I'm close to finishing "Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds," a new book by the fearsomely qualified Claire Hope Cummings. It's excellent, but it paints such an enraging and depressing picture of just how badly we're … well, screwed … that when my husband pulled out his earphones to say, "Hey, this Simpsons episode is about feedlots!" I thought I'd take a break. Hey, we all need a few laughs with our doom-and-gloom diets.
In the episode "Apocalypse Cow," which you can watch for free (with commercials) on Hulu.com, Bart joins 4H and raises a steer he names Lou, who gets sent to a feedlot. Lisa (and her vegan activist) friends help Bart — who can't become a vegetarian because he "loves the taste of death" too much — rescue Lou. It's got it all: corn subsidies, bovine growth hormones, slaughterhouse rescues, and some regrettable farmer stereotypes. Also, thankfully, a happy ending.