Where's the meat?

By Nick Shlafer

If there’s one thing that few look forward to after a summer either at home or elsewhere, it’s the food at Caf Mac. Thankfully, it’s not entirely bad to come back to, as the meals here are of high quality compared to most colleges, and the atmosphere is pleasant.

It takes a few months before the menu starts to become redundant, but this year, the elimination of the entire North station (which has been oddly replaced by a second, identical salad bar) only makes the meals even more monotonous.

It also has me wondering more than ever why Caf Mac is furthering a disturbing yet ongoing trend: the aversion to serving meat.The absence of the North station’s giant cuts of roasted meat is not the only instance of this phenomenon. For example, many returning students can attest to the sometimes ridiculously small portions served at certain stations. With meat, however, it’s especially bad. Handing your plate over and receiving the equivalent of four bites of turkey is irksome.

Although my complaints may seem silly when you’re allowed to go back for seconds, I find it odd and troubling that meat is given in far smaller quantities than anything else; it’s almost as if Macalester doesn’t want us to eat it.

I’m not about to go off on a wild tangent on some secret plan to keep us from receiving protein, but it does make me wonder exactly what the motives are. When compared to the wide array of choices for vegetarians and vegans, carnivores like me tend to have limited options beyond the West station’s thin burger patties (which, I should mention, are not allowed to be doubled up on anymore, although they did get slightly bigger) and dry chicken. Of course, I still see comment card after comment card demanding more meat-free options.

I recognize that Macalester has a far larger per-capita population of vegetarians and vegans than most other colleges, and I have absolutely nothing against those who choose not to eat meat. However, I also believe that when your dietary choices do not reflect those of the omnivorous human nature, the world should not have to conform to you. In other words, a large presence of normal food in comparison to meat or dairy-free options should not be thought of as discriminatory or limiting. Refusing to eat meat is, by definition, a form of limiting behavior by way of intentionally reducing one’s own choices. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, and the vegetarian and vegan options should certainly always be available. Yet, when these options are infringing upon those of meat-eaters, the least we can do is question it.