There’s always something in the news to beef about. Beefs have served as complaints, protests, or objections ever since 1899, from the noisy sounds made by cattle, sure to catch one’s attention. It was only natural that they would then evolve into “arguments” or “altercations.”
There are lots of beefs now in the developed countries about the dangers of eating meat. Protesters beef up their arguments (19thC.), strengthening or backing them “up” with hard science; beef long having been synonymous with heft, strength, and power.
Are their beefs legitimate? Ranchers fatten their cattle to increase their body weight and enhance their value prior to slaughter. It was not always done legally. Some had them drink large quantities of water laced with salt, artificially inflating their avoirdupois and their value—thus making their beefs illegitimate.
Is there any substance to the anti-meat argument? A Wendy’s commercial in (1984), mocked the competition. It showed three elderly women eyeing a small hamburger on a huge bun. “It certainly is a big bun,” asserted one. “It’s a very big, fluffy bun,” the second woman agreed. But the third asked, “Where’s the beef?”
Walter Mondale picked it up in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination against Gary Hart, arguing substance vs. glitz. When you consider the menu of complaints—fast food fare; wrecking havoc with the environment destroying our gastro-intestinal tract, offering sub-par worker’s wages; wretched working conditions, and Mad Cow, to boot—it could be that the vegans might actually have some legitimate beefs.