Jan 122020
 

To be plain, I’m not a vegan; I’m a vegetarian and have been for over 30 years now. Somebody has to eat all that surplus cheese, and what else am I going to put on my morning muesli? Navy-strength rum? It’s a nice idea, but I doubt my employer would be too impressed.

The old joke goes: “How do you know if someone is vegan? They’ll tell you.”. And somebody always makes it every time veganism is mentioned.

Here’s a few thought on that …

First of all, how do you know that all vegans will tell you and preach? The existence of noisy ones doesn’t provide you any information about quiet ones – you (and I) don’t know whether it is 1% of vegans being quiet, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 99%. From my experience of vegetarianism, the ones most inclined to make a noise about it are the newly converted … and vegans have been around for ages. I even know a few that have been vegan for longer than I’ve been a vegetarian.

Secondly, I know from my own experience that eating out with a bunch of relative strangers (co-workers, sales critters, and the like) is likely to result in being questioned on your menu selection: “Why are you eating that bloody rabbit food?”. It’s kind of hard to avoid the topic when you’re being interrogated all meal long about it.

Finally, I think that ‘normals’ overlook just how much pressure there is to conform to the standard carnivorous diet – from the restaurant menu that sticks vegetarian/vegan choices in the ‘restricted diet’ section, through to jokes about a steak is overdone if it doesn’t “moo” when you stick a fork in it.

Is it any wonder vegans are in your face?

Lastly, with the exception of a certain Twitter exchange, vegans have never been in my face.

Grazing In The Misty Morning
Aug 132017
 

It wouldn’t surprise me if I have ranted about this before, but I just don’t understand how people decide how some animals are food, and others are “cute” and shouldn’t be harmed. In the later case, there are all sorts of stories on Facebook (and presumably similar places elsewhere) about some sort of animal cruelty to “cute” animals.

Yet most of us ignore the cruelty to food animals, and indeed wild animals. Admittedly most of that cruelty happens behind closed doors with only the occasional peek behind the curtain.

But what really determines whether one species is looked upon as food and another is looked upon as a pet? It cannot be as simple as being cute is the deciding factor, or those of us seen as ugly would also be considered to be a food source.

You could argue that pet animals were formerly work animals of one kind or another, and that certainly applies to dogs and horses, but there are plenty of pet animals it doesn’t apply to – cats (admittedly cats were sometimes tolerated as pest control animals), hamsters, birds, tortoises, reptiles, etc. So that isn’t a good argument.

It is possible to argue that some animals – in particular dogs and horses – have a special place because our partnership with the animal is inherently linked to our survival. But even that doesn’t work – both horses and dogs are eaten all over the world (including Europe).

I have hunted the Internet for possible reasons why we should not eat pets, and whilst there are plenty of pages out there trying to rationalise why we should not, there is nothing that really makes sense. So it might as well be that pets are cute and food animals are not.

Essentially we have a non-rational position on eating pets which is fine. But the rational position is to eat any animal you like the taste of, or to eat none.

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