This weekend the Los Angeles Times Magazine had an article about The Guru of Happy Cows, Bill Niman of the Niman Ranch. Why are his cows so happy as they await their day of reckoning? THE COWHANDS CONVERSE WITH THEM. Yes, that's right, they chat up the future Filet Mignon of Chez Panisse and the other trendy restaurants that stock Nimans. (If this description sounds too fatuous for you to click on the link, which is registration only, I should also mention the article discusses antibiotics, feed, and other hot-button meat industry topics. Plus, Nimans has a new contract to sell to Chipotle, part owned by McDonalds, so he's not just feeding California foodies anymore.)
Being a former vegetarian with a frequent guilty conscience, I had to try this pampered beef when I came across Nimans London Broil at my local market. I'm no red meat conoisseur, but it tasted pretty average coming out of my skillet. Still, if the cows are happy, I'm happy. Or maybe next time I'll save the $5.99 a pound, buy tofu, and hire someone to talk to *me*.