My Tolerance Has Its Limits

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.
— Joan Gussow
I take a vitamin every day. It's called a steak.
— Leo Benvenuti

Well and perceptively said, Joan and Leo, whomever you are. You give us principles to eat by. Which leads me, a pretty tolerant person, to express some intolerance. Not to worry; I am intolerant only at the far edges so will not often foist it upon you. This is one of those exceptions.

I am tolerant of vegetarians and even vegans. Hey, lead your life as you choose. We are all adults eventually, albeit ignorant ones at times, and may choose whatever misadventure we choose to make of our lives. But my tolerance only goes so far. When the Veggies start accusing us Whole Food people of being heartless murderers of “sentient” lives, I say ENOUGH ! (By definition, isn't all life sentient, tomatoes included).

I observed this misguided piety recently in the Letters section of the NY Times following the Times’ article about a poor rural family who hunted deer to feed the family. I think the Times was trying to give another view of hunters but its readers, all part of the somewhat whacky Northeastern culture, went cranky, accusing this poor guy of bloodlust in the harshest of terms. Here’s a guy trying to harvest some of the finest, cleanest, healthiest food for his family and he is publicly ridiculed as a murderer. Consider the unrecognized hypocrisy of the Veggies: there is nothing crueler to animal life than the growing of vegetables. It has converted the Great Plains of the United States from a symbiotic haven of wildlife, flora and fauna into a mono-cultural and totally unnatural world of row crops. To keep this destruction going, they dammed our rivers to provide water to the cities and vegetable farms and destroyed the environment that the wildlife thrived in, thus exacerbating the destruction while destroying the riparian habitat. And when the Veggies go home to their wood frame house that once was occupied by a native forest, they are again complicit. They are murderers by their own definition, the bigger killers of wildlife in the cruelest of ways - first by eviction, then by inevitable starvation. Every time they eat their salads, they are a member of a murderous gang, far more so than the occasional meat hunter. Do we need not add the environmental destruction that the synthetic fertilizers and other poisons have on our waterways and our sacred gift, the Gulf of Mexico.  I like vegetables too, but I don’t kid myself about what is happening, and I certainly don’t put myself on a pious pedestal based upon my choice of food. Calm down, Veggies. You’re not the saints you think you are.

JVF