Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vegetarians Enjoying Meat Week

Carnivores, Delight: It's Meat Week

Barbecue Lovers from 16 Cities across the Country Settle in for 8 Straight Nights of Smoked Meat

(CBS) The organizers of Meat Week know what you are thinking.

Eight straight days of eating barbecue?

Could this be real?

Yes, yes it is.

"We know it is stupid," said Derek Atkinson, the organizer of the New York City chapter of Meat Week. "It's eight nights of barbecue. It's unhealthy - it's horrible for you. But it's delicious. But it's about getting together with your friends and eating the hell out some smoked meat - and sometimes potato salad."

Meat Week was conceived by two bored coworkers in Tallahassee, Fla. Back in 2005, Erni Walker and Chris Cantey were using a word generator on Cantey's Web site that came up with the "holy combination" of "meat" and "week." "From the day we sat down and wrote 'Meat Week' in our planners, that was the day we decided to do this weird thing, and we decided that every year for the rest of our lives we'd do Meat Week now," said Walker, who now works with Cantey for a production company in Los Angeles.

"Our normal meat volume throughout the year makes meat week more special," Cantey said of his diet which includes - gasp! - tofu, tempeh and other meat substitutes.

In fact, many participants at Meat Week are vegetarians. The draw for many is the communal, family-style environment that is the hallmark of many Southern-style barbecue restaurants.

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Does it seem odd to anyone else that these vegetarians are taking the week off from their dietary convictions in order to enjoy Meat Week? I think it really goes to show you how much of vegetarianism is really just an act that some people think makes them look more “stylish”. While Meat Week may be a little over the top, the fact of the matter is that a healthy balanced diet will always include meat and dairy products, eaten in the proper amounts everyday.

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