America’s love affair with meat, explained.

America’s love affair with meat, explained.


Americans eat a lot of meat. We eat it
for all meals for the day, Because it’s the Fourth of July, because we’re at a baseball game, and because, hey, it’s on sale. We consume more of it then the rest of
the world, and all that consumption has a big
impact. If everyone ate meat like Americans, it would be a disaster. so what is it
about us So what is it about us, that’s turned America into a nation of carnivores? It could be our wealth – but there are other countries that are
wealthier. It could be our farm subsidies – but lots of other countries have those too. I was curious – so I phoned a meat historian. “My name is Maureen Ogle, and I’m a historian.” For seven years she researched meat and
in the end, she wrote a book about it. This book. So, why are we such meat fanatics? “One thing that’s important to know
about the people who settled North America, is that they all left a place that food was often scarce in a way that’s nearly impossible for us to imagine now.” In Europe land was in short supply and
cities were growing rapidly. Only royalty ate meat regularly,
because they were the only ones who had access to grazing land. In America, by contrast, the land was there for the taking – from the Native Americans. Colonists didn’t know how far west the West went. And with their legal structure, almost
anyone could own livestock. “It was so easy for livestock to
reproduce – within just a generation or two, colonists became accustomed to the
notion that meat was always available and always on the table.” There are cases where indentured
servants complained or away because they weren’t getting fed enough meat – and in general, the colonial legal system agreed – everyone deserved meat. “But I think that sense of entitlement became a defining characteristic of what it meant to be an American.” Right from the beginning we wanted meat, because it felt like America was teeming in this endless bounty of wildlife, land, and, uh – pigs. After Americans had settled down and got
comfortable, farmers packed up been headed to the
city – but urban Americans kept their appetite for meat. “That’s important because city people don’t produce their own food.
Approximately 1810, about 7 percent of Americans lived in an urban
place. By the time the Civil War broke out, almost a quarter of them did.” Initially, people just ate less meat. It made sense – fewer farms meant less. But, urban Americans demanded more and cheaper meat and our modern industrial system obliged. By the late 1800s America had built up an extraordinarily
large, lucrative, and efficient system for raising livestock turning them into meat, and distributing that meat to stores across the U.S. Meat traveled distances in hours –distances that once took weeks. Transportation and other technologies,
like refrigeration, made meat cheaper and cities more
attractive. And cheap meat is what Americans wanted. So what’s the deal with Americans and meat? It’s the idea that we’re entitled to it –
the sense that land and resources are plentiful and inexhaustible – and even if the US is consumption has
decreased ever so slightly were still far more carnivorous than most. Most countries love meat – but we Americans have
had such a full history with it, because it was – from the very beginning – cheap and available. and we’ve worked hard to keep it that way. “Meat is a whole lot like gasoline, the only time Americans really get upset
about meat is if it suddenly seams unafforable and as soon as the prices go back down – well then no one’s got any complaint.” When Americans met meat, it was love at first sight. Now we
have to figure out how to live happily ever after. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

3 thoughts on “America’s love affair with meat, explained.”

  1. People don't really need meat to live, but it's so delicious.

    I actually don't eat a lot of it though I do like it.

    edit. However there will be new sources of food like vat grown meat, insects like mealworms that turn feed into meat more efficiently than even chickens. Most promising in my opinion is algae due to its incredibly high productivity and ability to grow different strains, some high in protein, others starches, others fats, others sugars, that can be mixed and turned into many different things.

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