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Zen and the Art of Eating Beef

By John | April 21, 2008

If you are a vegetarian or Buddhist I recommend you leave this post immediately…

You have been warned!

I think Buddha was probably an alright guy and no disrespect intended when I say it is day three in Japan and tonight I will peruse my own personal quest for enlightenment eating Kobe beef. This evening when my knife makes it first swish through the butter like piece of Kobe beef I will be well on my path to Satori – a state of sudden spiritual enlightenment. However, first I will take a slow sip of some house brewed warm Sake.

Did you know that eating meat from a four legged animal prior to 1868 was banned for over a thousand years in Japan. After the Meije Restoration in 1868 the ban of eating meat was lifted and even the young Emperor Meiji could be at times seen eating beef. I won’t go into the disgusting details of how they raise the Kobe cattle in preparation for an emperor’s feast however I will tell you they feed a steady diet of Sake. Drinking Sake is a Shinto rite where a small amount of sake is drunk in a prayerful act of symbolic unification with the gods. Yep, I reckon that it be  where I am tonight.

Disclaimer: I am not blind to the fact that there is a world hunger crisis going on as we speak. I have never claimed to be a saint however, after writing this blog article I did start to feel a little guilty. Not enough to stop this evenings “Vision Quest”, however; enough to match one-to-one for every dollar I spend tonight and send a donation to Feed The Children.

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