I forewarn you now this post will be preachy and talk about feelings an’ stuff, but it’s cheaper than therapy. This post reprisents my views, which will differ from yours, but that’s OK. I present this more as a discussion piece rather than a way of saying ‘you’re wrong,’ and I hope you will take it in the spirit in which it’s intended.
Today in the office folks have been discussing the news article Puppy is kicked to death in park on ye olde BBC News. The act of kicking a puppy to death was roundly condemned by the folks I work with, the phrase ‘sick bastards’ was bandied around a few times. Most people’s concern at this act stemmed from the fact that someone had mindlessly taken the life of a cute puppy discompassionately and for no gain, almost killing for sport. Some others saw the problem more like theft, the abhorrent part being the hurt caused to the family.
The thing that struck me was the people who were upset by this were the people who were dismissing vegetarianism the day before. I try not to talk about my vegetarianism, it tends to make people uncomfortable (I’ve heard a similar thing from religious folks) and their initial reaction is to question me, to find holes in an argument I haven’t stated yet. Usually it’s ‘do you eat fish?’ followed by ‘do you wear leather?’ then ‘do you eat eggs?’ These are the questions you tend to laugh off, but yesterday someone asked me ‘why?’ and it threw me.
I couldn’t just bat the question away, so I told him. I don’t eat meat because I think it’s wrong to kill an animal.
Here’s a video of a slaughter house (or abattoir if you prefer). There’s none of the horrific music or the abuse of livestock that litter most videos of this type on youtube, this is how a slaughterhouse works:
Even this makes me feel uneasy, but that’s probably where you differ from me, and I understand because I used to be a meat eater and laugh at silly vegetarians and their morals.
Back to the original point, the disgust you may have felt at the news report that a puppy was kicked to death for no reason is exactly the same reaction that I now have for the idea of any animal being slaughtered to feed me. That’s why I don’t eat meat. I don’t think it’s wrong that you’re a meat eater, and believe me when I say I think PETA and the ALF are wankers too.
See, us veggies aren’t all assholes. Most of us don’t mind that you eat meat, and we’re happy to sit and watch you while we eat our (inevitably crappy) veggie burger, some of us are so skilled at being a veggie you might not even realise. In fact I’m going to say something you might not expect a vegetarian to ever say: if you’re happy with it eating meat is OK.
You made it all the way to the end? I’m impressed! Here, watch the awesome Penn & Teller have a go at militant animal rights groups and have a pork pie, I won’t judge you for it: