By Glenn and Jake
People love burgers, as evidenced by the massive popularity of the FOX TV show “Bob’s Burgers,” loosely based on the moderately funny and similarly animated “Home Movies.” Burgers in all their forms are the false gods warned about in the Bible and strongly warned about in the Qur’an. We all commit a deadly sin by worship them instead of you-know-who but what kind of burger represents gluttony - the worst sin of all? This week Jake and Glenn pick up the ketchup and mustard, respectively, and discuss the best burger of all.
Glenn: A famous musician and Briton once said “meat is murder.” A less famous record producer and wig-wearer once killed an actress and is serving time in a Californian jail for it. Somewhere in between you’ll find me, passionately advocating for so-called “veggie burgers” and less passionately condemning those to hell who eat regular hamburgers. I have many rare and well done points to make in defense of veggie burgers, but the best is framed around morality and ethics. Though I do not fully understand what these two words mean in a philosophical sense, we can all understand the revulsion of seeing a video of a cow shot in the head who wanders around half alive / half dead like some sort of twenty year government employee. Maybe it’s time to give that cow a break or you’re going to find yourself suffering the same fate.
Jake: I am a pescetarian, which means I eat fish, but no meat. Yet, I do not understand people who eat so-called “veggie” burgers. First of all, they are made out of soybeans, which are legumes. Really, you are eating legume burgers, not burgers made out of vegetables. Eating a veggie burger is like wearing jeggings. They aren’t really jeans and they aren’t really burgers, so what’s the point? If you are a vegetarian, why do you want to replicate the food that meat eaters consume? Is that not a self-defeatist attitude? Are you not basically saying through your actions that people who eat meat are right because their food tastes better so you must reproduce it out of legumes? I may not be a food scientist, but as an American I feel like I can spout definitive opinions without having any really backing or proof. Therefore, veggie burgers are much worse than hamburgers and vegetarians who eat them are silently saying that meat eaters are right eating the food in which they partake.
Glenn: I am a vegetarian, which means I have an eating disorder that I try to pass off as an ethical choice. Like any real American, I was raised eating meat and am very familiar with “veggie” products that use soy and small pebbles to substitute what used to the dead carcass of an animal - an animal with a family, a job, hopes and dreams. I used to have all of those things, but now I just have veggie burgers. Of course I eat them to cling on to a time in my life where I ate meat! At no point in my militant proselytism of vegetarianism have I made the case people should stop eating meat because it tastes bad. It tastes fine, especially hamburgers. In a recent episode of Parks and Recreation, everyone agreed regular hamburgers were delicious. Legume burgers, as Jake would demand they be called, come close to mimicking the taste of cow hamburgers without the rotten taste of death.
Jake: If death tastes so rotten then why do we all die? (That is a merely a rhetorical question.) Speaking of rotten, veggie burgers do not taste all that good. I have choked a few down in my time, but I have also choked myself to reach a shameful climax. Neither, as I see it, are worth the effort. Buying pre-made veggie burgers at the supermarket is tremendously expensive. Meat burgers are more inexpensive and the materials to make them--graying, ground up cow muscle--is more widely available than textured soy or vegetable protein. Although it is true that a hamburger contains little to no ham, a point that Glenn has not even made(!), they are still better than veggie burgers, which contain no vegetables. The cow population in America is exploding like the World Trade Center when a couple of planes hit it on that fateful September morning and Osama bin Laden’s head on that beautiful May evening. Hamburgers are as American as chanting “USA!” to celebrate the death of a Middle Eastern man and veggie burgers are as un-American as protesting government sanctioned murder on Twitter and Facebook.
Glenn: You just took this debate down a dark road that no one was expecting. Certainly the American Cattle Industry has killed more living things than Osama bin Laden. The cow population is exploding but unlike developing countries it isn’t because women lack family planning options. It’s because farmers keep creating more and more cows - using their own sperm when necessary - to satisfy the needs of a burger hungry nation. Pre-made veggie burgers are more expensive than cow burgers because the hidden costs of the latter aren’t factored it. What if companies producing hamburgers were forced to take into account the lost productivity of the 100 million people worldwide that contracted “hoof and mouth” disease? What if they had to pass along the price of disposing of the excess cow? Instead you and I go to Coney Island in the summer, our child builds a sand castle with bovine skull parts and we see a cow heart in the ocean. That’s not how I want to spend my summer vacation, so please serve me a delicious Morningstar Grilled Veggie Burger the next time you have me over for a barbecue. Thank you.
Jake: First of all, you are welcome and completely wrong! There are no hidden costs when it comes to delicious cow flesh shaped into circular (or square if you’re eating at Wendy’s) patties known as the hamburger. The only “hidden” cost is the money you will lose playing the stock market because you are too busy savoring the flame-broiledness of a piping hot ‘burger on a steamed sesame bun. I would never force a person to eat a hamburger, because I am not a monster, but if I ever catch somebody eating a veggie burger they should strap themselves in for some good old fashion ridicule. The only pre-made vegetarian version of meat I would ever condone the eating of is hot dogs. Hot dogs made of meat are awful and have those little balls in them and nobody knows what the fuck those things are! It is 2011, isn’t it time to stop pretending we are eating meat and learn how to eat actual vegetables?