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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-10-12 06:03:22
That's a real conversation I heard while buying a suit this week.
I do have several vegetarian friends, and possibly up to two vegan acquaintances who might still be following this comic strip (one of which uttered that statement about eggs LOL). I don't mean to offend you two, but as a whole, you peoples is ka-ray-zee.
I'll start by conceding that we as a nation DO consume WAY too much meat. Much of it processed meat, no less. We're obese and putting an increasingly heavier strain on our health care system. We better win the "War on Terror" in short order, because we'll need those financial resources to pay for our burgeoning cholesterol and heart disease problems.
That said, there's no health-related reason not to indulge in red meat, like most things, in moderation. (Okay, professional competitive athletes should avoid it to keep their metabolism elevated, but that isn't even remotely a concern for the vast majority of us.)
However, if you decide to completely eliminate red meat from your diet, more power to you. It's like never consuming alcohol; I respect anyone's decision to exert complete control over the substances entering their bodies - just don't have the arrogance to impose this as an absolute moral value onto others without legitimate reasons.
Plus, unless you're careful to make up for the loss of protein, iron, etc., a vegetarian diet can be harmful in the long term. Vegans in particular (because they also eschew dairy) need to focus on calcium intake to prevent loss of bone density, and other such issues.
The healthiest diet (and by that word I mean program of consumption, not weight loss strategy) is the Mediterranean diet. It's rich in vegetables, healthy oils, whole grain carbs, and lean meat from fish, and possibly poultry. (Although, mercury levels in large fish seem to be rising, and we may RUN OUT OF FISH within the next several decades - thanks industrial polluters and overfishing money grubbers!) I need to steer myself in this direction.
Which leaves us with ethical reasons to go vegetarian. I find this far more compelling. Our entire agricultural system is fucked up now, between lobbyists and subsidies and a largely ignored dependence on petroleum to generate crops and cattle. And yes, I am also concerned about humane treatment of animals, although I personally place this on a lower priority of importance.
Animals are NOT people too. I've heard vegan arguments, and I absolutely do contest that they are SENTIENT. They do not have the same inalienable rights that we do. I do concede that we humans are sentient, and should, as moral creatures, endeavor to minimize the suffering of livestock in our possession. However, it is fully within our dominion to cultivate them for use as labor or consumption.
We have canine teeth (aka FANGS) for a reason. I don't see PETA members accosting falcons for tearing the flesh of rabbits with their talons and beaks, or lions for savaging terrified zebras. The "natural world" is a horrific one, full of predation up and down the food chain resulting in incalculable pain and suffering. We're talking webs, and poisons, and strangulation, and crushing, and rending, and creatures eating each other alive. I'm satisfied with our behavior as long as we provide a relatively stress-free lifespan and a quick and (inasmuch as possible) painless death for our livestock.
Now, if my opponents wish to assert that we do NOT raise and slaughter our livestock in the ethical manner I prescribed above, I'm with you. But that's a political regulatory issue and outside the domain I'm ranting about in this particular post. I would like to conclude this rambling missive by pointing fingers at humanity for breeding monstrosities. Let's start with toy dogs. Some ten thousand years ago, we domesticated the wolf - a proud, noble hunter. Now their descendants are purse accessories. Pitiful. I used to live in farmlands, and I remember a steer needing to be hoisted onto a cow with a small crane in order to mate. These were once powerful nomads majestically roaming the prairies; now they need our help JUST TO FUCK. Shameful.
Phew. I blathered on long enough. It's now five in the morning, and this was just a massive thought dump without any premeditated organization, so I apologize if it was neither entertaining nor informative. I also apologize if I unduly offended anyone; if I spoke out of ignorance or erroneous conclusions, feel free to educate me in the forums.
I also had a terrifically animated debate about the Middle East last night. Paul, I was mulling it over on the drive home, and I think I may have erred in the delivery of my argument. I'll post it in the forums, so check for that thread by Wednesday night at the latest. I'm sure Zokrah will have a specific perspective on the issue as well. I'd post now, except (as you can see above) I'm tired to the point of incoherence, and my tooth is throbbing. Four to one my dentist tells me I need a root canal when I see him later today :(
And hopefully, I'll return you to your normally scheduled programming of loving and mocking videogames by next week. I just haven't been able to play much of anything of late. I've also got a backlog of review to tackle.
Okay, shutting up now. Signing off.
Paul, don't front.
You best get to steppin'.
Or I be goin' BALLISTIC on y00.
You a sucka MC!
Kick that funky beat! (If you had responded to this line of attack, this would have been a much better debate!)
And also love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.