Red meat is good for you. A team of respected mathematicians examined the same research that some vegetarians used to convince people that red meat is bad for you – and came to the opposite conclusion. It turns out that the vegetarians were using something called fuzzy math, which is a form of new math for people who aren’t good with numbers.
I have nothing against vegetarians. Many people in Asia were vegetarian until they got better. My mother recently became a vegetarian; she is cramming for her finals and believes that vegetarians get fast tracked to the Pearly Gates.
It’s the activist vegetarians who are the problem; weaponised lentils who are completely against fun and would ban not just meat, but also alcohol, cigars, sex, travel and electricity on the grounds that it is good for the planet. As Churchill once said when confronted with a non smoking, vegetarian teetotaller – “there but for the grace of God, goes God!” Given half a chance the vegetarians will kidnap your children and turn them into poor mathematicians.
Apparently being a vegetarian is good for the planet. Cow farts emit so much methane that it is warming the planet. Of course if you are a vegetarian and eat like a cow, the problem is simply transferred. Which is why it is a bad idea to hang out in enclosed spaces or public transport in predominantly vegetarian countries.
To celebrate the life affirming properties of beef I made a bee line to my local steak house. This is no ordinary chop house. Macellaio RC boasts the tag line “Il teatro de la carne” – the theatre of meat. The window features big purple slabs of Piedmontese fassone beef ageing for 50 days on butcher hooks. These wonderful animals have a rogue gene that make their meat extraordinarily low in cholesterol, while delivering an extra blast of beefy flavour. On the pavement, in front of the window, is a comfortable leather sofa for cigar smokers. All the vices are celebrated here.
Inside it is pure bovine theatre. A butcher slams huge chunks of meat on the counter, wielding a cleaver with intent. The waiters lay the tables by stabbing viciously sharp steak knifes into the long suffering wood. The aroma of steak sizzling over open flames wafts in from the kitchen. I felt like a mosquito in a nudist colony.
We ordered the famous Fiorentino cut of steak. The menu stated that it was for two. In reality it is a vast slab of meat with enough protein to sustain a cattle car full of vegetarians. Cooked briefly over very high flames the muscle fibres of the meat soften and the fat melts into the steak. The Fiorentina is lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper – this is meat that needs no sauce. This is a steak so perfect that I wanted to speak to it, to commune with it. Except that I had just eaten it
There’s not much else to the menu at Macellaio RC. There’s beef. And there’s wine. And beautiful Italian men and women who come to eat, drink and gesticulate wildly. The small-producer wine list is all Italian and produces such gems as the delicately perfumed but full bodied Nebbiolo we drank.
I took a moment to appreciate what I had eaten. Unlike making a vegetable which consist of sticking some seeds into a pile of dirt, making a steak requires many specialist skills. Cowboys go round on horseback and gather their cattle. Prize bulls impregnate magnificent cows. Butchers with specialist skills carve the animal with knives made by craftsmen. The meat is hung and aged in salt encrusted chambers – with salt flown in from the Himalayas. Men and women have spend thousands of years perfecting these techniques. No Brussels sprout can compare.