and so, the other day, I met this person who in the normal course of bar-room conversation said, “I’m anti-vegetarianism. I believe everyone should eat meat.”
[stunned silence, even from the other carnivores present]
someone said, “Why would you be anti-vegetarianism?”
says she: “I grew up on a farm.”
[like that’s an excuse. and of course, further proof of my pet theory, standpoint. but I let her keep on talking.]
he: “so, you think EVERYONE should eat meat, even if they don’t believe in eating meat, or want to eat meat, or like eating meat?”
she: “well… yeah.”
[maybe she’s starting to realize that she’s backed herself into a tight and strange corner.]
me: “I’m vegetarian.”
me: “So why should my personal decision not to eat meat, according to my personal moral code be overridden by your opinion? I should really be, like, forced to eat meat against my will?”
her: “well, I’m just tired of vegetarians being all morally superior and forcing their opinions on the rest of us.”
me, twitching and nearly jumping into her mouth: “ummmm, this from the woman who just said she thinks everyone should eat meat? isn’t that a little bit inconsistent? And how does my personal decision not to eat meat have any impact on you whatsoever? I’m not the one sitting around saying that everyone should or shouldn’t do anything.”
[at least not at that particular moment in time, but that’s another discussion.]
me: “so how do you justify slaughtering animals unnecessarily for food when it’s perfectly possible and healthy to not do so?”
she: “well, we already produce all this livestock, and if we don’t kill them then the world will be overridden with animals.”
me: “that’s a pathetic excuse for a reason. if we didn’t over-produce livestock, there wouldn’t be an abundance of animals in the first place. If we reduce the demand, the supply will also reduce. in response”
she: “Well, a lot of people make their living farming animals, so I think that justifies it.”
me: “I don’t think economic reasons are any justification for unnecessary mass slaughtering of millions of animals a year, not to mention raising them under inhumane conditions a lot of the time. I think people should be more aware of where their food comes from in general, and maybe then they wouldn’t be so wasteful of agricultural and environmental resources.”
she: “well in Europe, they’re way ahead of us in terms of tagging their meat and animal products so you can find out exactly where it came from and what kind of conditions they have on their farm.”
me: “good for europe. It still means millions of animals being killed unnecessarily. I don’t believe in causing any living thing unnecessary harm or suffering when it’s possible to live in a more harm-free manner.”
she: “I do.”
me: “well why would you want to deny other people the opportunity to live more humanely and make less impact on the planet and on other living beings? Just because you have a moral code that allows for unnecessary suffering so you can line your pocketbook and your stomach doesn’t mean everyone should have to live by that code.”
[okay, now the moral superiority is starting to come through just a little bit. although all was said with relative calm.]
she: no answer.
me: nothing more to say to such an obvious idiot. 🙂
I turn away, wondering if I can really endure this person for another 3 years.
so, why is it that people are so uncomfortable with vegetarians? why is my mother always trying to get me to eat meat? why are the servers in restaurants always trying to get me to add meat to my order? why do people feel so threatened by my personal moral code? I mean, at this point I really can’t think of a justification for eating meat, raising livestock for slaughter, etc. along with many many other things like oh say having affairs with married people and having children as accessories and mistreating people who ring through your groceries and spending $3000 on a handbag. but, ya know, that’s just me. do I hold dear the hope that more people will view the world the same way that I do, and that maybe jsut maybe I could find one or two or ten more to spend my life hanging out with, and by a slim chance of a hope that our government might actually be down with some of my ideas about how the world should be managed? absolutely. Just like all those conservative right wing christian fundy nutbars wish everyone would wait for jesus and stop having gay sex and killing babies for fun and start to bomb the brownies with them.
I’ll continue to hold out hope. we’ll see what happens. give peace a chance!