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Austin Book Festival

Two vegetarians vs. Two meat eaters. Guess which side I was on? Yep, it was a good old fashioned Texas showdown!

As part of the amazing Texas Book Festival, I was invited to be on a panel moderated by the effusive and lovely Corby Kummer. My fellow panelists were Jimmy McWilliams, a professor and author of Just Food. He argues that local food isn’t all that good and that GM crops might be a boon for our society. He also thinks meat eating should cease. Effective immediately. Jonathan Safran Foer is the stellar novelist who recently published a book about his emotional and philosophical issues with meat eating. Finally, there was Jason Sheehan. A total card/character/really great columnist for Westword in Denver. He actually said, “if my customers like meat that was fed eagle eggs, then I’m serving it.” Even the wild west of Austin grew silent at this, then they laughed. Appropriate response.

ncjsfaustinThen there was me. Like ham in a man sandwich. In the end, I decided the JSF and I have more in common than most vegetarians and carnivores. The whole idea for me, is animal welfare. I want them to have a good life and then they will be more tasty. JSF maybe wants them to stop being tortured on factory farms. It’s not rocket science, he is right. If vegetarians and supporters of good meat could come together, things might just change.

The best part of the whole thing? We got to take over the House Chambers, a giant room where laws get made. I wondered out loud why the public and people like me were allowed to take over the Capitol for Book Fest every year. Turns out the Texas legislature only meets every other year. “If they met more often, they’d just make too many laws,” a young buck explained to me. Ha ha.


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