Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

This week Jonathan Gold takes us to Rosemead for not one, not two, not five but SEVEN courses of beef. Thien An is a restaurant that focuses on Southern Vietnamese cooking and the specialty of the house is bo bay mon (often described as bo 7 mon) which translates to “Seven Courses of Beef.” As you might expect, it is a whopping seven courses of beef. What you might NOT expect is that those seven courses will set you back about $17. If you’re feeling more pescatarian the ca nuong da don, or large baked catfish, is also a hit.

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16 Comments »

  • donnel odonnel said:

    disgusting your advertisement of meat. very backwards thinking. don't you ever think, why it's so cheap. where does the meat come from. what are the conditions the animals are raised and killed under? most likely horrible concentration camp conditions. i bet the rest of the dish is full of pesticides and gm food. how stupid are people also reporters at kcrw even today to advertise this kind of food!!!!

  • FreeMyWilly said:

    ugh, another 1-percenter needs to get off their high horse

  • Bob Myers said:

    Do you know the Origin of the Word: Vegetarian? It is a very old Native American word meaning: "Bad Hunter"

  • CPQ said:

    "Bad Hunter" – well spoken. Man has been eating cooked animals for quite some time. I'm pretty sure the trend will continue well into the future. The photo of the food from Thien An looks pretty good to me, the carnivorous beast that I am.

  • Valerie said:

    "If you've ever wondered where you would have stood on the issue of slavery had you been alive in the eighteen hundreds, just look at where you stand now on the issue of animal rights."
    The animal abuse industry is like the slave trade. It operates on the principle that they are worth less consideration because they are not human. Historically, those in favour of the slave trade used many of the arguments for it that are currently used by those who are in favour of continued animal exploitation and abuse…
    I'll let you simmer in that…

  • Billy B said:

    As a known KCRW listener, I say the only justifiable thing to do is "eat the rich"

  • sean michael said:

    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated

    Gandhi

    *I really expected more from KCRW listeners.* just saying. Valerie nailed it.

  • Grok "Good Hunter" said:

    It's interesting how seemingly intelligent people want to ignore millions of years of biological evolution and impose their own moral viewpoint of the world. Sounds like another religion that I know of…

  • VeganInfo said:

    What was presented is not a moral viewpoint, it's a list of facts. $17 – do you really think that is what it cost the animals, the planet, the health system?

    It seems interesting that a seemingly intelligent person would ignore the most significant part of our evolution: the development of critical thought and moral reasoning. What we can do biologically and what we should do ethically are two distinct arguments.

    Your choice to eat meat is based on a belief system just like the choice not to eat meat. The question is, what underpins those belief systems and what are the costs of acting on them.

    What you may like to consider are the real costs of meat eating. Firstly, most meat does not come from hunters but from factory farms. They are nothing short of criminal. They treat animals like objects, they pollute waterways, the air, waste resources etc. Secondly, animal agriculture, especially beef, is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, deforestation and general destruction of the planet. Thirdly, as most animals are raised in factory farms, they are fed grain. This grain is grown in poor countries where people are starving to death.

    It has nothing to do with "beliefs" but facts. It just depends on whether you're prepared to ignore them for the sake of your taste buds. We don't need meat to survive so it's a choice. All choices have consequences.

  • VeganInfo said:

    Take a look at the history books. It's full of "one percenters" like MLK, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Galileo, Wollstonecraft, Einstein, Moulin etc Would you say they were all on a "high horse"?

    They are not necessarily wrong only because they are the only ones fighting for justice or truth.

    It's not about taking the moral high ground, it's about doing the right thing for animals, the planet, ourselves, and starving populations. Don't take our word for it. Look into what is really behind your choices. Nobody can force you but, if you don't know, how can you say you're making a free choice? Start with the documentary Food Inc.

  • VeganInfo said:

    There are 7 billion people on the planet, yet we kill 56 billion land animals per year. Do you really think they're all "hunted"?

    Man has also been committing murder and rape for quite some time too. Does that mean we should justify that only because it's been going on a long time?

    If the meat-eating trend continues into the future, it won't be "well into the future" because we will have no future. Billions of animals eat a lot of food, drink a lot of water, do a lot of poop, emit a lot of methane, take up a lot of land etc. 80% of deforestation in the Amazon is to make way for cattle (organic, grass-fed). (look up Slaughtering the Amazon, Greenpeace).

    The real cost of this beef is being paid for by the animals, the environment, the taxpayer (it's heavily subsidised – plus costs to public health systems), the consumer (the leading chronic diseases are traced to eating animals), and starving populations. It is not sustainable on any level.

  • VeganInfo said:

    You asked a lot of questions and, in other comments (there aren't many) I encouraged people to do their own research. However, here's just some answers. I have to break it up. Part 1.

    Who said anything about population explosion? Population of whom? I was replying to the post from CPQ. I know the “bad hunter” thing is a pathetic old joke but, the point is, most meat is from factory farming and most meat eaters go to the supermarket, not the jungle. If you’re talking about the population explosion of farmed animals, of course it has to do with meat eating (dairy etc). They’re artificially inseminated by the billion to supply the demand created by people who consume animals.

    About protein. You know what protein is? Protein is made up of amino acids. When we digest protein our body breaks it down into amino acids that our body can use. Plants have all the amino acids found in animal protein, just minus the torture, the antibiotics, the hormones, the catastrophic environmental footprint, etc. How do you think the animals you eat make the protein found in their body tissue? PLANTS. You eat herbivores and they get everything they need from plants, just like we can.

    I don’t eat processed foods, so I eat very little soy. I get everything I need from my whole food plant based diet. I do grow a lot of my own and I buy organic (no GMO – it’s labelled, by law, where I live). I am not perfect, nobody is, but my imperfection does not alter the argument. I don’t presume to know what you eat and this argument is not about you or me but an industry that has to end. The facts are there and the argument that animal agriculture is unsustainable and unethical stands. The degree to which you or I contribute to it does not affect the truth of the fact that it is not sustainable and it is unethical.

    If you eat meat that comes from where 99% of meat comes from, you are not only indrectly getting your protein through animals (very inefficient way to get protein) you are also, most probably, consuming soy indirectly. Look up what's in cattle feed (GMO soy is not the biggest problem, you know factory farmed animals, are not even vegetarian? – they are fed rendered animals too. Look it up).
    “About 85 percent of the world’s soybean crop is processed into meal and vegetable oil, and virtually all of that meal is used in animal feed. Some two percent of the soybean meal is further processed into soy flours and proteins for food use… Approximately six percent of soybeans are used directly as human food, mostly in Asia.” (Soytech)

  • VeganInfo said:

    Part 2.

    80% of corn, 95% oats, altogether 56% of all agriculture in U.S.A. land used for beef production. 260 million acres of forest have been cleared for meat-based diet. "Divine Nature" a book by Michael A. Cremo & Mukunda Goswami – this book can be found in Library of Congress

    Too much animal protein (very easy to get too much), is the prime cause of the world's most common chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. If you want evidence, read The China Study: "People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored," said Dr. Campbell.

    Here are some stats (from adaptt, Greenpeace, Worldwatch, EPA). Here is a link to a NY Times article with some infographics http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27

    . That NYT article was written by someone who is not even vegetarian. The arguments stand alone. There are plenty of sources if you want to investigate yourself.

    80% of all agricultural land in the US is used to raise animals for food.
    20 times more land is required to feed a meat-eater than a vegan.

    Raising animals for food requires more than ONE THIRD of all the raw materials and fossil fuels used in the United States.

    The least-efficient plant-based food is nearly TEN TIMES as energy-efficient as the most-efficient flesh food!
    (adappt)

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the runoff from factory farms pollutes our rivers and lakes more than all other industries combined.

    Bovine emissions actually account for about 51% of all global warming.
    (World Watch)

    50% of water used in the US is for raising animals for food.

    Each person on a carnivorous diet requires 4,200 gallons of water per day.
    Each person on a vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day.

    2.9 million acres of rainforest were destroyed in the 2004-2005 crop season in order to grow crops that feed chickens and other animals in factory farms.

    For every pound of hamburger produced in rainforest countries, approximately 220 square feet of rainforest are cleared to grow the required feed.
    (adappt)

    The cattle industry is the world’s largest driver of deforestation.
    (Greenpeace)

    “Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.7 million head on July 1, 2012.”

    This is ONLY cattle and ONLY those on FEED (*this is their defiintion of cattle on feed: “Cattle on feed are animals being fed a ration of grain, silage, hay and/or protein supplement for slaughter market that are expected to produce a carcass that will grade select or better. It excludes cattle being "backgrounded only" for later sale as feeders or later placement in another feedlot.”)
    Source: http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/nass/CattO

    This is just a small proportion of animals being fed in the US alone.

    Now consider this:

    10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths;
(Source: The State of the World's Children, UNICEF, 2007)

    I’m not judging others, I’m judging the meat industry. That you have taken this personally says more about you than it does about me.

  • You win. said:

    Never mind. I feel like I'm being talked over by your rhetoric all over this page.

  • Andres said:

    Your argument is very weak. You don't address any of the important points that Vegan Info makes and the few attempts you make to do it, you fail to do it with credible sources like in this statement "I hate to break it to you but your digestive tract is not the same as an herbivore's. Reference: Biology." If you knew anything about biology, you would know that the human body is biologically more similar to a herbivore than it is to a carnivore or omnivore.

    You also want Vegan Info to try to look at both sides. But it seems clear that Vegan Info has already looked at both sides and that's why he/she knows more about the issue than you know about the side you seem to want to defend. To defend eating meat, you should first at least know what you are defending. You don't seem to be familiar with any of the issues related to eating meat. All you can come up with is the basic "meat has protein and that's why I kill animals" argument. No thought or simple research has gone into this whatsoever.

    If it is true that you tried a vegetarian diet and it ruined your health, I can only assume that your diet was very poor and badly planed since there are hundreds of millions of vegetarians around the world and they seem to be the ones with the least amount of health problems. All I can say is that you and your friends don't seem to be very clued up about basic nutrition.

    The fact that you enjoy the taste of meat (like many vegetarian people do) and want to defend eating meat, doesn't make your argument valid or Vegan Info's argument any less valid. Try thinking critically about the issue, do some research and you will hopefully understand a bit more about these issues which you're clearly unfamiliar with. Try to detach yourself from your "love" of meat and really think about the issue from a neutral stand.

  • Andres said:

    This was the reply from Vegan Info, to you. I fully agree with it by the way. It is hard to argue with logic and facts.

    "There are 7 billion people on the planet, yet we kill 56 billion land animals per year. Do you really think they're all "hunted"?

    Man has also been committing murder and rape for quite some time too. Does that mean we should justify that only because it's been going on a long time?

    If the meat-eating trend continues into the future, it won't be "well into the future" because we will have no future. Billions of animals eat a lot of food, drink a lot of water, do a lot of poop, emit a lot of methane, take up a lot of land etc. 80% of deforestation in the Amazon is to make way for cattle (organic, grass-fed). (look up Slaughtering the Amazon, Greenpeace).

    The real cost of this beef is being paid for by the animals, the environment, the taxpayer (it's heavily subsidised – plus costs to public health systems), the consumer (the leading chronic diseases are traced to eating animals), and starving populations. It is not sustainable on any level."

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