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 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.
Sure, a person can be a vegan, but they can't avoid causing human misery with their purchases.
Anecdotally, the vegans I know tend to be the most uptight about sustainable farming, fair trade, ethical sourcing, and preferably local food sourcing for their own diets. To quote you:
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...
Well, being vegan happens to be within their power and, from their perspective, seems to be a worthwhile method of reducing harm. Just because they can't fix everything doesn't mean it is odd to try to fix some things. Despite what others have encountered, none of the vegans I know pressure anyone else into their diet or condemn others.
Are there sanctimonious bastards who will call you evil for eating meat? Yes. Still, look at this thread. There's a fair bit of vegan bashing going on, and even some bizarre accusations of veganism, yet I don't think there has been a single vegan to post anything here one way or the other. There is sanctimony enough to go around for every camp. Most people, I think, are pretty chill about it all and tend to keep to themselves.
Yes, I clipped the quote, and while I was using it to discuss a tangent, I do get the original point you were making (and largely agree).
I'm not at all bashing their choice to abstain from meat eating, or from doing things within their power. What I am bashing is some of their, as you put it, "sanctimonious" attitude that they're morally superior, and calling those who don't make the same choices "bad people"... or murderers. Those that do abstain are totally fine... great, even! They're very disciplined and strong-willed people. My brother and dad both went vegetarian, and I haven't been able to follow-through the way they have. I admire their strength.
I have, however, had enough guilt-tripping from the church to last a lifetime... and I don't need more of it from people who choose to help the earth in their own way. Maybe this seems trifling, but I think I'm doing the world a lot of good by not having children. How much consumption and depletion of resources am I preventing simply by not bringing one to three more people into the world? And most people choose their battles... which is exactly what vegans/vegetarians are doing. Other people fight for different causes, and each cause takes a lot of energy and time... so it doesn't make sense for everyone to ultra-focus on their food choices when they're ultra-focusing on something else that demands their full attention. No, I refuse to accept that people who don't have time/money/resources to go vegan are "bad" people. Nor do I accept they're bad if it's simply their preference.
There does, also, need to be a distinction drawn between meat-eating itself, and eating meat procured from animals in a cruel manner. Eating meat is not inherently bad. In order for something to live, something else must die... period. It's a biological reality we'll never be able to circumvent. Also, it is extremely difficult, in our culture, to control where our food comes from. It is more difficult, depending on where you live, to make ethical food choices at every turn. Maybe those who don't go to extreme measures to find out where all our food hails from are simply lazy, or (as I said above) have other, more pressing things to think about. The west coast is brimming with local veggies, free-range animals, and so forth; those that live there have a lot more access to choices. It is much more difficult in other areas. These things need to be acknowledged.
It's just so wearying when everyone thinks the rest of the planet should make the same choices and have the same priorities they do, otherwise they're all bad. It does sound like religious rhetoric.
Maybe this seems trifling,
It doesn't at all, but the sanctimonious attitudes, fallacies and rhetoric go both ways, yet it is mostly vegans who seem to get criticized for it. I cannot quantify which camp is worse in this regard, but If that sort of behaviour is contemptible, is it not universally contemptible?
Absolutely, it is universally contemptible... or, at least, annoying. I'm definitely not just bugged when vegans have this attitude. I've encountered a lot of feminists displaying the very same attitude. I'm highly interested in women's rights... but not the way that group has mainly been going about it. They're so self-righteous, and have an "us vs them" mind-frame, that I'd rather not associate with them at all. Whether I agree with their main premise is actually beside the point; the bitterness and all-or-nothing approach is polarizing.
If you're passionate about a cause and want to win people over, calling people monsters and misogynists (among many other causes and slurs I could name) isn't the way to go about it.
cue fat people hate
no, but you should cue a bit of common sense or lets all be just happy with insane health care costs and crappy insurance.