The unusual meat is tasty, better for the environment, and more secure in troubled times. So why can’t you find it at the corner store?
Somewhere on the road between Montrose and Fruita, Colorado, rancher Bob Hasse and I pass a Burger King, and I ask if he fantasizes about getting yak on the fast-food chain’s menu. “Nope,” he says quickly. “Not even in 50 years.” We’ve just collected eight meat-ready yak from one of his pastures—with the help of a few aluminum baseball bats for insurance—and 8,000 pounds of the shaggy Himalayan animals are bumping up against each other in Hasse’s trailer as we head north to the slaughterhouse.
Yak simply has no place in fast food’s system of optimized convenience and immediacy. Yet at the same time, the conscious American meat eater is eager for an alternative to the gigantic footprint that cattle produces—and Hasse can’t keep up with demand.