Tag Archives: meat

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.”

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