So here is a question.
I am currently eating a steak. It came from a dead animal - one who most likely didn't have the greatest life, one could say suffered - One could go so far as to say the animal I am eating used to live a life of torture.
I am perfectly well aware of the arguments for not eating meat. The arguments against animal abuse. I have watched the videos of animals being slaughtered because I wanted information to make an informed opinion.
It wouldn't be a lie for me to admit that I agree with all the arguments from the non meat eater/vegetarian crowd. I agree with them almost completely. That the animals do in fact suffer more than they should.
But honestly - eating this steak makes me feel good. I enjoy chewing it, tasting it - the red and bloody steak it becomes with butter and pepper. It's delicious to me.
I guess it's more that I just don't care about the suffering the animals enough for me to give up my delicious steak. Or veal chop. Or rack of lamb.
What say you, rational minds? Am I a 'bad person' for admitting that the arguments make sense and yet I choose to simply ignore them for my own one could say - selfish and short-term desires?
The problem with many vegetarians is their insistence on proselytising - so yes I'm against that. As far as individuals are concerned, it doesn't matter in the slightest unless I'm throwing a dinner party.
But those vegetarians who are quiet about their moral or dietary concerns are sadly few and far between. I imagine if I started to describe why I like meat, what kinds of meat I prefer, and so on and so forth, I'd be considered quite tedious. Why does the absence of meat have to be such an all consuming subject matter that seems to have to be shared so frequently?
I had a vegan girl friend. She was very obsessed with food. I wouldn't call it proselytizing exactly, just that it was always her greatest concern, looking for gelatin, or milk powder as ingredients and such. Reminded me of how a recovering alcoholic deals with booze. In fact she was always trying to get tofu to look and taste like meat. I found that so odd because I really don't care for meat or dairy all that much and eat very little of it. Tofu Turkey- Not for me!
Oh yes! I completely forgot about that meat-simulcrum type thing they have going. I cannot count the times I have heard the words, "it's just like meat".
No. It isn't.
If I chopped up cardboard and mixed it with Ragu, I could make it look like meat (if you squint a little and blur your vision). Who cares if it looks like meat?. Why do you want it to look like meat?
[edited to add: That's it! I've got it! I'm going to tell the next vegetarian proselytiser that my steak looks just like tofu]
No. It isn't.
I have never even liked the way vegetarians prepare vegetables.
oh, Strega, you got me good with that one
The animal-based proteins I eat are fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, and cheese. I don't each much of these things except the chicken or the eggs which I have once per week each on average. (Most of my protein comes from whey, soy, nuts, and beans.) I generally eat certified free-range chicken. I don't see the option available in turkey. The fish I don't care too much about. When I'm at a restaurant I might have a steak, but that's a rare event: maybe 1 or 2 times annually. After a long hiatus from red meat my stomach sometimes aches after I eat it. I eat this way for health reasons and ethical reasons.
But mostly it's a matter of personal taste. Sometimes I look at a lamb chop or hunk of ham and I feel like I could puke. That goes especially when I see a big white vein going through the meat or when some elastic bit of cartilage snaps when somebody cuts off a piece. I find that disgusting to look at let alone pop into my mouth and start eating.
What about those of us who are AWARE of the arguments but DON'T ACCEPT them? I guess the jury will have to be out, though feel free to judge us.
I do think it's a bit odd that people get so upset by the idea of animals being tormented, but forget the malnourished/overworked laborers who pick fruit and veggies or make our clothes.There are humans all over the world similarly suffering to bring us other things to consume. Sure, a person can be a vegan, but they can't avoid causing human misery with their purchases. Unless you live on a self-sustained farm, it's impossible to mitigate all suffering. NO I am not making the argument that we shouldn't try, but I don't think we should be too hasty to call someone a bad person for eating meat, even with full knowledge of animal suffering, and conveniently forget that we're wearing a shirt made in a sweat shop somewhere, or typing on a computer crafted in a facility with suicide nets.
For one reason or another, most of us are participating in the perpetuation of human suffering, animal suffering, or environmental degradation...I don't think it's possible avoid entirely if you live with the western standard of living in a globalized economy. Of course, that's no excuse not to try to improve the way we raise, grow, and harvest our food. I'm not saying you're evil if you eat meat that comes from a chicken factory or veggies piked by indentured slaves, but it doesn't make you a saint and it doesn't tally up as a neutral moral choice. I'm going to put my neck out there and assert that if you do something that you know is seriously wrong just because you like it (as the OP and I do), you're a bad person. So, as an enlightened omnivore who doesn't seek out humanely raised and harvested food, I'm not a good person. I'm not an ax murderer, but I could definitely improve myself.