A recent news story reported that English vegetarians and vegans (collectively “Veggers”) staged an impressively large and passionate protest, at times including some physical confrontations, over England’s inclusion of beef tallow in their 1 pound note. Wow. They don’t even want to carry a little beef in their wallets and purses? The Queen wasn’t asking them to eat it; in fact, I’m comfortable in assuming she hoped they wouldn’t. So what goes here? What’s all the anger about?
I’m a food libertarian. Eat what pleases you. And if what pleases you includes a good balance of meat, vegs and fruits, then I call you smart by my world view. That is how humans evolved, but it was the meat that expanded our brain. That is natural way. But if you choose to eliminate anything from your diet, I’m okay with that too. It’s not the balance I desire, but it’s your body, not mine. Have a ball! But must you smear others that make their own choices? That doesn’t sound like liberal democracy to me.
So what gets the Veggers so hot and bothered? I remember a survey that if accurate, may explain their behavior. Three factors were tested among the Veggers in an effort to understand their inordinate passion for eliminating meat and sometimes eggs and dairy, from their diet. First on their list, though followed closely by two other reasons, is simply stated as “meat is murder and cruelty”. Let’s examine their first choice.
It goes without saying as one of the stewards of our little patch of earth that I have some serious sympathy with that concern, but eating only from plant life does not exonerate the Veggers.
How about this to get the two camps all riled up? I submit that there is no greater “murderer” of planet life than the planters from whose toil the Veggers eat with their self- declared celebrity. What do you think happened to all animal and native plant life when we Americans began plowing up the plantable regions of our nation? Everything natural - and I mean everything – died of starvation or was poisoned or just flat lost its neighborhood and met death for lack of shelter. The ecological degradation resulting from the planting of America is massive, so much so that many species have simply disappeared while others survive largely by eating our garbage or our domestic pets. All for the sake of our need, and insistence on vegs and fruits.
So yes, I agree that we are all murderers, if that is what we choose to call the growers of our food. Instead of calling each other names, let’s get off our high horses and join together to do it all better. We can and should, but nothing is gained by splitting our communities according to what we eat.
The Boudreauxs and the entire crew at JVF wish you a Merry Christmas and Holy Holiday Season of your choice. Let’s all pledge to join each other as Americans in 2017