In which two individuals (one an electronic music enthusiast/celebrity/bald hero, the other the executive director of Washington, D.C.’s Global Animal Partnership) provide frustratingly brief answers via e-mail through their publicist to thoughtful questions asked via email through their publicist about Gristle, their new book project, which their questioner assumes is about how meat-eating and factory-farming are bad but isn’t sure, as he has yet to see a copy. Moby and Miyun Park appear at Busboys & Poets tonight at 7 p.m.
Washington City Paper: Gustatory preferences aside, is there any good reason for wealthy urbanites in industrialized nations to eat meat?
Moby: Objectively, I cannot think of a good reason to eat meat — wealthy urbanite or not. It is an inefficient use of resources and more often than not, it leads to obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. [Your correspondent, a bald vegan, was a fan of this answer.]
Miyun Park: There is certainly no reason for anyone to support industrialized animal production and there is no reason for farmers themselves to support these intrusive systems. I encourage everyone to make informed choices at every meal. [Go, Miyun!]
Is it better to eat local, or to eat organic?
Moby: It’s hard to generalize since it really depends on the food in question, the season, and the means of production. [Though he admits to being a fan of some of Moby’s electronic music, your correspondent found this answer particularly unilluminating.]
Miyun: Eating locally, organically and supporting responsible agriculture are all important. [Regretfully, this answer provides no real information. Breathing, voting, and being kind to your neighbors are also important in this vale of tears called Earth.]
Scenario: you’re an eco-minded vegetarian in a obscure punk rock band on the road in Middle America. You don’t have a lot of money. You don’t have a chef. You don’t have room in a van for a cooler. You’re looking at a month on the road eating fast food. What’s your best option, chain-restaurant wise? [Good question, no?]
Moby: Well, I’ve done that and I’ve certainly been that person. The cheapest, easiest thing to eat on the road in Middle America is Peanut Butter & Jelly. And it is very easy to make in a van. [Your correspondent, who thought his question well-phrased and poignant, was disappointed in Moby’s answer. Does Moby eat at Taco Bell, or Chili’s? If so, what does he eat there? Unfortunately, Moby will not say, and Miyun did not even attempt to answer this question, alas.]
Scenario: you’re an eco-minded vegetarian in a famous punk rock band playing a weeklong stand at Irving Plaza near Union Square. You have an unlimited budget to spend on decadent eating out in New York City. Where do you go before your sold-out show? [Good question, no?]
Moby: I would go to Blossom or Candle 79. [Moby gets extra credit for not mentioning Teany, the vegan restaurant he is, in some way, involved in in New York. Everybody loves a modest electronica icon!]
Miyun: [I would like to eat at] HanGawi [very much]. [Full disclosure: Your correspondent has provided some context to this one-word answer in brackets.]
Temple Grandin, who’s autistic, designed a “humane” machine to pacify cows in slaughterhouses. The subject of a recent HBO film starring Clare Danes, she’s been celebrated lately. How do you feel about good people who facilitate meat-eating? [Your correspondent really slaved over this question.]
Moby: It is tricky, because I personally would like to live in a world where animals are not killed for human purposes. But if animals are being killed, I like the idea of them suffering as little as possible. [Go, Moby!]
Miyun: I’ve known and worked with Dr. Grandin for about 5 years and applaud the important work she has done to improve the lives of farm animals. [Go, Miyun!]