Monday, July 23, 2007

With pleasure... and without fatigue

Check out this poster for a sausage maker in Auvergne, in central France. It's got everything I like: a pig, seppuku, and writing I can't comprehend (though the Google translator tells me it means, "Life is cool in Gitmo, seriously.").

On a serious note, it reminds me of The Omnivore's Dilemma, a fascinating book by Michael Pollan that I read on vacation a few weeks ago. One of the interesting arguments of the book confronts the claim by animal rights activists who say we should not slaughter animals because we have to consider the animal's best interest. While an individual animal's interest is certainly to survive, Pollan argues, the best interest of the species is to remain a food source for humans. How many cows would there be today if their meat made us sick? Not many.

Pollan does a much more thorough job of eliciting the argument that I have here, but it's an interesting point. My personal take on the matter can be summed up by a bumper sticker I saw years ago. It read:

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?"

Monday, July 2, 2007


I rounded off my weekend with a Sunday evening round of golf. It was a beautiful day, the bills were paid, the fridge was full, and the garbage was out. Apparently I wasn't the only one with the idea, because the course was packed full, and there was a 30 minute wait to tee off.

It didn't matter much to me. I don't play golf for an adrenaline rush, and a hurried round of golf is rarely worth playing. Apparently the couple I played with don't share my feelings, however.

They were aspiring lawyers, just out of law school and mired neck deep in preparing for the Massachusetts Bar. By contrast, I had been out to the bar three nights in a row. The difference was astounding. They both were better golfers than I, but you wouldn't know it from the number of balls they bounced into the woods, or the frequency of mulligans they took (what does it mean for the future of the justice system when an aspiring lawyer repeatedly hits the same shot until he finds one he likes?).

These nice folks carried their stress out onto the golf course, and it showed in every swing, curse, and half-hearted putt. They complained about the pace of the game, the condition of the course, other golfers. They didn't seem to notice that the sun was setting on another beautiful summer's day, or that the game of golf is supposed to be fun...