Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What We Are Putting in Our Mouths


Look, I know some people are too busy watching movies and having sex to actually post on here, but I think some content is probably overdue. Perhaps a bit of provoking?

No one likes to hear about vegetarianism or veganism or whatever. But if you saw Jake sometime between mid-January to, oh, April, or May, or June, you probably had to hear all about it, because he was so proud of giving up meat that he couldn't shut up about it. All the talk pretty much made me stricten (this is not a word, apparently. Why not? Tighten? Strengthen? What am I missing here? I am going to use it anyway) my own "no meat" stance and make sure I didn't eat fish or accidentally ingest some chicken broth. Not because I'm moral, more because I have to compete.

Anyway, I've witnessed many a dismissal from non-vegetarians, implying that people who don't eat meat for moral reasons are weird, crazy unamericans (also not a word. What the hell?) Why so defensive, meat-eaters? You don't seem to judge when people do all kinds of weird shit if the ethical code of their religion demands it. Even if that means knocking on your door in the morning or not drinking Coke.

The arguments for not eating meat are pretty obvious and straight-forward, even if you think animals are stupid and ugly. I'm not going to get into them because, as I mentioned before, no one wants to hear all that. But Jake might want to let you know. If he ever shows up. But it's not like I'm going to look at you funny when you're eating a hot dog. Depending on how you eat it.

Actually, Jake, maybe you can help explain things for the meat-eaters. Because, as I sit here enjoying my non-dairy frozen dessert (rocky road,) I can see you mocking me. So what if I don't eat/drink milk or if I like to get my protein via tasty soy products that pretend to be something they're not. Maybe, deep down, you wish you could join me.

5 comments:

MCW said...

I will argue for meat-eaters. In Genesis Chapter 1 verse something, God said that he created animals and plants under our dominion. He did this for a reason. Before there were shopping stores and organic food boutiques, humans had to eat. What they did was hunt and gather plants. This provided early humans with a diet to sustain them. Meat is an integral source of protein and iron; all necessary for a balanced diet. If eaten in moderation and if animals are treated as humanely as possible in the process, I see nothing wrong with enjoying a nice, juicy steak every once in awhile.

Ben said...

I'm also someone who, although a meat eater himself, cannot shut up about vegetarianism -- perhaps in the failed hope that talking about morality will actually make you me moral person, as by osmosis or absorbtion or whatever, without having to do the hard work of actually giving up something that I like to taste.

In any case, I think I know why meat eaters think you guys are crazy: it's the orthodoxy of the thing. Refraining from eating animals makes sense, as being eaten hurts. But. Sometimes it's just too damn hard, as when all your friends are going to a steakhouse; when you're in Thailand on an adventure trip and deserve to try the new cuisine; when you're floating in a sea of ribs and have to eat your way back to dry land.

You're already doing an immense amount of good by extricating meat from 99% of your diets. Special points if you talk to your friends about it, or push for political change in order to alleviate serious animal suffering. If you have to eat chicken in Thailand because it's just so damn cool and you've never had it like that before, I say, that's cool.

Ben

Ben said...

I agree with a lot of what MCW said above. But I thought that, man, someone has got to point out this sentence, which is pure gold:

"He [God] did this for a reason. Before there were shopping stores and organic food boutiques, humans had to eat.

... but now that there are such things, we don't need to eat anymore. Three cheers for the foodless life.

Ben

alice said...

But my question wasn't "why do you eat meat?" My question was, "why do you look at me funny because I don't eat meat? Because I think we can generally agree that my arguments for not eating it are at least as valid as yours are for eating it."

Also, mcw, do you think that because we can get the nutrients for a healthy diet without meat now that we've progressed beyond hunter gatherer status that we should avoid eating meat if we know it was produced in an inhumane way?

MCW said...

Ben, thanks for pointing out my flawed sentence. I meant to write

"He [God] did this for a reason. Before there were shopping stores and organic food boutiques, humans still had to eat.

Please insert the word still before had.

Alice,
Yes, of course we should avoid eating meat if animals are unduly harmed in the process. I do think though that if we are to completely halt eating meat because of the fact that animals feel pain, I think maybe we also should look into whether plants feel pain as well. I am not a scientist but I know a lot of plants have sensory mechanisms (venus fly trap for example). Can it be possible that plants can also feel pain but our sense of human superiority unfairly precluded that possibility?

Food for thought.