From my privileged position up here in the Great White North, I've watched the growing scandal over Agriprocessors in the United States with a mix of outrage and amusement. Outrage over the seemingly never-ending stream of new charges and allegations along with the typical "circle the wagons and condemn the state" attitude of their defenders.
But it's amusing to watch all the blogs talk about how the fall of Agriprocessors is a major crisis for American Jewry since it imperils their supply of kosher beef.
Full disclosure: I have a great supplier of meat and other fine kosher products around the corner from where I live. I eat beef at least two to three times a week and enjoy it immensely each time. So read the following comments with this caveat in mind.
And that is: since when did meat become such an essential staple of life that its threatened absence is reason enough for pushing the panic button?
Seriously, I could understand this level of distress a few decades ago when there were really no good alternatives to kosher beef on the market. In recent years, however, the vegetarian market has expanded to include lots of relatively decent products that, if prepared correctly, can easily replace beef in the diet.
Yet, as FailedMessiah notes in his latest post, the politics of beef in the U.S. are causing major legal issues as well as consternation amongst kosher beef consumers.
People, people, do yourself a favour. Try more chicken (it's healthier) or veggie products. And if you really have a strong hankering for the good stuff, come up to Canada. Our beef supply is fine and at this time of year you don't need a fridge. Just leave the stuff outside overnight. It'll be fine.