On Vegetarians & Meateaters

advice, writing

Why Vegetarians want to eat Meateaters..or..Vegetarians are crazy & Meateaters are stupid

Yesterday, another blogger popped into the comment section of my blog after having read the “About me” (where I casually mention that I don’t eat animals), and tried to pull me into a debate on the subject of vegetarianism. I personally hate this debate (not to suggest that it isn’t a debate worth having). I don’t try to convert anyone, because  in some ways I have given up on man kind, in other ways I don’t believe that such conversion is even possible. Still, there I was being goaded into an a discussion. There is a marked flippancy with which meateaters usually start this debate and it is annoying as hell to me. Not to say there isn’t a righteous indignation with which vegetarians approach it, that can be frustrating for meateaters.

I do see both sides, as in some ways I exist on both sides, but I think that vegetarians have it harder. The reason it is especially vexing for them to partake in this argument is that their opinions on the matter stem out of true conviction, to their core the suffering of animals disturbs them, they see the injustice and move against the status quo in order to incite change. If nothing else their is a noble cause. Meateaters however are just arguing to argue, and are only as invested in the issue as their dietary proclivities go, additionally they are in the unchallenged majority. They eat animals because of a life long habit & because they taste darn good on the grill, moral considerations do not inform their eating habits. All in all the levels of emotional and intellectual investment when it comes to this subject are starkly disproportionate between meat eaters and non-meat eaters. Which is why this debate is always ripe with an off-putting righteousness emanating from the vegetarian side and an annoying flippancy/disinformation spewing out of the meat eating side.

The three main reasons the vegetarian debate is an exhausting one for me are:

  1. I am not THAT informed. I know that entering a battle without proper weaponry and armor can do your cause  more harm than good. I wouldn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of a false victory simply because I came unarmed and in my bathrobe, this would only cement their erroneous carnivorous convictions.
  2. What’s the point, when the mental block erected in the heads of most meateaters on this subject is almost entirely impenetrable by argument, no matter how empirically sound the data. Why? Because the culture of meat eating and use of animal products is as much a part of us as is religion or family. We are indoctrinated into it nearly since birth. To recognize that history as a problem, to reject it, is both dispossessing and divesting, it would require a sort of rebirth. 
  3. I love meat, I am the most struggling vegetarian of them all.

As Item # 3 states, I am one of the most reluctant, tortured vegetarians I know. I LOVE meat. I am a foodie. Before I evolved into a rather bad Vegetarian this year, I had spent many years contemplating the glaring wrongs of the meat industry. I worked on building the connection inside myself between those wrongs and the meat on my plate, and it hasn’t been easy. I knew that to break years of habit and dietary preferences I had to incite a change of heart and mind within myself. During those years I was not able to move myself beyond contemplation and to take action for change, I had my steak and ate it too, with a side of guilt. But what it really comes down to is self discipline and attrition. Recognizing the undeniable truth even if it hurts, even if it means depriving one self of a way of life, to be replaced by another.I feel I had to sacrifice a part of myself in order to make room for growth and what is right. What makes it so hard, is that what we eat is not merely about what we enjoy or what’s available; eating is often about culture and family, it’s about tradition and a connection to the past. Our food choices are closely intertwined with our sense of personal identity, and trying to change them can feel like a kind of self annihilation, loss and even disenfranchisement.

In my effort towards a vegetarian lifestyle, I had to push past my mental blocks by treating meat eating as a routine to be replaced with a ritual of abstaining. My greatest obstacle has been in that I LOVE MEAT, and am unable to make an emotional connection between animal suffering and a hot dog. I am like Dexter i abstain via routine, because otherwise I always just want to eat the hot dog. When it is in the freezer or in the skillet I don’t see the grisly death of its source animal at all, I just get hungry.

HUNTING

In fact as a vegetarian, you think I’d abhor hunting, but I don’t. I used to abhor it when i still ate meat and refused to acknowledge my own part in the rise and expansion of factory farming.  Not to say that I support hunting now, but a clean, quick death is a blessing to an animal, in comparison to how Tyson fills grocery store shelves with dead flesh. I now feel that the Animal loving community’s vitriol towards those who hunt is somewhat misguided and not necessarily rational, unless it is stemming from devout vegans. If we are condemning hunters, as morally bankrupt and cruel, then logically speaking we would have to extend this condemnation to every single person who shops for meat at a grocery store. Just because your average house wife doesn’t actively prey on animals in the wild, doesn’t mean that her impact on factory farmed animals is not equally as(or more) damaging. There is no doubt in fact that anyone who contributes to factory farming by shopping for meat at the grocery store is in fact supporting an industry of unmatched and abhorrent cruelty, one which far exceeds the violence of hunting in the wild. Every time we buy hotdogs, bacon etc, we fund a widespread culture of animal breeding for lifelong abuse, anguish and death.

First I’d like to offer the simplest explanation of why I think it is wrong to consume meat in the year 2014. In truth, as i indicated, my issue isn’t even meat eating, it’s the meat farming. It’s the treatment of animals raised or procured for food. It’s the apathy. In a word*, it’s FACTORY FARMING.The human capacity for torture, mistreatment and brutality of living things is hard to comprehend, the capacity to pretend like it’s not what’s happening is even harder to fathom. We read in horror about crimes committed in say, Africa, by people against people. We wonder how they can do such horrendous things as dismemberment of children, disembowelments, grisly maiming. How can they not feel compassion, take pity? Have they not hearts, no souls. Yet, around here, boiling lobsters alive, living creatures with long life spans and intricate social systems, is a completely common practice by decent, even animal loving folks?  How can someone see a creature struggle and writhe in a scolding pot, scrambling to get out, and not take pity I wonder, not feel like crying? We find it unconsciounable that in the middle ages people were often boiled alive, they would be slowly lowered into the cauldron by a rope. That wasn’t an uncommon form of execution or torture. It seems unconscionable now, like something out of a horror movie. Can you see the hypocrisy? That’s what really blows my mind. We are all no better than those rogues chopping up children in the less “civilized” corners of the world or the ancient people of the middle ages, in fact we are worse. For all our education, for all our purview of history and science, abundance of resources, ingenuity and claims on morality, we still can’t muster the obvious compassion due a boiling lobster or a factory farmed pig.

FACTORY FARMING at a glace

  • 97% of the 10 billion animals produced for food are tortured and killed each year are farm animals
  • In this country, roughly 29 million pounds of antibiotics — about 80 percent of the nation’s antibiotics use in total — are added to animal feed every year, mainly to speed livestock growth.
  • A typical supermarket chicken today contains more than twice the fat, and about a third less protein than 40 years ago.                                                                                                                
  • Sows are kept pregnant the entirety of their miserable lifespan in gestation crates – or sow stalls which confine a sow during her 114 day pregnancy and then the next and then the next. It is so small that she cannot even turn around, she is often chained to the ground as not to try and get up…her entire life.
  • Pigs, sheep and other animals have their tails docked (cut off) with a pair of pliers, without any anesthesia.
  • Pigs are often still alive, when being dropped into boiling water intended to clean/ soften their skin before butchering.
  • On average, to produce 1kg of animal protein requires nearly 6kg of protein in the form of feed grains.
  • Around 30% of the nitrogen that pollutes water in the EU and US is from livestock, more than 70% in China.
  • Male chicks are ground up alive

Don’t get me started on veal or foie gras.

Anyways, as I said, this list goes on and on, it is terrifying not only because of the glaringly barbaric treatment of animals, but also because of the crippling effects intensive farming has on the environment. In the end, it won’t be an atomic bomb that blows up the world, it will be intensive animal farming. Most people are blissfully oblivious of the horrors & impacts of animal farming. When there is an undercover video floating around Youtube or Facebook about Tyson Farms, they turn away, as not to get themselves too upset, as not to have their day ruined by disturbing images, then they trot over to the store and buy themselves a Tyson roast. This is willful ignorance and it is wrong. But blocking out the argument for vegetarianism is an infinitely easier than otherwise. It is a lot easier than living with the knowledge of where hotdogs really come from, what goes into them and the guilt associated with the brutality in which we have participated every time we chowed down on a juicy burger.

fa-factoryfarmpigs-0922117VB_7124067_orig

I don’t need statistics to know that factory farming is wrong, I know it viscerally, I feel it in my gut and and in my bones. If you feel compelled to protect a dog from an abuser, then you shouldn’t partake in the abuse of other, no less valiant or innocent beings. When I was 8, I heard stories of boys torturing frogs, they disturbed me deeply, I remember crying; when I was 10 I saw boys swinging a crab on a string and smashing him into the pavement, I pushed one of them off the dock, before getting punched by his friend (yes boys are the general source of all evil it would seem). It’s not the eating of flesh that disturbs me, it’s the suffering generated and endured in the process.

Meat eaters like to say that it’s a personal choice. Well of course it is, what isn’t a personal choice really? Kicking puppies and punching old ladies would also be personal choices. It being a personal choice doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice, the moral choice or even a choice equally as good as any other. Obviously a choice which in some way supports an industry of abuse is inferior to a choice which does not. At which point do we hold ourselves accountable? Maybe never, but if it’s never, then at least we, as meat eaters, should have some humility, acknowledge this reality versus argue against it.

Meateaters, don’t be flippant towards vegetarianism. I am not judging or perching myself above anyone, there is a broad spectrum of morality and I am not at the top of it at all. But I AM aware of my place on that spectrum, and I don’t wave off those who set an example of doing/being better. I do plenty wrong myself, my couches are leather, my shoes are leather, my car seats are leather, I am aware, I hope I can become a better person with time. Awareness is a necessary first step, if we are ever to make moves towards change, and every little move counts. It is not what it is, we should aspire to better. The platitude does not fit…

Now a quick summation of the annoying, clichéd arguments I hear all the time from the very flippant stupid meateaters who cheerfully accost me asserting that they could just never give up their pepperoni pizza.

1) If I wasn’t meant to eat it, I wouldn’t have canine teeth.

Answer: Most animals have canine teeth, herbivores and carnivores alike, and the most ferocious canine teeth actually belong to herbivores. One of such examples is the hippo, another is the guerilla…the list goes on.

Additionally, we are built for all kinds of violence, our capacity for causing harm has nothing to do with whether or not it is right.

pygmy_hippo_mouth  

2) A chick I knew became a vegetarian, lost all her hair and nearly died.

 Answer: A steak loving guy I knew had a major coronary incident at 38 and nearly died. Oh yea and he had gout. The fact is leading government and public health organizations worldwide agree that humans do not in fact require animal products to maintain optimal health! One can eat poorly and cause harm to their health whatever their dietary culture.

American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the U.S.’s oldest, largest and foremost authority on diet and nutrition, also recognized that humans have no inherent biological or nutritional need for animals products: “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

vegan-chart

 3) My body craves meat, I am a man, I can’t ignore it.

 Answer: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com.There is a slew of top fitness athletes who partake in the vegan lifestyle, so that’s just nonsense. Vegan protein powders alone would completely eliminate your needs for the consumption of dead flesh. Your body has a habit, so does your mind, which is where the cravings come from, and if you wanted to break the habit you could, just as I am trying to do, not because it is easy or feels natural, but because it’s right.

images

In conclusion, there is so much more that gets thrown around to defend the eating of meat, and it might have worked 300 years ago, but in the age of information, science and factory farming it simply doesn’t fly. And it’s all fine really, because regrettably the human race is not ready, just like we weren’t ready to recognize that black people are people and not slaves, objects or property until the 19th century. Just like we didn’t want to know about the Holocaust, allowing it to annihilate nearly 20 million lives of men, women and children, before the world decided to look up and take notice. Just like we thought homosexuals were mentally ill, disturbed, unequal or depraved until 2020. Today, we are still committing so many atrocities against each other, that animals don’t stand a chance…yet. But one day, if we hadn’t blown ourselves up, we’ll look on this age just as we look on the age of slavery or the Holocaust, with shame and horror. I am just trying to get ahead of the shame. 

lisa-vegetarian

Advertisements

44 thoughts on “On Vegetarians & Meateaters

  1. fun stuff igbg. the veggie debate is for the meateaters. its like the krishnas trying to sell you on their song and dance. the thought of killing something so i can have a sandwich struck me as wrong one day in 1969 it dawned on my how to deal with that. never been tempted or inclined to kill anything for the munchies since. it smells good on the grill but its mother is sad to see her children become veal or filet. i decided to do eggs and cheese and allow slave labor but drew the line in china where they have a delicacy where they let the chicks develop bones in the eggs before the soft boil them. (i just about lost it)
    spices and sauces are the new focus to make up for the boredom of tofu. costco is offering some fun smoked salts and flavored variations on otherwise standard stuff. check it out and if you feel like eating a steak again go ahead and if it bothers you stop. if it doesnt then dont beat yourself up. you cant logic morality, well yeah you can but it is a never ending conflict and life is to short to bother.
    enjoyed your popping up on the trail and the way you spin your words of fiction and non.
    see ya around on your intergalactic shit

    Like

    1. Hahaha! Chicks in eggs don’t bother me, life begins w birth, sentience is what mourn. And as for logicking morality, i think that the whole point! How can you say life is too short to bother? All that adrenaline coffee must have fried you thinker!
      Are you the official lord of the Trail? Everyone seems to invoke your name constantly on that looney trail of yours 😛

      Like

  2. So interesting that you just posted this! I was literally doing my meal planning for the week and got bored with it (shocker). So, I checked out WP to see if anyone had posted anything interesting. This post is especially interesting because I was doing vegetarian meal planning. Our family switched to eating vegan for several months after my second kiddo was born, and it was great. I really enjoyed it. I felt healthier and we all ate better. Not to mention it just felt right. Eating out and get togethers with friends were a challenge but nothing that couldn’t be managed, and, sometimes, if a friend made us a meat meal, we just ate it. But on our own we ate vegan. Anyway, on the third pregnancy I was so sick. Gatorade was the only thing that kept me out of the hospital. Eventually I could keep down some meat and we got out of our good habit. Now that life is getting back to normal around here, I have really wanted to go back to meatless living. I don’t think we’ll go back to being totally vegan because of the expense but vegetarian at least. I also love meat, but it is a sacrifice worth making.

    Anyway, all this ridiculously long commenting to say, go you! And go me!

    Cyber-high five!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE IT! You go girl. I am the same as you, I’m not draconian about it, and sadly i’ll never be good enough to be vegan, but i’m working on myself, as a result of the same awareness you’re talking about. I love long responses, you made my day. And 3 kiddies, damn! I cant muster the courage for 1 yet!

      Like

    1. Yea. There is a slew of videos of inhumane slaughter out there, I think I am more interested in getting people to take the step that comes before the decision to put off meat. I just want them to first acknowledge that it is simply wrong and then to really consider it, as apposed to reject it because the instant defensive position is rejection. I think the problem really is that too much rhetoric is about “Change or else”. There is no waylay station for free willed consideration.
      Are you Jewish.

      Like

          1. Oh, I understand. My understanding of religious slaughter methods stems from a decidedly perverse curiosity about the world and our human customs. As a teen I decided to figure out why kosher is supposed to be good or safe. You can imagine that this lead to a lot of other discovery moments.

            Like

              1. I’m old enough to know better, to young to give a damn 🙂 No, I’m not a girl. I tend to write with the appropriate gender neutral language and am decidedly egalitarian so it confuses people every now and then. Having spent 8 years in the London area also adds some confusion. That 8 years was after getting out of the US military, and I’ve been here in this place for twice longer than 8 years. That should nail it down to a decade 😉

                Question for you. Your riding, is it for enjoyment or do you do anything terribly complex like Pas de deux?

                Like

                1. Why be so cryptic, just say i’m a dude and i’m err 40. I didnt think you were a girl, but on the off chance you were I wanted to pose the question in a way which would spare your girly feeling, men tend to not infer as much from being gender confused as women do.
                  I a bit of everything. Check out facebook.com/thejumpingshire
                  I brought this horse up, she jumps, does low level dressage, hunts, hacks, plays really bad polo..Right now she is staring into my soul looking for her daily apple.. But it’s not in my soul, it’s in my pocket.

                  Like

                  1. Sorry. When I first started this blog there was a lot of confusion. I’m a guy (dude is so 90s) who is 50-something. I stopped counting somewhere around 28 and barely notice till I try to do too much physical activity, and I don’t mean just walking the dog. I just don’t have the stamina I used to so working outside in 100+ degree heat is difficult.
                    I don’t have a horse but I have dogs, and an unproductive garden patch.

                    The reason she stares into your soul is because she believes you can hear her thoughts. It’s very frustrating for horses to learn we can’t.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Actually, we ratified an amendment to the by-laws during last month’s meeting and cell phone usage is now allowed for emergencies only. There was some resistance from the botanical contingent but we were victorious in the end.

                      As for apocalypse bonkers, we have a few of those around here and some apocalypse wankers.. I try not to keep any of them in my basement. The stench is deafening.

                      Like

                    2. Wait, do you sleep at all? If I’ve got my geography right (most usaians don’t) you are up all hours of the night… ?

                      Signed, totally confused in Texas (ok, partly confused)

                      Like

                    3. Yea, I have a hard time going down, so i do stay up all night.. Sleep sporadically during the day, usually i am a coupla hours short of the healthy allotment.. I think that’s for the better though, i think if i was fully rested i’d be punching people out left and right, verbally and literally.

                      Like

                    4. I think, on reflection, you’re my cup of tea. There’s nothing quite like watching a woman of stature physically taking out her anger at alarm clocks on those that desperately need some excitement in their lives. 🙂

                      Like

                    5. I was trying not to jump to conclusion or over barricades that aren’t there (always embarrassing that is). Perhaps my tone was less forward than hedgehog on a rainy day. It’s just not sound thinking to declare everlasting love at first sight. One should at least find out what flavour of crisps you like first.

                      Like

                    6. Well i think jumping from tea to love is extreme. And since you just took it to that weird place, i have to, just in case, make it even weirder, by clarifying that i’m a happily hitched layday, who is otherwise entirely too young for ya lol, but not for tea…so dont despair.
                      …and if you weren’t so much fishing as kidding, then chuck this up to learning more about me! 😀

                      Like

                    7. I have been learning about you for several days. Love is a big word for just for simple letters, though it _is_ evenly balanced in the vowel vs. consonant situation. Would that it were I could fall in love so quickly. I’d probably be a much more agreeable man. As it is my fan club materials have a lot of dust on them.

                      Like

                    8. Ahh, there is that. Seems that sometimes the manufacturer sends a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. I know the feeling. We should strike out on our own, make a puzzle from all the extras but I have no idea what picture to put on the front of the box. My current thinking is a Rorschach test. Perhaps we should meet up for a late lunch to discuss possibilities? M&S are always looking for a hot gift item.

                      Like

                    9. The pigeons. I have trained a legion of them to keep me apprised of all the suspicious characters on wordpress..and you thought Facebook was invasive. I receive detailed reports and up to date reportage with hi def digital photographs.
                      Please look into rogaine.

                      Like

                    10. HAHAHAHAHAHA That was hilarious.. but wrong. You have been spying on some other innocent American, probably. Yes, there are at least two of them. Now, I bet all your minions are hanging out at Leicester Square picking up dole checks. They certainly have not been around here.

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on misanthropy misunderstood and commented:

    After being shamed by a friend for not committing to this post, and only giving it a half hearted effort, I decided to revisit it, rewrite it and subsequently repost it. Although it is a heavier read than most of my other content, I tried to make it palatable and to include both sides of the argument, (not without some bias of course). I hope, you guys will lend it your eyes.

    Like

  4. I live in California, where they’re particular about use of the terms “free range” and “organic.” But you’re right, I guess I can’t be certain. And yes,my daughter is great.

    Like

    1. Lots of misconception
      Exist In terms of what the words on the box mean, like cage free, doesnt mean outside at all, un fact most cage free birds never see the sun. And free range doesnt include a provision in terms of how free the range. 100 chickens per 10
      Square feet is also free range. In
      2015 californias free range law is supposed to kick in. We’ll
      See. Where in CA are you at? I’m a UCLA baby

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re right that this, like religion, politics, and other things are not arguments worth having. People get irrational very quickly in discussing such things and it goes downhill fast.

    I have been without beef for long periods of time… when dieting. I love chicken, though. I mostly enjoy vegetables.. I like some junk/candy foods but honestly as a kid I always wanted more helpings of vegetables than dessert.

    My only problems are with people who are inconsistent with their beliefs… If you don’t eat meat for dietary reasons, that’s fine… be consistent. If you don’t eat meat for cruelty to animals, that’s also fine… be consistent.

    Some people, for example, don’t eat chicken but happily eat eggs. It makes no sense. When you think about what an egg truly is, you can’t argue dietary reasons to eat an egg and not chicken and you really can’t argue moral reasons to eat an egg and not a chicken. Those are the people I can’t connect with intellectually on their choice.

    For pretty much anyone else, I get it. Truth be known.. I like my food to not resemble the animal it came from. If I had to kill something myself to eat it, I would not eat meat. I do have issues with our increasing callousness in the way our livestock is treated. Even if you argue they are “lesser beings” and “not intelligent”… I wonder what someone from another planet would say to our slaughterhouses and how we seemingly gleefully march these “lesser non-intelligent beings” to their unsuspecting deaths.

    There’s a way to treat animals and even still kill to eat that isn’t callous and cruel… but we seem to keep moving away from that.

    Like

    1. To be clear i Do think This is an
      Argument worth having, very much so, there is no other way to Bring forth change, i just dont have the conviction.
      And inconsistency doesnt bother me at all, whatever ones reasons, however changing, if it helps them
      Reduce cruelty in their life. Great.
      I’d be more likely
      To ear it had i killed it myself, had i known that it was not abused, gripped w fear or suffered. Thanks for you contribution 🙂 to the dialog 🙂

      Like

  6. I am a carnivore, but as you know, I am “old” and I am disinclined, at my ripe, old age, to change my eating habits. I do buy only free-range chickens and organic, humanely raised beef (i.e, nothing “factory-farm” raised). My daughter, however, is a vegetarian for precisely the same reasons you cite in this post. She not vegan and eat fish now and then, but tries to only eat pole-caught fish.

    Like

    1. That’s good. As i said i dont judge or try to convert anyone. I had to write that so that next time an enthusiastically glib carnivore tries to make a sport of challenging my vegetarianism, i can direct them to this here post and not waste my breath. As for free range and humanely raised, i’d look into your states laws in terms of those statements, as there are no laws and governing bodies directly responsible for evaluating the accuracy of those statements. Chickens might not be in battery cages, but they’ll be free ranging in a single square foot per three type of space. Best way is to find a local farm in my opinion, drive to It, check it out.
      Your daughter sounds great, kudos to her!

      Like

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s