha:

      oops I meant Canada geese.

  • Carol:

    Have you taken a look at your teeth lately? They are not vegetarian/herbivore teeth. Nope. So I doubt very very very much humans in the dim mists of time when they had less to eat they were turn their nose up at any food source. Shoot, chimps hunt.
    Did Bittman consult with an paleoanthropologist or evolutionary biologist before he (a journalist) said that?

    • Rechelle:

      The most important thing about human evolution is not the shape of our teeth. It’s the size of our brains which we are clearly not using them when it comes to the manufacture and consumption of meat.

      • Bridget:

        It is true what has changed most in humans is not our teeth, but the size and shape of our brains and skulls. Our teeth haven’t really changed all that much, but our the size and shape of our skulls has changed dramatically.

    • Samantha:

      Also trying to eat locally and not relying on goods brought in can be a challenge. Look at the eskimo diets and how eating what is available to you becomes the diet. Location is a big part of it all. How many eat only what is natural to our areas?

    • Priss:

      Our human teeth are hardly carnivore teeth either. They are not meant for ripping apart raw meat. Yes, they do quite well with cooked meat, but they also do quite well with both raw and cooked vegetables and fruits. Our intestines are not the intestines of carnivores, which process the meat much faster than ours do. Ours are suitable for the long time needed to process vegetable matter and fiber. It’s not at all difficult to get all the protein we need from green vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains and by doing so, reap the benefits of the many micronutrients available from those sources that are not available from meat. In the process, we can become much healthier, not contribute to the agony of the animals in the meat industry, and reduce our impact on the degradation of the planet. Seems like a good evolutionary step to take.

      • Samantha:

        actually I thought meat that took longer to digest was what kept us sustained longer from becoming hungry? And not many places have enough flora and some places don’t have enough fauna so it wouldn’t be a good thing to only eat one if they are in shrot supply. That is why I think we are meant to eat both…and I still say we don’t need huge amounts of either to survive.

        • Priss:

          Meat does take a long time to get through our bodies, but in carnivores’ bodies it moves pretty quickly. You’re right that our bodies are suited to eating both meat and vegetable matter. I was pointing out that we are definitely not carnivorous physiologically in response to Carol saying that we don’t have the teeth to be evolved for being vegetarians. Even though our bodies are well adapted for an omnivorous diet, there is no physiological need to eat meat and many benefits to eating a healthy vegetarian diet. Vegetarian diets can be crap, full of processed foods and high fat dairy. That wouldn’t benefit anyone. But a diet that is made up of whole plant foods can benefit humans greatly. A small amount of animal products in the diet probably has a neutral impact if the diet is otherwise very healthy, but people who eat a lot of animal products, like people who eat a lot of processed foods, are going to suffer from it. People who eat a lot of vegetables and fruits on the other hand, are going to receive a lot of benefit.

      • eclecticdeb:

        Priss: But where would I get my tasty BACON! Seriously, I’m all for reducing the amount of meat consumption (and I have), but I really really like the taste of meat. So I consume (in moderation). Except for bacon — I have trouble with that. :-)

        • Priss:

          I hear you. I still feed my husband and son meat and they like bacon. The smell doesn’t repulse me, I will admit! But there is solid research stating that the more smoked, cured meat you eat, the more likely you are to develop cancer. There is that to keep in mind! Maybe that knowledge can encourage moderation?

        • Lee (sometimes known as Another Lee):

          This may sound weird, but the Tamari Almonds that I eat really remind me of the taste of bacon. Worth a try!

          • Bridget:

            Those almonds are delicious and you are right they kind of do taste like bacon or very meaty. Good for when you want meat but don’t really.

  • Kait:

    Give me MEAT! Memememememememe. Mmmmmmm good.

    • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

      Me too Kait!

      While not a perfect 100% local eater (or even 75%), I’m able to purchase beef and pork raised and butchered within 5 miles of my house, and most of my chicken, and now turkey, is raised and butchered by me. I’ve bought 3 dozen eggs in the past 4 years- I get one or 2 dozen at home every week.

      And despite the beginnings of a garden and orchard, and 15 acres of grain crops, I cannot obtain fruits, veggies and grains as easily year round at such a local level. They must travel a long distance.
      So I’ll keep enjoying my tasty, local meat. Yum.

  • haha on the why women eat meat part of your post. I like the video but he is saying what I have been told – eat anything you want just don’t eat tons of the same 3 things…

    This post reminds me of what I thought when I was a kid: us humans were kinda like bears; we ate anything clean and tasty. Then I grew up and entered the calmer half of my 20′s and realized we are more like rats – we eat ev-er-y-thing..oh well.. bon a petit!

  • Bridget:

    This is a tough subject to tackle because we live in a country that provides most people with plenty of food to eat, but factory farming of both meat and veggies damages the environment and greatly reduces the quality of our food supply. I try hard to eat food that come out of my garden or from the farmer’s market, but living in a state with four seasons I have to rely on the supermarket during the winter and the quality of the food just keeps getting less and less. Even the organic food isn’t the same as what it use to be since the organic laws have been changed and are as strict as they use to be since organic has now become a new fad. I am not sure what I am babbling about…..

    But I mostly decided to not eat any meat that comes from the supermarket because it just grosses me out and when my neurotic brain looks at it all I see is disease and cancer because I know the conditions that the cows, chickens and pigs were in before they were killed. Not to mention all the hormones and antibiotics that they get. When or if I eat meat I will only eat meat from people that raised and butchered the meat themselves. Also if my neighbor who hunts on occasion brings over
    some geese or deer. All this means that my meat supply has dwindled to only having it once or twice a month.

    I buy my eggs from a women who raises all of her chickens herself and actually let’s them run around her yard eating bugs and grass like chickens are suppose to do. I am allowed to raise chickens in my neighborhood, but have been too chicken to get some myself. See what i did there.

    Okay well that was all about me. Just throwing my two cents in to say I support your efforts to get off meat. It can be tough but after awhile you don’t start to miss it all that much. Although the cravings can creep up all of a sudden, but that will pass. When it happens I just shove some pie in my face and all is better.

  • Megan:

    As someone who was vegan for 12 years and is now omni and is married to a staunch vegan (who has been for 20+ years and will never change) good on ya.

    I always hated telling people I’m veg or vegan because they were always going on about the teeth and the brain and the protein, OMG where do you get the protein?? They also always assumed I was as anti-meat as they were anti-vegetarian.

    My philosophy always was that our evolution and large brains gave us the knowledge to make our own choices. Everyone can eat whatever makes them happy and they shouldn’t have to answer to anyone. Making choices about what to eat is one of the most basic elements of the human condition and I would never presume to force my opinion about it on anyone else.