It Ain’t A Meal If Nothing Died

This post over at gapingwhole got me thinking about vegetarianism and other ethics-based eating habits.  I try to live and eat with as little environmental impact as possible, but, while I have the utmost respect for those people who choose not to eat meat, I’m a dedicated carnivore.

I like meat.  It tastes good.  And I’m designed to eat meat.  We all are.  But hey, if a dietary choice lets you sleep more easily at night, it’s fine with me.

Problem is, there’s a small but vocal group of vegetarian zealots who believe they should persecute carnivores in an attempt to convert us.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

Zealot:  “You’re eating a piece of flesh from a dead animal.  That’s disgusting.  How can you live with yourself?”

Me:  “Easy.”  *chews noisily and smacks lips*  “Yum.”

Z:  “Do you realize what a waste of resources it is to raise and slaughter meat animals?  Shame on you.”

Me:  “Okay, you convinced me.  I’ll go out and kill a deer or elk or moose this fall instead.”

Z:  “You’re solving the wrong problem.  The point is, you’re killing a living creature unnecessarily.  You can survive without meat.”

Me:  “I kill animals to eat, you kill plants.  We’re even.  And meat is good for you.”

Z:  “I don’t eat anything with a face.  It’s the humane thing to do.”

Me:  “At least I’m not eating animals while they’re still alive and suffering.”

Z:  “Oh, you’re talking about those people that eat live octopus.  Well, that’s just horrible.”

Me:  “No, I’m talking about you.”

Z:  “I don’t eat living things!”

Me:  “Hell, yeah, you do.  Vegetables don’t die when you pick them.  They’re still living and breathing.  They convert sugars to starches and excrete gases just the same as if they were still in the ground.  When you eat a raw vegetable, you’re literally eating it alive.  And cooking it is no better.  The microwave brutally explodes the vegetable’s living cells.  And imagine being boiled alive.”

Z:  “You’re sick.  And that’s a spurious argument.  Vegetables can’t think or feel.”

Me:  “Haven’t you read those studies where scientists monitored the electrical activity in plant tissues?  The activity increases when a plant is damaged.  And if one of a group of plants is damaged, the remaining plants in the group react.  Their electrical activity increases, and they actually secrete enzymes that amount to a defensive reaction.”

Z:  “That’s nonsense.  Plants don’t think and feel like animals.  They can’t comprehend threats or suffering.  Plants are a lower life form.”

Me:  “Nice value judgement.  Just because you can’t hear them scream or see them struggle, you call them ‘lower life forms’ and that makes it okay to hurt them?”

Z:  “I never said that!  You’re just bullshitting me.  I don’t believe all that stuff about plants thinking and feeling.  You killed Bambi’s mother!  I don’t eat animals, and I’m better than you!”

Me:  “If you want to get technical, mosquitos and ticks are better than both of us.  They don’t kill anything in order to eat.  Oh, and maybe vampires.  They suck blood and let their host live, too.  Usually.”

Z:  “Vampires!  I can’t believe I’m wasting my time talking to you!”  *storms off*

Me:  “I feel kinda guilty about eating this carrot now.”  *slices off another piece of steak and chews noisily*  “Yum.”

19 Comments

Filed under Humour, Life

19 responses to “It Ain’t A Meal If Nothing Died

  1. So funny! Reminds me of my brother’s lament once about veal: “When I think about those poor defenseless little calves…kinda makes me hungry!”

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  2. Pingback: Neanderthal Behaviour | Diane Henders

  3. i can’t wait till the next vegetarianism debate. 🙂

    Know what is funnier than people trying to argue the merits of vegetarianism? People who assume that being a Indian is the same as being a vegetarian. I was politely informed by a waiter at a steak house that steak comes from the holy cows 🙂 I think he was offended by me eating beef

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  4. Your article made my day! Thanks for making me smile. Anyone who tries to force their beliefs on another deserves this kind of verbal spanking. And you administered it so adroitly.

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    • Thank you – and thanks for commenting!

      Hope I’m not forcing my beliefs on anyone, though. (Insert off-colour reference to spankings here – ’cause we all know I’m too classy to mention it. *snort*)

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  5. I’m vegan and my hubby is a hard-core cow eater. I cook for both of us. So it can be done!

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    • Good to know it’s possible! I’m always impressed by the extra effort it takes to adhere to a special diet, and cooking for both of you must be an exercise in organization and tolerance.

      Just goes to show that, as with anything in life, the problem isn’t with one belief system or another, it’s with the zealots on both sides. 🙂

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  6. Great post, girl! Here’s a story to share…I’m a vegetarian. Quite some time ago, when we were traveling across country, we stopped at a restaurant in some town I can’t remember the name of. I ordered a veggie burger and the rest of the family ordered regular burgers. When I bit into mine, I thought the texture and the taste were kind of off, but I kept eating. On closer inspection about halfway through, I realized I was eating meat. Okay, I can handle that, but I wanted my veggie burger. So I called the waitress over and told her I didn’t get what I ordered. She looked at my burger and said, “Sure! You did get a veggie burger!” She kindly pointed out the mushrooms and lettuce on the top and said, “See? There are the veggies!” *face palm* Yeah. I think our definitions of veggie burgers are a little off.

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  7. People storm off when I start speaking of vampires too, Diane…
    I’m not keen when folk start to shove their opinion down my throat, I usually think that they are wasting their breath, and find that still I need to eat something anyway; meat, veggies, whatever’s there.

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    • You’re right, Tom, and I guess I should have called myself an omnivore, or, as the famous Wile E. Coyote was designated: “Eatibus Anythingus”.

      And hey, vampires! The unsung heroes of globally responsible consumption. 🙂

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  8. Diane, I think I love you.

    I’ve often been known to say the EXACT same thing (in private, away from the zealots).

    I had to come over here after your comment on Roni’s blog – donkey DNA! BWAHAHAHAHAH

    Congrats on the weight loss – I loved my weight loss process!

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  9. I like your style. I’m not a vegan nor vegetarian either.

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