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To Eat Meat Or Not

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  • Meathead
    BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
    • May 2014
    • 1271
    • Chicago area
    • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen

    To Eat Meat Or Not

    “How do you know when someone’s a vegan? Don’t worry—they’ll tell you.” Anonymous

    You are probably a meat eater or you wouldn’t be reading this. But you know people who are vegetarian or vegan. Perhaps people who sit at your dinner table regularly. And they have a point of view. A strong point of view and they aren’t shy about sharing it. In fact they probably prosthelytize. They want to convert you. If you are a conscious eater, perhaps their arguments have made you wonder about your choices. Here are the arguments pro and con surrounding the choice to eat meat or not. By the way, I keep a list of references on the subject if you want to see them, let me know.

    Some definitions

    Vegan or Total Vegetarian. Eats only foods from plants including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts.
    Lactovegetarian. Eats plant foods and dairy products.
    Ovo-lactovegetarian or lacto-ovovegetarian. Eats plant foods, dairy products, and eggs.
    Pescetarian. Eats fish but no other animal flesh. Unclear if this person eats dairy and/or eggs. By the way, fish flesh is muscle and therefore, meat. Just sayin’.
    Semi-vegetarian. Will not eat red meat or pork, but may eat fish or fowl.
    Macrobiotics. They subsist largely on grains, legumes, and vegetables. Fruits, nuts, and seeds are eaten to a lesser extent. Some may eat fish.
    Veg*n. My contraction of vegan and vegetarian meant to encompass both approaches.
    Flexitarian. Eats meat only once or twice a week. Maybe three times. It's flexible.
    Omnivore. I call them omnis in this article. Eats everything edible. Might even eat veg*ns.
    Carnivore. Eats only meat. Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my.


    Veg*ns say.Meat is bad for you. It contains too much saturated fat and makes you obese which is the root cause of a whole range of health issues. Vegetarians have lower body mass indices, lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, as well as prostate and colon cancer.

    Omnis say. Meat is good for you, it contains things you cannot get from vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits. For example, animal flesh contains vitamin B12 which is essential for good health. Without it you can suffer from a host of problems including cognitive decline, anemia, heart disease, and stroke. Veg*ns must take B12 supplements to prevent illness. You can stay healthy with a vegan diet, but you need a lot of knowledge and supplements.

    Recent research shows there are benefits to animal fats that contain compounds such as omega 3 not often found in other oils. You need cholesterol. The problem is when you have too much of the bad type of cholesterol. Recent research says that dietary cholesterol does not translate to blood cholesterol in most people.

    As for type 2 diabetes, its rise is a recent phenomenon in Western civilizations, but meat has been an important part of the Western diet for centuries. Meat is probably not the culprit and several large studies and meta studies find no link.

    Some studies have linked meat to cancer but they have a major flaw: They lump all meats together including fresh meat and cured meats like hot dogs. There is a huge difference in their chemistry. Another flaw in the studies is cooking methods. High heat and burning meats can produce carcinogens (HCAs and PAHs), but if cooked at lower temps, little to no carcinogens are made. Deep frying things like potatoes produces far more of these compounds than properly cooked meat.

    Remember, dietary research is mostly epidemiological research, a technique with many known flaws (see page???).

    Veg*ns. Food borne disease is a problem with meat. Ground meats are downright dangerous. They are often contaminated with pathogens. They can kill. They are contaminated because animals are kept in cramped unsanitary conditions in contact with feces and the pathogens get on their skins and feed. Pathogens get on the meat in the butchering because slaughterhouses move too quickly and don't take enough care. It is all driven by greed.

    Omnis. Heat kills pathogens. Handle meat properly and cook it to a safe temp and you have nothing to fear. It’s that simple. Scientists call cooking the “kill step”. In fact, sprouts, lettuce, spinach, have made far more people sick than meats. Some of them get contaminated by water contaminated with farm animal waste, but it is really easy for bird poop, wild animal waste, and insects to contact crops in the field, and for rats and mice to get at it in transit or storage. Once one head of lettuce is contaminated by bird poop, it can spread to thousands of heads in the wash water baths farmers use if they are not properly chlorinated, a common problem because chlorine is so volatile.

    Scientists say the riskiest food in the grocery store is sprouts because the seeds are often contaminated, and in order to grow them they must be soaked with warm water and kept wet, perfect growing conditions for pathogens.


    Veg*ns. Humans were not meat eaters until the Ice Age. Over the course of history, we were vegetarians longer than we were omnivores.

    Omnis. Humans have evolved as omnivores. We evolved to stand erect, with large brains, and learned tool use so we could chase animals and kill them with spears. Our teeth, saliva, and digestive systems are designed for eating meat. Our jaws are smaller than apes (who are mostly vegetarian), and our digestive systems smaller because we learned to cook and that made food easier to chew and nutrients easier to digest. Here’s a remarkable fact: Our pancreas has evolved to produce an enzyme called elastase. It does one thing: Digests elastin, a protein found only in meat. This can only mean that we are designed to be meat eaters.

    Veg*ns. Our canine teeth can be used to bite apples as well as meat. We can evolve again.

    Omnis. Most cultures have meat in their religious ceremonies. In the US, since the end of WWII it became practically a national mantra to have meat once a day. We were taught that this was a balanced diet.

    Veg*ns. We were taught wrong. It doesn't matter what our ancestors did. The world today is vastly different. Technology has freed us from hunting for survival. We have to understand that our cultures and traditions arose from ignorance centuries ago. We now know more and we need to leave behind foolish things as we mature as a society.


    Veg*ns. There are a lot of fabulous tasting recipes that don't involve meat or animal products. You can be thoroughly satisfied without eating meat.

    Omnis. Meats taste better than veggies. A lot of vegetables taste bad. For many people, the culinary arts are as vital as the other arts, and living without meat would be like life without dance.

    Veg*ns. Most omnis don’t like liver, heart, tripe, brains, or kidneys so not all meat is delicious. This is the definitive case of taste being a matter of taste.

    Omnis. So how come so many veg*n products are made to taste like meat? Why is the veg*n hamburger that tastes like beef the holy grail?


    Veg*ns. Killing animals is murder.

    Omnis. According to the dictionary of legal terms at Law.com, murder is "The killing of a human being." So killing animals or plants cannot be murder.

    Veg*ns. Who gave us the right to enslave animals to make milk, eggs, and then eat their flesh? The basis of a vegan life is to refrain from taking things that aren't ours.

    Omnis. These animals wouldn’t have been born and had a life if they weren’t bred for food. It is natural selection to put animals and plants to work for us. Humans have earned their place near the top of the food chain. Big bugs eat little bugs. Frogs eat big bugs. Snakes eat frogs. Hawks eat snakes. When it dies hawks are eaten by maggots, molds and mushrooms. Veg*ns eat mushrooms. It is the circle of life.

    In the wild sweet cute animals eat each other all the time. Sometimes a sow will eat her piglets. Even our kin, gorillas eat a monkey now and then. Many animals will gladly kill a human and dogs, cats, and pigs will gladly eat a dead person. Veg*ns are fine with animals eating animals “in nature”. Well I am an animal, and I am part of nature, and any animal I eat is killed much more humanely than any animal eaten by another in nature. Eat or be eaten is the way of the world.

    "Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?" Anonymous

    Veg*ns. Animals are sentient beings. Animals have feelings and thoughts and vegetables do not.

    Omnis. This is anthropomorphizing. Just because animals have eyes and faces, and might even change expressions, it doesn’t mean they have the same feelings and thoughts as humans.

    Veg*ns think omnis are being smartassws when they say plants have feelings too, but veg*ns need to recognize the truth and deal with it. Sentience is defined as the ability to feel or perceive. A great deal of research has proven that plants feel pain and have feelings too. Even though they don’t have neurons, they respond to environmental changes in a similar way as animals. Their biological systems are intricate and complex. Many plants and microbes do not want to be eaten and have elaborate mechanisms to protect themselves. Even microbes have been shown to have sophisticated sensing, communication, and collaboration skills. They have a complex chemical language using molecules to share info about their surroundings and threats.

    My wife, a renowned microbiologist, told me that “Every form of life deserves respect, not just the charismatic megafauna made popular by Disney. Every species has a role. Every species is integral to the ecosystem. Every species is somebody’s hunter, somebody’s prey, somebody’s partner. To claim that animals have greater rights than plants is an assertion not based on an understanding of the biological world. Death is part of all life. A plant is as highly adapted for its niche as a pig. If my ethics prevented me from killing sentient beings, then I could not even brush my teeth. People who are vegetarians because they think killing animals for food is murder do not understand the biological world.”

    Which begs the question, what is it about faces that make some animals special?

    Veg*ns. Plants make a lot more foliage than they need to live so it doesn’t hurt them for us to take some, in fact pruning them often encourages them to grow more vigorously. Their fruits are intended to smell and look appetizing because when they are picked and eaten the seed is more likely to be spread. Being eaten furthers the mission of the life cycle of fruits.

    Omnis. This is part of their survival mechanism. When cut back they grow more because they sense they might die. They don’t want to die.

    Veg*ns. Killing animals is a vicious act that inures us to the feelings of others and it corrodes individuals and society and encourages violence.

    Omnis. That is possible, but most of us don’t actually kill animals, we hire others to do it. I hate to say it, but, if you include soldiers, there are probably more people in the US who have killed people than have killed animals. If you are pointing a finger at hunters, hunting is needed to control wildlife populations. Deer would overrun many farms and destroy vegetable crops if hunters did not thin the herd.

    Veg*ns. Eating pigs is as barbaric as eating dogs, something most westerners would never do. In fact, there is evidence that pigs are smarter than dogs.

    Omnis. Dogs are family. They live in our homes, sleep in our beds. Our intimate relationship with dogs goes back to the dawn of time when we hunted together as a pack to feed each other. Our relationship with dogs is unique. Dogs also eat animals, by the way. Making them vegans would be cruel to our best friends. Because dogs are not humans, when they are at death’s door, we practice mercy killing, something most societies do not allow us to do for people.

    Veg*ns. The way we grow animals, hold them on factory farms is inhumane. Then we cram steers with grains that they have problems digesting. Then we cram them into slaughterhouses where they can smell and hear death. Then we manhandle them just before the kill. Then we kill them cruelly so some die slowly and in pain. Just watch the films of animal cruelty from factory farms and slaughterhouses. Factory farms and slaughterhouses are beneath our dignity. They are inhumane. They harm not only animals but workers mentally. Although animals raised on small farms are better off than those raised in a factory farm, both are wrong.

    Omnis. Factory farms produce the meat at a low cost, and consumers benefit, especially poor people. They save people from starving. If you value human life over the lives of animals, then efficiency is important. First of all, cattle love eating corn, but feedlots almost never give cattle pure corn. It is almost always a mix of corn or other grains and forage (grass, hay, etc.). Pure corn will make them sick and sick cattle are not good for business.

    Many omnivores share your distaste for inhumane conditions in factory farms and slaughterhouses but most are not as bad as some of the sensational YouTube videos. They are the exception cherry picked for impact. Modern slaughterhouses are designed to keep the animals calm before they are killed rapidly and painlessly. Agitated animals produce adrenaline and other compounds that make their meat lower quality. Chemicals produced by stress, fear, and pain are not good for the bottom line. It is well known that animals killed instantly and painlessly yield better tasting meat so the industry works hard to keep animals calm and death painless. Heart surgery is pretty frightening to watch, but it is not something we want to ban.


    Veg*ns. Farm animals have a huge carbon footprint. The world's livestock population produces more greenhouse gases than automobiles and a lot of it is methane. Livestock occupy a large percentage of arable land. Animals consume a great deal of water, a huge problem in places like California and Texas and most of Africa where water is in short supply. Livestock waste often pollutes rivers and lakes, the smell is intolerable forcing neighbors to sell their homes at huge losses, and animal fertilizer spray drifts into residential areas causing illnesses. A lot of rainforests and their ecosystems, biodiversity, water holding properties, undiscovered medicinal plants, and beauty are being destroyed for growing livestock and their feed.

    Omnis. Rice growing and fracking for oil create much more methane than animals. Some research claims that rice alone produces more methane than livestock. And chopping down forests, plowing under prairies, and draining wetlands to plant miles and miles of corn and soy and other monocultures destroys entire ecosystems that were homes to millions of diverse creatures. It promotes erosion and evaporation, and water runoff from fertilized fields topped with herbicides and pesticides is a massive source of pollution. Compare this with a field of sustainable pasture where biodiversity and soil activity actually increases. Perennials, like grasses, are hugely beneficial. And they need animal fertilizer. Together they fortify the soil. There is good research showing that livestock is beneficial to the environment when managed properly. Annuals such as corn, soy, beans, vegetables, legumes, and other row crops are deleterious and destroys topsoil. Runoff is killing the Gulf of Mexico.

    Veg*ns love their bananas but take a close look at the impact. Tons of chemicals, many of which are banned in the US, are used to grow beautiful fruit, and many plantations tie plastic bags over the young fruit to protect it. Still, the UN estimates that more than 30% of the crop is discarded because it is less than perfect. Banana trees need loose soil and high organic matter but the trees shed no leaves so there is no natural compost. As a result, fertilizer use is high and runoff is killing the coral reefs of Costa Rica. To get at good soil, rainforests are being destroyed to move crops and plant anew while countless animals die. Then there is the rampant child labor, inhuman working conditions, and disgraceful wages. Have I mentioned shipping costs?

    Of course each species of animal and vegetable is different. Some have greater impacts than others. But both have pluses and minuses that are exceedingly hard to calculate.

    Veg*ns. Much of the corn and soybean harvests are for animal feed.

    Omnis. Most veg*ns are adamant about eating organic food, but where will all that fertilizer come from once cattle are banned? And just how safe is food grown in animal waste (see page???)? Most veg*ns refuse to wear leather, but their shoes and belts are often made from oil derivatives. And how much fuel is burned shipping your veggies in from the Southern Hemisphere during winter? What does that do to the environment? Canning and pickling are not solutions. They use energy, destroy nutrients, and most taste bleah.

    Veg*ns. The meat industry hires a lot of illegal immigrants and that just encourages them to risk their lives crossing the border and desserts.

    Omnis. So do farmers. Without illegals food would be a lot more expensive.

    Veg*ns. We are eating species to extinction especially seafood like swordfish, bluefin tuna, and Chilean seabass.

    Omnis. If we all go veg*n many farm animal species such as Angus cattle will go extinct and millions of workers would be displaced. Removing corn subsidies that make animal feed cheap might be a partial solution, making meat reflect the actual cost of inputs and impact on the environment. But it would have a devastating impact of farmers and farm workers. Veg*ns portray all farmers as factory farmers but there are still a lot of small family farms run by Old MacDonald.

    Veg*ns. Abolishing slavery resulted in a total upheaval of the Southern economy, especially the plantation economy, and devastated the lives of slave owners and slaves. So was it wrong to abolish slavery?


    So much of this debate is unsettled. Animals seem to be godlike to both sides. Dietary choices have become demi-religious in our society. Debate is healthy but religion is very personal and it is the height of arrogance to evangelize and convert friends and family. Perhaps we should stop thinking of our personal philosophies as truth and show some tolerance and flexibility.

    Both sides have strong arguments and plenty of useful data to back them up. Perhaps we should be aware that popular media usually lacks the sophistication and expertise to communicate science well and that not all research is high quality. Alas, unfortunately, it is hard to find studies that are truly unbiased or unflawed. It seems to me, from wading through the research at length over many years, that nobody really knows exactly what the environmental impact of growing meat or vegetables, or the health consequences of eating meat.

    Methinks that one might come to the conclusion that, I know this is a crazy idea, we should eat a balanced diet with not too much of one thing or another. If you fear that meat is bad for you or the environment or cruel, perhaps you should try to buy meat that is humanely raised and painlessly slaughtered or perhaps you should skip meat a few meals a week.

    I'm now 70 years old and consider myself a conscious eater. As I have said before, worrying about what you eat, or what others eat, will kill you faster than anything you can eat.
  • Jerod Broussard
    • Jun 2014
    • 9431
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
      Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
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      2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
      Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
      Thermoworks Timestick
      Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
      B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
      B & B Pellets

    “How do you know when someone’s a vegan? Don’t worry—they’ll tell you.” Anonymous


    • BRic
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 370
      • Winnipeg Mb. Canada
      • Napoleon bbq
        ​​​​​​Broil King Keg
        ​​​​Hunsaker Smoker
        Pit Barrel Cooker
        Maverick ET-733 Wireless Thermometer
        ThermoPop Temp
        2 - ThermoWorks DOTs Temps
        UUNI infrared Thermometer gun
        LEM 1182 Meat Grinder
        Cabela`s Sausage Stuffer
        Grill Grates

        Red River Rumble BBQ and Grill
        Reserve Grand Champions Backyard
        2018 Morrris Manitoba

      We have a few friends that our vegan , when my daughter got married we had special meals for them . we did a taste sampling and I had second thoughts , I should of order a extra meal , I would of ate that it was dam good . The old saying is We Are What We Eat. so To Each They Own . Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      • HouseHomey
        Club Member
        • May 2016
        • 4798
        • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
        • Equipment
          Primo Oval xl

          Slow n Sear (two)
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          22" Weber Kettle
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          Meat grinder
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          Too cast iron pans,
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          Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732 and various pocket instareads.
          The help and preferences
          1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
          A 7 year old princess foster child
          Patience and old patio furniture
          "Baby Girl" The cat

          Erik S.

        Wowz. I always heard there are three things people will tell you within 60 seconds of a conversation.

        1. I’m vegan
        2. I’m gluten free
        3. I’m from New York (sorry New Yorkers)

        Thats a read. We get all kinds at work. Things I’ve never heard of. Crazy.


        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          Having lived in Los Angeles for nearly five years, and now 11 in Chicago, We have a wider range of Mexican food here. I'm not sure why, but I think we have populations of Mexicans from a wider swath of Mexico... more Michoacans, Sinaloans, Oaxacans, Yucatans, etc. So. Cal has better Baja mexican though.

        • HouseHomey
          HouseHomey commented
          Editing a comment
          Potkettleblack Chicago has a lot of “Mexicans” vs Central Americans. We have a lot of Central Americans here and the east coast does as well however I grew up in Santa Ana so the food you have is what I grew up on. We have Baja and chihuahua and the like. The Sonoran area has fabulous food. Now get three worlds between Baja, and Central America. It’s great but long since stopped eating at those places.

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, well, I'M FROM TEXAS!
      • Troutman
        Club Member
        • Aug 2017
        • 6908
        • Republic of Texallence

          22" Weber Kettle - Red Premium Limited Edition
          6 Burner Weber Summit Gasser
          22" and 18" Weber WSM Smoker
          18” Jumbo Joe
          36" double door Lyfe Tyme offset stick burner (SOLD !)
          Pitts & Spitts Pellet Pro 2436
          Classic Thermopen
          Thermoworks SMOKE
          Fireboard Pro with Pit Viper fan
          Grill Grates
          SNS for the 22" Weber kettle
          A-MAZE-N Smoker 12" Tube & Tray
          Weber stainless veggie basket
          Weber stainless fish basket
          Weber stainless rib rack
          Phat Mat cooking mats
          Barbestar BBQ Cooking Gloves
          For Beef (brisket, beef ribs, large clods/roasts) = 100% mesquite, oak or hickory
          For Chicken & other fowl = competition blend, cherry/oak/hickory
          For Turkey = 100% hickory or competition blend
          For Pork Shoulder = mesquite, oak or hickory
          For Pork Chops or Ribs = 100% applewood
          SOUS VIDE
          Anova Immersion Circulator 900 watt & 12 & 18 quart Rubbermaid containers with hinged sous vide lids
          Generic Calphalon non-stick cookware set of pots and pans
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          JA Henckels 15 piece Stainless Knife Set
          Victorinox 12" Fibrox Pro Slicing Knive
          Victorinox 6" Curved Boning Knife
          Set of Dalstrong Japanese Steak Knives

        I’ll be giving up my meat when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands ..... period.


        • Neris
          Club Member
          • Dec 2018
          • 178
          • Dublin, Ireland (europe)

          Vegetarians were bad these feckin vegans are even worse. Thankfully I don't have any close vegan friends or family but if any come to mine there's a garden full of grass out back that needs trimming


          • Pequod
            Club Member
            • Apr 2016
            • 475
            • Crozet, VA
            • Gear
              • Komodo Kamado 23" Ultimate
              • Komodo Kamado 32" Big Bad
              • Medium Konro

            True about them telling you.

            I was on travel for work in the DFW area and met up with a work friend — a retired fighter pilot — for dinner one night. As we were perusing the menu, he casually mentions that he’s now a vegetarian. Stunned, I was. Think about it...a vegetarian fighter pilot in Texas. How absurd is that??


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              Th odds are phenomenally again that, faux chaux!
          • Potkettleblack
            Club Member
            • Jun 2016
            • 1886
            • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
            • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
              Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
              For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
              Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
              Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)


            thats all I have to say.


            • jgreen
              Charter Member
              • Oct 2014
              • 2654
              • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
              • Cookers:
                Broil King XL
                Broil King Smoke
                Weber Kettle 26
                Grilla Pellet smoker
                Capital 40 natural gas
                Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

                Maverick 733
                Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
                Thermo works DOT (or two)
                Fireboard (probably my favourite)
                Thermworks Smoke (or two)

                SnS (original, plus and XL)
                DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
                and, maybe some other toys as well

              Saw the title and I knew the answer. If you said “to eat vegetables or Not” the answer would be less clear.


              • Meathead
                Meathead commented
                Editing a comment
                But that is NOT the answer I gave. You didn't read it.

              • Meathead
                Meathead commented
                Editing a comment
                Didn't mean to be snarky. But the conclusion I came to is that the data isn't clear yet and that perhaps we should rethink our meat habits.
            • FireMan
              Charter Member
              • Jul 2015
              • 7172
              • Bottom of Winnebago

              I’m sorry, and please pardon me if I am disruptive cuz I don’t mean to upset anything or anybody or take away from the topic or what is written, but, please excuse me again, but is ........this......a.......poll?


            • CaptainMike
              Club Member
              • Nov 2015
              • 2307
              • The Great State of Jefferson
              • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill w/SnS and DnG (Spartacus)
                Old school big'ol Traeger w/Pro controller (Big Tex)
                2 W22's w/SnS, DnG (1 black, 1 copper) (Minions 1 and 2)
                20+ y/o many times rebuilt Weber Genesis w/GrillGrates (Gas Passer)
                20 x 30 Santa Maria grill (Maria, duh)
                Bradley cabinet smoker (Pepper Gomez)
                36" Blackstone griddle (The Black Beauty)
                Thermoworks Smoke and Thermapen.

              Meh, live your life, strive for balance, don't sweat the small stuff. My first heart attack was definitely work stress and bad genes. If I have a second one it will be because of martinis, cigars, and ribeyes, but I love all of those. And salad.


              • FireMan
                FireMan commented
                Editing a comment
                Oh Noooo, meh is back.

              • CaptainMike
                CaptainMike commented
                Editing a comment
                FireMan nothing says "meh" better than meh.

              • texastweeter
                texastweeter commented
                Editing a comment
                Cuban cigars, Scotch whisky, and Texas beef...tastes like winning.
            • JimLinebarger
              Club Member
              • Jun 2017
              • 720
              • Spokane Valley, Wa.
              • Grills/Smokers
                Blaze 32" 4-Burner Gas Grill w/infrared rear rotisserie burner
                Weber Jumbo Joe
                Weber 22" Master-Touch Kettle
                Pit Barrel Cooker
                Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain Series 36" Vertical Gas Smoker
                Traeger Timberline 850

                Thermoworks Smoke
                Maverick ET-733
                Thermapen Mk4, Red

                Sous Vide
                Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, Bluetooth, 800W
                Anova Precision Cooker Insulated Container
                Lipavi C15 container and lid
                Lipavi L15 Rack

                BBQ Guru DigiQ (for PBC and 22" Weber Kettle)
                BBQ Dragon
                BBQ Dragon Grill Table for 22" Weber Kettle
                Fire Butler (for Weber 22")
                Grill Grates for Jumbo Joe and Blaze grill

                About me
                Name: Jim
                Nick name: Bear
                Location: Spokane Valley, Wa.
                Born at a very young age at Egland AFB, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

                USAF vet, ECM (F4 & B52)/B52 Crew Chief, Computer Systems NCO, disabled
                Former Computer Tech/Admin
                Campus Manager/Lead Tech/Tech (IT) for The Kemtah Group contracted to Intel, Rio Rancho, NM.
                Short Term Missionary to the Marshall Islands with MAPS of DFM of AOG

              Veg*ns.Killing animals is a vicious act that inures us to the feelings of others and it corrodes individuals and society and encourages violence.

              Omnis.That is possible, but most of us don’t actually kill animals, we hire others to do it. I hate to say it, but, if you include soldiers, there are probably more people in the US who have killed people than have killed animals. If you are pointing a finger a(t) hunters, hunting is needed to control wildlife populations. Deer would overrun many farms and destroy vegetable crops if hunters did not thin the herd.
              There is an issue with our food supply. So many, if not most, are far removed from the supply chain and have no clue where the food came from let alone how it was raised/grown. Most of us do not raise, slaughter and process our meats (or veggies for that matter). Modern society has made many of today's youth respond when asked "where did that meat come from" they may say McDonald's or the store. But Meathead and others have stated get to know your butcher or even find a local farm that sells meats and veggies. That will bring us closer to the origins of our food as well as get us a little closer to how our ancestors handled food, meats and veggies alike.

              (Written before reading "Beware of the Marketers".)
              Last edited by JimLinebarger; March 3rd, 2019, 06:14 PM.


              • Histrix
                Club Member
                • May 2016
                • 446
                • 757

                Good post. I can certainly quibble with some of the pros/cons but overall I think you presented the two camps fairly well.

                One thing I think you ignored was the increasingly untenable position that factory farming of cattle in the US is facing - fresh water supplies. Raising cattle from birth to death/processing requires a LOT of water. Between drought, human population growth, fracking, and depletion of ancient sources of groundwater there just isn't going to be enough fresh water available to satisfy demand. If you think beef is expensive now just wait another couple of decades.

                Humans are, in fact, driving a number of wild species onto the brink of extinction. It is probably too late to save some species, like bluefin tuna, and as more and more of the two billion people in China and India continue to move into a comparative middle class life style the demand for many animal foodstuffs is going to be problematic.

                I'm not a vegan but my sister is and there are lots of great things to eat that have no animal products in them. I'm an omnivore and will continue to eat meat but I do find myself eating less meat these days. I'll do the Meatless Monday thing and generally only have meat with one meal of the day. My bottom line is that I don't really care what other people put into their pieholes but there are many good reasons why more folks would benefit themselves and the planet by consuming less meat.

                The main thing that keeps me from becoming a vegan tho is cheese - I'll never give up cheese and vegan "cheese" sucks. For the moment at least. Clever people are finding ingredients and formulas that are creating pretty good vegan analogues of various food items - mayo and "hamburger" for instance. There is a brand of vegan mayo called "Just Mayo" that is pretty damn good. My sister has turned me onto one of the vegan "beef patty" products (the name escapes me at the moment) that many folks would be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and a real beef burger.


                • aladdin4d
                  aladdin4d commented
                  Editing a comment
                  When you start talking about water footprints, things get real complicated real quick. There's no question cattle has a large water footprint but is it really untenable? Maybe, maybe not. There are 3 major types of cattle production, pasture, mixed or hybrid, and industrial. Contrary to popular belief cattle production in the US is primarily mixed as opposed to industrial like in the Netherlands for example. Going to more industrial can lower the water footprint dramatically by as much as 30-50%
              • Nate
                Charter Member
                • Apr 2015
                • 3803
                • Quarantined
                • INFO
                  ~Known as: Nate
                  ~Location: Cornfield in Southwestern Indiana
                  ~Credit Manager for an Agriculture Coop.

                  SMOKERS & GRILLS
                  ~Grilla Original Grilla
                  ~Char-Broil Commercial Tru-Infrared Gas Grill
                  ~Pit Barrel Cooker
                  ~Brinkmann Trailmaster Vertical Offset Smoker
                  ~Weber Kettle 22.5" Original
                  ~Weber Q1000

                  ~Thermoworks Thermapen MX4
                  ~Thermoworks Thermapen
                  ~Thermoworks ThermoPop
                  ~Thermoworks ChefAlarm TX-1100-XX (Orange and black)
                  ~Thermoworks DOT TX-1200-XX (Black)
                  ~Thermoworks IR-Gun-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
                  ~Maverick ET-733
                  ~Maverick XR-50

                  ~Stanley T-Stak mobile tool box for BBQ Supplies
                  ~Slow 'n' Sear
                  ~Drip 'n' Griddle
                  ~Weber Rapid Fire Chimney Starter
                  ~Pro-Series Probes for Thermoworks
                  ~Humphrey's Rib Spatula

                  ~Sweet Tea
                  ~Craft Beers or whatever is in your fridge

                To eat Lab Grown Meat or Not?

                I think something else that needs to be considered is the coming of Lab to Table Meats. Like it or not it is on the horizon.

                When it was first done it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a burger but that price has dropped significantly and will continue.

                In December an Israeli company did a lab grown steak. It needs some work yet but like any other prototype in the manufacturing and or pharmaceutical world it will get perfected and as it is moved to mass production it will become more cost efficient.

                Cargill and Tyson foods have already invested in Memphis Meats which is a Lab to Table company that is working in and perfecting cell grown meat. The big meat production companies know this is coming and are starting to get in the game early.

                If you think it will never take off because people won’t go for Lab produced foods then my arguement becomes that it may not start here in the states. Some cultures are more open to such things. Also some countries may have no legal requirements to label it as Lab grown (the US already got rid of country of origin labeling requirements).

                So if the argument on meat is an environmental one then this could potentially have huge impacts on those concerns... however there is no good data on what the environmental cost or requirements to mass produce Lab meat would be.

                Also being that they still use animal cells in the process then I don’t think this would qualify as vegan friendly and I’m not sure what the other food diet people would think.

                From a health stand point the jury is most certainly not just out but haven’t even got their summons in the mail yet I would guess. There are arguments though that because the meat is being grown in labs they may be able to alter things like saturated and unsaturated fats etc... Heck they may be able to make a ribeye that is good for my cholesterol.

                Conclusion: Heck I don’t know.


                • CaptainMike
                  CaptainMike commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Soylent Green is people!!!!

                • Potkettleblack
                  Potkettleblack commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I am not that interested in lab grown meat, because very few lab grown nutrition products wind up being healthful in the long run.

                  PS- the link between cholesterol and heart disease is tenuous at best, despite being accepted wisdom. The ribeye is better for your cholesterol than supposedly heart healthy canola oil.
              • Potkettleblack
                Club Member
                • Jun 2016
                • 1886
                • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
                • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
                  Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
                  For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
                  Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
                  Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

                I will share another, from the Sodfather, the Grand Ruminati, Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, Forage Agronomist. This is the shorter version of this talk... there's an hour long version from Ketofest 2018.


                Dr. Ballerstedt makes many many points that are inconvenient to the vegan arguments.




                Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early!
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                Meat-Up in Memphis

                T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
                Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

                Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
                This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

                Click here for more info.

                Support ARC

                Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.


                BBQ Stars


                These are not ads or paid placements. These Are Some Of Our Favorite Tools And Toys.

                These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

                Use our links when you buy things

                Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon




                Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

                Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

                Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

                maverick PT55 thermometer

                A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

                Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there

                If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

                slow n sear

                The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

                Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

                Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

                the good one grill

                The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

                Click here to read our complete review

                The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

                the good one grill

                The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

                Click here to read our complete review

                Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

                Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

                The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

                Click here to read our detailed review and to order

                Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

                The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

                The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!

                Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

                The Undisputed Champion!


                The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. Don't accept cheap substitutes.  Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal .

                Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


                Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

                Click here to read our detailed review and to order

                The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

                NK-22-Ck Grill

                Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

                Click here for more about what makes this grill special


                G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

                Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

                If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

                Click here to read our detailed review

                Click here to order from Amazon

                GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

                grill grates

                GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

                Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

                PK 360 grill

                Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

                The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

                Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

                Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only

                kareubequ bbq smoker

                Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

                The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

                Click here for our review of this superb smoker

                Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

                masterbuilt gas smoker

                The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

                Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

                Click here to read our detailed review

                Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

                masterbuilt gas smoker

                Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

                Click here to read our detailed review and to order

                Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

                fireboard bbq thermometer

                With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

                Click here to read our detailed review

                Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

                Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

                Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

                Click here to read our detailed review and to order