One of the things I’m happy to say most cleanly disaffiliates me from whatever we’re calling hipster culture these days is a fairly long and dedicated streak of vegetarianism. While going veg used to be the counter-culture thing to do, eating meat is really in right now for the fauxhemian, brobo, slackeratti and urban hippie set. And not just eating meat, but getting fetishistic about it, as apparent in these boutique slaughtering classes that some carnivores claim cleans their conscience (and some vegetarians think resembles an Eli Roth movie), the hunt for obscure deli meats (really, gang? You ate zebra before all your friends. Great, you win), and, uh, caveman chic.
And then there are all these trendy spots dedicated to the consumption of creature in some form that have opened in Williamsburg recently, like The Meat Hook, Pies and Thighs, Fatty ‘Cue, and so forth, plus the rise of the word “flexitarian,” which I cannot stress to you enough how many ways that’s not a real thing.
As Flavorwire wrote last week in their guide to throwing a Hipster BBQ:
It used to be that hipsters were vegetarians or vegans or macrobiotic or followed other strange, eco-/animal-friendly diet. But these days, most agree that eating cow and pig is the best way to show you’re in touch with the real America. You know, farms and tractor pulls and such. Designer barbecue spots and boutique butcher shops are popping up in hipster meccas all over the country. And if you still insist on giving a shit about sustainability, “free-range” and “local” is the new meat-free.
I’ve also seen a few friends and associates give up the veg life, some saying they’re doing so because they’re tired of missing out on all the dining options in this great city (though I am happy to say we’ve added a few converts to the ranks recently).
Despite the name of this blogspace, this author doesn’t actually ever get up on much of a soapbox about things, and he won’t bore you by starting now. Suffice it to say I’m generally cool with what you eat as long as you’re conscious of where it’s coming from, and that place isn’t some gruesome foie-gras or veal-cutlet factory. I do think if you’re a carnivore you should be able to, kill, flay and cook a pig yourself without getting squeamish (commit or quit folks). If you eat McDonald’s more than once a week, there’s a good chance I’m making fun of you when you’re not around (as much for health reasons as for ethical ones). If your restaurant can’t offer at least one decent vegetarian option (not the default pasta or default salad, or something off-menu you have to special request) then you’re sorta uncool (looking at you, Hilton Head). You should probably also be aware of the fuel consumption required by the meat industry too, come to think of it, especially considering recent events.
So it was this month 10 years ago that I formally gave up meat, after many years of hemming and hawing and rationalizing myself out of it in high school. In honor of spending more than a third of my years sans-hamburger, I’m going big V for the month.