Moby Wants Your Steak

Going vegan is the new ... whatever.

Everyone who is anyone is going twigs-and-berries these days. And just about everyone who does eventually writes an article, a book or a column for the Huffington Post all about it. Going vegan is the 2010 version of the backdoor political affair or adopting a bunch of babies--perfect fodder for getting your name in all the papers now that all the truly sexy diseases already have celebrity spokespeople, a way to look progressive and oh-so-of-the-moment without committing to anything truly out there like support of a flat tax amendment or the legalization of heroin.

It's a comfortable position to take, too. One that doesn't involve a lot of annoying research or conflicting issues, one where debate has a tendency to be quashed under the most simplistic of bumper-sticker ideologies. Animals = Good, Eating Then = Bad. And while yes, it is difficult for a proud omnivore like myself to assail the impregnable moral high ground of the vegan when I'm sitting there with blood on my chin and half a cheeseburger hanging out of my mouth, at the end of the day I will have eaten a nice, hot, greasy cheeseburger and the vegan will be going home to a bowl of cold tofu, which, to me, makes said vegan a Pyrrhic victor at best. In my world, the guy with the cheeseburger is always the winner. But that's just me ...

For any of you out there still sitting on the fence in the whole thou-shalt-not vegetarian/vegan/flexitarian/caveman debate, do I have an event for you. On March 26, the Town Hall is going to be presenting an event called the "Future of Health: Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat." And the man who'll be standing center stage for this little shindig? None other than Moby (yes, that Moby), who just co-edited a book (along with Miyun Park) called Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety.

I know, I know. Sounds like a real page-turner, right? But for the record, Moby is one of those rare vegans I respect. Not a bandwagon-jumper, not a Moby-come-lately, he has been a vegan for 15 years and, in the new book, has collected a whole bunch of writing from people all over the animal rights and agricultural sciences to talk about "how and why the over-consumption of industrially produced meat unnecessarily harms agricultural workers, communities, the environment, and human health--as well as animals."

That's pretty much what he'll be talking about on March 26. Tickets for the event are going for just $5 (available online or at the door), the fun starts at 7:30pm. And for any other information you might need, just check out the Town Hall's Web site.

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