Jesse Robison

Jesse Robison

Many respected scientists have contended for years that our planet is getting hotter due to accumulating greenhouse gases. Given last month’s searing weather throughout the Western United States, and the heat shattering records frequently being reported around the globe, it is becoming harder to dispute this life-threatening development.

Studies vary, and it is difficult to document the full impact of livestock farming, but somewhere between 25 percent to upwards of 50 percent of global greenhouses gases are claimed to be a direct result of animal farming, which contributes substantially to the world-wide temperature increases. Adding to the equation is the excessive burning of fossil fuels with fewer people these days claiming it’s all bunk; we are sweating this one out together whether we like it or not.

It’s obvious that we need to continue reducing our dependence upon fossil fuels, but I am also pondering the question whether one should eat less meat or other animal flesh. Making a full disclosure, I am a lifelong carnivore who enjoys steaks, hamburgers and any kind of meat and potatoes slathered with gravy (comfort food), and you don’t want to get me started waxing about beloved seafoods dipped in butter and lemon.

During my life’s journey, I have met all types of people when it comes to food preferences. Having read Vardis Fisher’s account of the Lewis and Clark expedition (drawn from their journals), I was astounded to learn these hardy men consumed an average of nine pounds of meat daily when game was plentiful including many dogs sold to them by Native tribes. What “meat-lovers” pizza consumer wouldn’t have enjoyed being on that adventure, dog eating aside?

These days one encounters all types of altered diets, some legitimate and others being the latest fad. An occasional vegetarian can be mildly condescending towards we, more primitive, meat eating savages. None of them have persuaded me eating meat, in and of itself, is an unnatural act beneath the dignity of civilized humans.

I understand eating less protein is easier on the planet, but there are times when a grilled steak is an irresistible crave. Also, some of these so-called healthy diners consume a whole lot of crap in the name of saving the planet from obtuse humans.

Looking at nature, it is truly a “dog eat dog world.” Park in the ocean and observe all things for awhile, and you will conclude the entire planet is a food chain. However, humans with our allegedly superior brains are egocentric enough to think we aren’t worthy of becoming “Lords of the Flies,” when in fact that is typically our daily reality.

However Mary, a new friend of mine, made the best argument I have heard in my lifetime (being male) for considering a reduced meat diet. I was raised in a household where fresh vegetables and fruit were often consumed with ample meat. Therefore, I like veggies, but I crave meat and carbs whenever I go meatless for more than a few days.

Mary has some health issues, and she has turned to a vegetarian diet to minimize their detrimental effects. She noted her family of confirmed meat-lovers still want their “carne” but also enjoy her vegetarian plates. Mary was at my house for a small dinner party when she claimed there are other health benefits to eating solely a vegetarian diet.

“Like what?” I asked.

“Well, for example, a study was done on a group of young men where one test group was fed a vegetarian diet and the other group was given a meat-laden diet. It was found that the men who were fed a vegetarian diet had improved erections.”

“Okay, Mary. I need more details.”

Without losing a stroke, Mary said, “They found that the men obtained erections more quickly and they were more turgid.”

I considered turgid to be a good William Faulkner word (this coming from a lady who grew up in the South). Smiling, I observed that she was essentially “talking about erection perfection.”

Our dinner group laughed and the conversation moved upward to other titillating topics, but I thought long and hard that night about Mary’s intriguing contention. Doing follow-up research, I discovered her position was based upon equally turgid and flaccid evidence.

The claim men who eat more vegetables have better erections was bolstered by a thin study done that is cited in the documentary, The Game Changers, co-produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is about athletes who excel on meatless diets. It was a small group of men who participated in the study, and more reliable testing is being done. Given men’s fondness for their equipment, I doubt there will be a shortage of funds for pursuing studies of this startling scientific potential.

It struck me that Mary had advanced the most persuasive argument men would ever consider for switching from meat-laden diets to plates heaped in veggies and salad greens, but I considered her enlightening information to be dangerous knowledge.

One of the biggest issues that exists between many lovers is their differing sexual libidos. Who doesn’t have a friend who isn’t getting enough or another friend who has heard “brace yourself Gertie” one thousand times too many.

Therein lies the dangerous rub with this new found knowledge. I’m not in a relationship these days; therefore, my palate will continue with feasting upon everything I love. But I admit Mary has fostered a new-found zest in me for fresh veggies and fruit.

Do consider being observant though if your partner cooks your meals and reads this column. If you find your favorite meats and carbs have been replaced with Popeye size stacks of spinach and big cucumbers, it’s probably time to step up your performance in the love shack aka the shag.

Then again, if your loving mate has always made you delicious salads, but begins feeding you plates stacked with T-bone steaks and ample Fred Flintstone’ turkey legs, there’s probably been overzealous bone-marrow being proffered at your house.

Those actively engaged in romance can struggle to obtain balance in their lives. It’s hard to say whether this exciting news will produce an escalating run on the salad department or a downward spiral in the angus species, but one thing is certain — Ms. Mary is a persuasive counselor. She certainly knows how to articulate an inspiring argument where the male species is concerned.

Jesse Robison is a Pocatello native educated in Idaho. He works as a mediator and insurance claim consultant, but his passion is public art. Robison has spearheaded art improvements throughout Pocatello, including the Kizuna Garden located at the Pocatello airport, and serves on the Bistline Foundation.

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