This was my very first rant, originally published 7/6/06 here on megnut.com (Meg is back to blogging if you didn’t know, welcome back, Meg!).  I sat down at my desk having read the Bruni agony that warm summer morning and it just came out. Has anything changed…?

This continual talk about the ethics of eating creatures that were once living is starting to get on my nerves. It’s not enough that those knuckleheads in Chicago and those sensitivos in California want to waste their time on the foie issue and the Whole Foods people figured out a cool marketing tool in playing to our arrogant anthropomorphist inclinations—giving lobsters spa treatment so we feel better about driving a knife through their skull. Brilliant.

What’s next, no oysters? No sir—they’re alive! No more salmon roe—think of all those unborn salmon you’re smearing on your toast and dotting on your blini! All the good salmon deeds that will remain undone! All that emotional life of the unborn chickens! Gone! Delicately poached and nestled on frissée! Clarence the Angel where are you?

What is going on here? Lobsters are insects! Ducks are not harmed by gavage! The real victims are the agribusiness chickens, cows and hogs, but the animal rights activists can’t touch the culprits responsible, true goliaths. So instead The People try to save the little animals. But I say such people are either motivated by self-interest or ignorance.

Beyond the fact that our current hand-wringing foreshadows an America that increasingly regulates how we live our lives (with a government attempting, via warfare, to regulate how other countries run their lives), which is scary enough, the more insidious danger to me is that we think clams and ducks and lobsters are people too. They’re not. But the flip side to this is that, in a way, we’re not all that far off when we believe such things. This is the height of human arrogance, to think that we’re somehow above the animal kingdom. We have one trait beyond our handy opposable thumb: we know we’re conscious. Ducks are conscious, yes, but do they know it? No. Perhaps some very advanced French duck is right now fitting a Gauloise into its cork-tipped filter and adjusting its existentialist beret, but not in America. They’re animals.

So are we, but in our self-consciousness we have become hubristic, and therefore harmful. Make no mistake: we are animals. I am no different from a salmon. Why else would I return to Cleveland!? Cleveland! I had to return. I returned by smell. I returned to spawn. I’m not kidding. There is no other logical justification for the apparently ludicrous decision to live in Cleveland when I don’t have to. I think if we acknowledged our place in the animal kingdom—happily at the top of the food chain—and stopped thinking we were so damned superior to animals, it would be a better earth all around. We are animals who eat other animals. There is nothing wrong with this. Has this country gone insane? Even the restaurant critic for The New York Times, former Italy bureau chief, a thoughtful and reasonable man with a powerful pen, he’s having a moral dilemma over his shrimp! This is crazy!

Where is Bourdain? Tony, you’re an evil motherfucker, but I know you’re with me on this one. Help me. Where are you? Iran? Turkey? Put down that opium pipe and get your skinny ass back to your own country and do your show here, before we lose it. We need a full and clear view of how far off the track we’ve gone with our most common and basic pursuit, to nourish ourselves and our families. We need smart voices to get us out of these woods. Where is Steingarten? Jeffrey, you scaly curmudgeon, speak up! We can’t lay it all on Pollan—he did his part. What about someone with real power to sway the American masses. Rachael Ray! How about it? She affects the cutesy Suzie next door but I know for a fact she’s got a pair of brass knuckles in the pocket of those fat pants. Emeril! Millions listen nightly to you! Put down that tube of Crest and teach people about the food we eat!

Wake up! It’s not about the ducks and the lobsters. It’s about the corn and the oil. About big business and powerful lobbying in DC. They want your money and that’s all they want. They want your money and you can give it to them or withhold it. Make good choices about what you buy and what you eat and what you feed your kids.

All right, I’m done, I haven’t even started my work this morning and I’ve gone and shot 700 words on a rant. I’m going to go eat a hot dog, that’s always a good morning restorative…

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66 Wonderful responses to “From the Archives:
It’s a Wonderful Life”

  • Sharon Scott

    Yeah where is that “mo fo” Tony these days? In the spirit of Tony and sensitivity towards animals we culturally consume (my Australian Shepherd is off limits), I say, “pass the salt”. Fun “retro” rant Michael.

  • Pam Silcox

    Hats in the air Michael! I’m in total agreement. Keep on ranting.
    By the way, what kind of hot dog do you eat? Would Jamie Oliver like it?
    Like Tony, I like meat in tube form.

  • Frank Dragna

    I agree 100%. We are becoming so politically correct about everything we are paralyzing ourselves.

    Did you know PETA is trying to rename fish “sea kittens”. I guess by calling the “kittens” we are supposed to feel sad about eating them.

    Insanity!

    • Bob

      To which I say Bruce the Sea Kitten doesn’t really attend a twelve-step group, and when he chews your face off, it won’t be cutesy-wutesy as if he was playing with a ball of yarn.

  • Susan

    So, then…A little angry, are ya? Well, don’t calm down about it. You’re right on the mark about these issues.

    I saw that documentary about where our foods really come from. It was done in 2005, I think. God that was scary and it really angered me. I’ve been trying to support local farmers as much as possible and otherwise eat naturally occuring organic produce as often as I can get ahold of it, as much out of fear for my health as for the fortunes of conscientious farming. (I need to say, I do feel for those farmers that got themselves under the thumb of big ag business too, however they got there. They are between a rock and a hard place that is being more and more impossible to get out from under. It’s a shame to think industry practices are so ruthless.) Fortunately, there is so much more untampered with foods offered now than in the past, that it’s much easier to vote big self serving agri-business out with my wallet at the grocery store. In turn, my hope is it will help all small and big farms everywhere, not just locally, so that everyone, anywhere, can eat well at all times of the year.

    As far as the Animal Rights folks go, they don’t produce anything tangible. Granted, they have kept nearly extinct wildlife from disappearing by stopping people, via the legislature, from some wasteful practices that could be problematic to the food chain. Some issues have needed that conciousness to help us realize that some deceptive practices have been occuring under our noses too. But on some issues, those that fall into that pitying consciousness that rarely serves anyone, including nature, they need to step back and look at the ramifications of their quest. There is nothing liberal about those folks when they have a mission to save a living creature from it’s natural destiny if they feel sorry for it. It can be a good thing to raise awareness but a stupid thing if it’s taken too far. If they would/could show that a practice was problematic to the future of civilization, I would be willing to listen. Otherwise, stop being ridiculous, it will hamper your credibility with real issues when they occur.

    Using common sense and some integrity when focusing on our food supply would go a long way toward curing the problems of feeding our nation well and will leave a clear conscience for everyone involved in food production in this country, if only everyone involved would just practice them.

  • Kevin

    Not all of us Californians are sensitivos. I’m all in favor of enjoying our place in the food chain.

    I’m not in favor of factory-farmed animals of any sort, though. And I question the butchers at my grocery, and the waiters in the joints I go to about where the meat comes from.

    I’ve even gone so far as to contract with ranchers for pasture raised animals — we’ve even started a buying club.

    Regards,

    Kevin

  • Claudia

    Good one Michael! I’m totally with you on this. In the interest of a better food chain in my own garden, I went out this morning and collected a bucketful of large, lovely snails. I didn’t ask them if they were happy about it. They are destined to be escargot on someone’s plate. No one around my house will eat them however, they were eating my vegetables, which I don’t want to put poison around, so rather than stomp on them, I’m taking the cash crop route.

  • Robin N

    Lobsters are *not* insects. They are crustaceans, a sub-phylum of arthropods, of which insects are another sub-group, and arachnids are yet another.

    Other than that, right on. :-)

  • Livia

    You know, Mr. Ruhlman, I’ve been a fan for awhile. And I’ve appreciated what you have to say, your recipes, and your general foodie cred. And, you know, if this were a first-time post, I’d give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your good intentions and the obvious rant-related ethos…like I do when I read comments made randomly in your posts that rather seem to undermine the progressive, intelligent, and informed perspective that (at other times) you seem to demonstrate.

    BUT…this is something that you’ve chosen to put out there in the interwebz a second time because you’re proud of it.

    Which leads me to the following:
    WTF is up with your reference to the (admittedly annoying, but frankly, that’s not the damn point) Rachel Ray’s “fat pants”? Wasn’t the brass knuckles reference funny without referencing the woman’s (completely healthy, by the way) weight and / or clothing choices? Why do you, a cogent, thoughtful, and educated writer, have to throw an elbow into someone who isn’t even on the court playing hoops? Someone who didn’t even dress out, as related to your topic, frankly. Seriously? (And, just in case, no, you’re not excused by having called Bourdain “skinny.” Just. No.)

    Or is it that you wanted to highlight your appreciation for Mr. Steingarten’s commitment to maintaining his chiseled physique (while eating everything, no less!) by shaming a woman who dares to appear on camera while not developing a visible eating disorder in response to cruel and similarly irrelevant, yet omnipresent, commentary about her weight?

    I’m going to suggest a little introspection on your part. A little feminism 101. A little fat acceptance and healthy at every size 101.

    And barring that, I’m going to suggest not referring to weight in a blog about food. I mean…seriously?!?! No one reading a food blog gives a tinker’s, well, you know, about whether you think Bourdain is a string bean or the E-V-O-O lady is hitting the stuff a little too hard.

    It’s supposed to be about the food, isn’t it?

    • craigkite

      Rachel has made reference to her own weight in the past. Michael did not make a value judgment in the “fat pants” observation. Any “negative” baggage about weight issues lie with the reader of the rant. I think there is a little over-sensitivity to a simple phrase used in a blog entry about the country being TOO POLITICALLY CORRECT. Adding the feminism reference was an attempt to side-track it to a gender issue. Livia, I only caution- lighten up- emotionally not physically. I must now drag my fat ass to work.

  • cybercita

    i must confess that after fifty plus years of being a happy carnivore, i can no longer eat meat. i’ve read too much about the food industry and thought too long and hard about what it is i’m really eating, and i just can’t do it anymore. if it means turning in my foodie card to do it, well, then take it back.

    • Matthew

      Here’s a view of slaughter which might find interesting as a foodie. Michael Gebert’s Sky Full of Bacon video (both parts are embedded in the blog entry) is a classic. The words aren’t so much a classic as a faint echo of what Ruhlman bring up: we’re animals that eat meat. It isn’t always pretty, but we shouldn’t hide from that fact.

      http://oysterandwine.blogspot.com/2008/11/sky-full-of-bacon.html

  • Matthew

    Something has changed: You can legally eat foie gras at Chicago restaurants again. So, the misdirected fight has lost ground.

    As for the good fight, even my friends who don’t obsess over food (like I do, going to great lengths to ruin my life over my passion for cuisine) saw Food Inc. That’s a start. Supersize Me started the ball rolling. Public opinion is slowly changing. Pollan is more popular and more widely read now than he was in 2006.

  • Bob

    The bulk of what we depend upon for nourishment comes from something that was once alive. Animals and vegetables are grown and harvested for the sole purpose of meeting our dietary needs.

    And Richard Wrangham (“Catching Fire”) skewers the concept of ‘raw food’ and how we *need* to cook, how cooking made us human (as we understand the term today).

    So perhaps we need less tongue-lashing about ‘sea kittens’ and what KFC does to its chickens and a greater focus on returning to basic cookery. Rediscovering home-cooked goodness like your Mark 1 Mod 0 Roasted Chicken & Vegetables will get you farther than throwing fake blood and showy protests.

  • Karin from Cleve and missing it in VA

    If just one more of us who reads and opines on blogs like yours would stop utilizing the industrial approach to food, the industry would have to take notice. Most of us in this arena are already aware and making changes in our food lifestyles.

    Most of the traditional Judeo/Christian thinking believe that animals have no souls. They were put here to feed us. Kosher and Halal methods of purification stem from times when food was literally unclean, yet those purification methods always treat the animal with respect.

    We have been so far removed from the process of raising ANY food for our own feeding that it has allowed the Humanist thinking to prevail. I am important which means I get to decide what is important for others. Including animals.

    Tysons and Perdue have been long banned from my home. I too rant to my children that we have to purposefully stay away from industrialized food if we can. I pay more at a butcher who is proud of what he does. Ask him and he’ll eagerly show you his meat locker.

    Micheal, while not much may have changed in the past 4 years to win the war, there are some battles won

    • sam wu

      are you kidding? do you even know how kosher/halal animals are slaughtered? just because you wash the animal down/point it towards mecca doesn’t make slicing its jugular and bleeding it out treating the animal with respect!!! check out some of the peta videos on kosher slaughter houses. see the cow struggle to breathe after its jugular/cartoid is slashed but the spinal column and brain functions are intact.
      i’m all for eating animals but of the dan barber school of thought. raise them humanely and slaughter them quickly and as painlessly as possible. none of this religious bs!!

  • Dan Solberg

    Ruhlman,
    You were one of my favorite writers. Now, with this article you are more like a hero. Couldn’t agree more, the “disney-fication” of our country is crazy. On a personal note I get it all the time- I am in charge of raising some of the only pasture based rabbits in the country at Polyface farm in Virginia and when I tell people this the conversation almost indefintely goes like this
    Custie; “What do you raise rabbits for?”
    Me; “Meat, sometimes we sell broodstock”
    Custie; “Do you butcher them?”
    Me; “Yes”
    Custie; “Is it hard because they are so cute?”
    Me; ” Have you ever tasted rabbit?”

    Anyways; Thanks again for fighting the good fight!!!

  • luis

    I am no different from a salmon? Really…. and that I suppose is your connection to the animal continuum.. I suppose that makes Tony a barracuda then.

    City folks tend to have issues like that. Country folks and fishermen tend to agree with you.

    Entrepeneurs just want to make $$$$…and the world just goes around and around.

  • Bob

    The primary problem with the activist approach to cruelty to food animals/livestock is that their message is lost in the gimmick.

    Attractive models dressed in lettuce-leaf bikinis may draw attention, but if you remember this protest, do you remember what it was about? What was the takeaway? (It’s not just PETA and food, but any protest – certain tactics will draw the eye and garner media attention, but if that’s ALL people see/remember, it’s the wrong tactic.)

    Contrast that to Michael’s article about roasting a chicken. Not a lot of guilt, and while there weren’t any bikini-clad models prancing about, you came away from that article with a recipe and a better understanding of how simple it is to put good food on your table. Information + achieveable steps = positive transformation.

    • Sharon Scott

      Great point Bob. I’m currently in situation where we’re trying to start a school lunch reform program. And I’m also not sure if all this media hype surrounding Jamie Oliver is good for the cause or just good entertainment. Is a Brit an appropriate media poster child for American school lunch reform??

      • Bob

        What are you looking at? Changing the institutionalized ‘school lunch,’ or engaging parents in providing healthier foods for their children (as opposed to throwing a Lunchables kit in their backpack)? Both?

        I would think about engaging teachers, parents, and the students at different levels. Teachers might be able to work some form of ‘eat this/not that’ into a lesson on nutrition, or take current events like the quakes in Chile and Haiti into discussions about hunger and nutrition – why did survivors take rice, beans, and water from stores? If the students were in a similar situation, what would they choose to take, and why?

        Parents would need ‘solutions’ for the illusion/perception that they have no time to cook/prep food, so convenience foods are the best thing/cost smart (that you can buy bags of chips in bulk at Costco doesn’t mean those chips are good for you).

        Kids need to be engaged with projects that might kickstart good habits – if it’s a parochial school, for example, turn Lenten sacrifice into 40 days of healthy eating. If it’s a public school, look for ways to make this a school-wide challenge. (If there were facilities to make it practical, it’d be interesting to scale the 5:3 bread ratio down to an individual/small portion and have the kids make their own bread.)

        I’m just brainstorming here – my expertise is in television news, so my opinion about effective communication comes from knowing what often makes the news protest-wise in contrast to the intended message.

        • Sharon Scott

          Thanks for the tips Bob. We’re just getting going with a Wellness group at school. Feel free to email me directly as well.

  • Natalie Sztern

    Rachel Ray and ‘fat pants??’. I don’t think she was fat back then?

    To think that Anne Coulter was banned from speaking in Ottawa….you go Ruhlman!!!

    • MessyONE

      Natalie – I thought Coulter absented herself from Ottawa because she was told that “willfully promoting hatred of a recognizable group” is part of the hate crimes law in Canada. That and a bunch of protestors who didn’t want her there corked it for her.

      Sigh. I stand by our house rule. I will cook vegetarian on occasion, but the sign on the dining room door says: “Vegans will be spit-roasted.”

      Chicagoans are still bitter about the former foie gras ban. Every word of criticism and every sarcastic snicker at that piece of idiocy was well deserved. The fact that a couple of prominent chefs decided to take foie off their menus is a result of cowardice.

      Very few people are concerned about foie gras. Sadly, they’re the noisiest few.

      • Natalie Sztern

        nope she was told to stay away…yes she provokes outspoken thoughts but isn’t that what free speech is all about…and no it wasn’t about any ‘hate crimes law’…she spoke at other Canadian universities – just not Ottawa…btw now I have to google if we have a hate crimes law cause I never heard of that

  • John Nouse

    And I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them. (Acts 11:17)

    I say if God did not want us to eat animals, he would not have made them out of meat.

  • Jeff

    The thing I love about cows and sheep is that they turn indigestible grass into delicious meat. Let’s start feeding our food animals the proper diet and we will be healthier for it.

  • greg hite

    Ironicly, the same folks who purport to love all animals and demand we not eat them or treat them better, shovel treats in their wn pets mouths as if fattening them up for the slaughter.

  • Tags

    You’re preaching to the choir, Michael.

    And the message is “Wake the hell up, choir!”

  • Brendan

    Michael,

    Don’t know if your feelings toward Jamie Oliver are as dismissive (or insert more appropriate word here) as your compatriot Bourdain but have you seen his Food Revolution campaign and television show here in the US? I plan to watch and I’m curious what you think of his campaign. I have tremendous respect for his fresh, home-grown ethic and appreciate his ongoing mission to teach regular people to cook in their own kitchens.

    • Natalie Sztern

      I wonder why we needed a ‘Brit’ to come over and teach us good food habits…the real kicker is that he’s raking in the big bucks doing it…on prime time network…now that hurts.

      • Bob

        It can be as simple as the ‘Brit’ is, by definition of his accent, an ‘outsider’ – we’re intrigued a bit more than by the standard announcer/narrator, so we pay a smidge more attention.

        At least he’s not running around in a pair of lettuce-leaf briefs …

        • Carrie

          Brit or not, at least he’s doing something! I have two in elementary school and neither will EVER eat the crap that comes out of that cafeteria.

          I watched one episode and the Brit thing isn’t doing him any favors in Virginia. They actually seem pretty pissed off that he’s there.

  • TripleScoop

    Wow…I felt the anger..I agree to your points…we are human top of the food chain so we think….we eat other animals because we can cook the up so tasty.

    Let just a sit back and relax and have nice ice cream sundae.

    I enjoy reading your blog keep it them coming. Thanks.

  • Sofya

    I completely agree. That’s what I always say. I have that conversation with people who take issue with my hunting from time to time.

  • Charlotte

    While walking my dog yesterday I saw the following bumper sticker “P.E.T.A — People Eating Tasty Animals.”

  • Charles Curran

    At least you won’t have to worry about ‘Healthcare’, eating all that rich food, and breathing that bad ‘Cleveland’ air. Cordially Charles

  • RP

    ugh…what a bunch of obnoxious claptrap. The whole “we’re badasses because we eat meat” trope is very tiresome. It was bad enough with Bourdain, but it’s frustrating that it’s spread to someone like you.

    The truth is that Bourdain has almost nothing interesting to say on food or the food industry at this point. He’s a publicity whore.

    As to the subject at hand, there are a lot of interesting issues here, but your post doesn’t address them (or address them intelligently).

    • Bob

      And yet, there’s nothing in your comment that works to elevate the discussion. I’m not quite sure how you distill this particular column into ‘we’re badasses because we eat meat,’ but if that’s not what you think, share your thoughts as if you were serious about persuading me to think differently.

      • RP

        It’s not clear to me why I should have any burden to “elevate the discussion.”

        • Rhonda

          RP,

          In my humble opinion, Bob was very eloquent and elegant in his suggestion to you. He was being subtle. Perhaps to protect your feelings.

          Your “Burden” lies in calling Tony a whore and saying that he has nothing interesting to say about food — without backing it up.

          Also, the “obnoxious claptrap” was written by a James Beard nominee.

          RP, Free speach is great.

          And with that, I say, you;

          You are a total douche.

          • RP

            Way to elevate the discussion, Rhonda.

            Your argument is a straight up appeal to authority — “Ruhlman is right because he’s a James Beard nominee.” That’s ridiculous, and Ruhlman would probably the first to say so. His arguments rise or fall on their own merit, regardless of his previous awards.

            But you’re right, free spEEch is great.

  • Carrie

    I’m not a vegetarian. But I have considered becoming one simply because although meat is so very tasty and is a great source of nutrition for us, it isn’t really necessary anymore. At some point in our evolution it definitely was, but these days it is easily possible to live a long healthy life without ever eating meat.

    I have no problem with killing an animal to eat it, as I share your view that we exist as a part of the natural world and it’s in our nature. I do have a problem with torturing an animal for most of its life and then eating it as many animals are in the big business of meat production these days. I have no problem eating a chicken from my local farm, but that McChicken at McDonald’s gives me pause. As you say, the real victims are the agribusiness chickens, cows and hogs.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think being concerned about the suffering of other creatures is ever a bad thing. What’s so bad about feeling sorry for shrimp? You say that we are animals like ducks or salmon, but you also say that we’re conscious unlike every other animal on earth. So we’re animals, but we are different than all other animals. Should we act different than the other animals? Animals have no choice but to eat what they’re designed to eat, be it meat or vegetation. We do have a choice – should we pay more attention to it?

  • QRic

    If it was not God’s will that we eat animals, He would not have made them from meat.

  • Loopy

    On most things, I agree with your sensibility. But on this topic, we will have to agree to disagree. I highly recommend that all read, “Consider the Lobster,” a piece originally published in Gourmet magazine by David Foster Wallace. While I still allow myself the luxury of eating lobster and foie gras occasionally, I think it’s important to understand the price and the trade-offs behind our food choices. To do otherwise is just kidding youself.

  • Joe

    Well, I like foie gras and I like lobster and I like meat that is not factory produced. I also like fresh vegetables and I like to cook. It will be salmon tonight and steak tomorrow. I wish PETA would direct its attention to agri- businesses who are hell bent on hastening our demise and working to make sure that our children die before we do. Since obesity accounts for such a big chunk of our health care they would be doing us all a favor if they did. Some may read “Consider the Lobster” (I did, but found it too vapid to be engaging), but our real problems and “factorization’ of food continue unabated. It reminds me that some can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • ET

    Anyone who eats meat should be willing to do the whole job themselves or visit the farms & industries where the animals are raised & slaughtered. If you can do that, and honestly feel good about what you see, smell & hear you are way ahead of most people.

  • Stephanie Stiavetti

    Love this. Things here in Thailand are SO DIFFERENT – you can eat everything and there is fresh food everywhere, for cheap. Like, insanely cheap. How can a country that many Americans consider less civilized than the US feed their people so much more healthfully and efficiently than we do? No real rules/restrictions here, and everyone is healthier for it.

    The funniest thing is that Americans consider this a paradox. /chortle

  • Rhonda

    Michael,

    I think Ruth Reichl, or someone equally as smart, published an article on the cost of tomatoes “in human terms” and the virtual slavery that ensues.

    I think it is important for anyone who thinks that going Vegetarian is the answer.

    They need to know that they are swapping chickens in a pen for human lives so that they can get off-season tomatoes from Florida.

  • mehdi

    Hi,

    As a citizen of Iran and a regular reader of your blog, I couldnt figure out what you meant regarding “Iran, Turkey…”. Could you please elaborate? Maybe I could do any help.

    thanks
    mehdi

    • Bob

      It’s colloquial English, and is more completely expressed as:

      ‘Where are you, Tony? Are you in Iran? Are you in Turkey?’

      And not Iran as part of Turkey.

  • luis

    Just made a really heart healthy Eggplant Parmessan that I actually liked.
    Mostly Eggplant and thin sliced tomatoes from Fl. A little panko, basil a sprinkle of mozzarella and some parmessan. Softened the eggplant in the microwave for a few minutes and then build a couple of layers and nuwave it for ten min…add the cheeses and more grinded basil and cooked for another five. Oh yes a hint of good quality olive oil. This is the thing about cooking… there are dishes that turn out and dishes that don’t… Nothing wrong with making something vegetarian once in a while. The botttom line is creatures were not meant to be penned up and artificially fattened and drugged and mistreated. You are less prone to ingest obessogens from veggies than you are from the conflict industrialized meats… That is enuff to give anyone pause for thought.

  • faustianbargain

    grow your own tomato. ‘cost in human terms’ …sheesh..now that’s a stupid reason to eat meat. what’s wrong with you people? eat your meat/fish/whatever… leave the others alone.

    you are proud of this, ruhlman? really? seriously?

  • Rhonda

    RP,

    Alas, we agree — on some things.

    Ruhlman’s arguments can stand or fall on their own. They do not need the likes of me supporting them.

    “My appeal to authority” – you must be fucking kidding. You obviously have not met me. However, I would welcome the opportunity, even though I still think you are a total douche.

    • RP

      Also, just to clarify…You are certainly entitled to support and defend Ruhlman’s arguments. But you suggested that I shouldn’t criticize him because he’s a Beard nominee. That’s the appeal to authority — Ruhlman is right because he’s been recognized in his field. I think it’s great that he was nominated (and in fact I’m a big fan…that’s the main reason I was so disappointed with this post), but that has absolutely nothing to do with his argument here.

      • ruhlman

        i tend to gravitate toward opinionated people (the opinion is less important, unless you’re a celebrity opinionator, like the beckface). which is to say i like you both! pls keep reading and writing! (but rhonda, pls don’t call me a douchebag—i know you weren’t but if you ever want to…I’d rather you didn’t.)

        • Rhonda

          Ruhlman – WTF?

          When? When have I ever called you a douchebag? A Human fart machine, yes. But douchebag – NEVER!

      • Rhonda

        RP — not to stray off topic but are you married? I think I have a total crush on you.

        No, I was not suggesting that you should not criticise Ruhlman because he is a James Beard nominee.

        When you wrote “obnoxious claptrap” I was immediately drawn to the playground and had to fight for my brother.

        I mentioned the James Beard nomination because he can write and your comment seemed dismissive.

        • RP

          ummm…definitely not where I expected this conversation to go. While I’m flattered, I must admit that I am, in fact, married.

          The “obnoxious claptrap” comment was probably a bit over the top. As I noted, I am a big fan (thinking of making the country pate recipe from Charcuterie this weekend), but I was annoyed with this post and perhaps overreacted.

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