Vegan in a Leather Jacket.

Have you ever gone to facebook and saw one of the many charities that use facebook for promotional purposes?   Have you ever clicked the little "like" button with the thumb, and thought that you actually contributed something?   If your answer is no, you probably have a head on your shoulders that's good for more than just consuming food and wasting oxygen.  If your answer is "yes, I did help that charity by clicking the 'like' button", you are probably a vegetarian.

I've met many people in my day.  Many of which had some strange justification to take a certain biased on particular topic(s).   For example, I've met many religious folks who feel obligated to save my soul by telling me that I'll burn in hell if I don't make it to church on Sunday.  I've met many party-animals that tell me that I should "live-in-the-now" and worry about the consequences if/when they come.  I've met parents that drive their kids to their school around the corner, so the pedophiles on TV can't abduct them during their otherwise 2 minute exposure to outside.  All of these people have strong beliefs that influence their actions.  But I have never come across such a ridiculous code of conduct, than vegetarianism.

Don't get me wrong.  I love animals.  I am aware of animal cruelty, and agree that it is a wide spread problem that is often hidden from the general public.   I know that in China they skin cats and dogs alive, and then throw them into massive piles of other skinless dogs and cats, to slowly die a unfathomably painful death.   I know that KFC stores tens of thousands of chickens in small, poorly ventilated warehouses, where people cannot enter without breathing apparatuses. I also know that there are no laws in North America that protects chickens in any way.   I know that an average of 10 beluga whales die at the Marine Land in Niagara Falls, ON, every year, due to the stress of being taken out of the ocean and put into captivity (they can't breed them fast enough to not have to take them from the wild).     I know that veal is made of cows that spend their short lives in cages, and are slautered as soon as the law allows.    I know that baby race horses that are not of racing quality are slaughtered, opposed to being sold to hobby farms.  I know that organic farms slaughter sick live stock instead of easily curing them with medications, because if treated with chemicals, they are no longer organic.   I would consider myself more conscious of animal cruelty than the average person, and even some vegetarians.   I know what happens, where the demand (the cause) comes from, and I also know that personally choosing to be a vegetarian does nothing, and will continue to do nothing to stop it from happening.

But, every time I speak to a vegetarian about their significant choice to change, I get the same response.   "I'm against animal cruelty, and I want to do my part to make a difference in this world" and it's usually followed by some degree of criticism of my choice to eat meat.   Well, I've got some news for some of these people.

We are omnivores.  We, as animals, are supposed to eat meat and vegetables in order to stay healthy.  By only eating plants, you are depriving yourself of essential nutrients, and that is why you look so pale, skinny, and ill.  (Remember the food group pyramid?) In nature, animals eat other animals as a part of a balanced ecosystem.   We like many of those animals were designed to eat other animals, the same way we are designed to breathe air.   If we weren't, we wouldn't have teeth capable of tearing through flesh, and would have gills for breathing in water.   If you people were only hurting yourself, I wouldn't have a problem with your choices, but it's not always the case.

I like to call most vegetarians and especially vegans high maintenance, because their personal choices require those around them to comply.   Poor Ma wanted nothing more than to have a pleasant Thanksgiving turkey dinner with her family... now because you don't want to eat meat, she has to go out of her way to either make you something special, or deprive the rest of their guests from eating what they enjoy.    I've gone to a family gathering such as this.  My ex's vegan sister was visiting for the first time in a few years.  Instead of enjoying her stay, she spent most of the time teaching her poor mother how to cook for her.   If she wasn't so pleased about her daughter coming to visit, I know this lady would have been very insulted.   Like, how good can a mother feel about her own daughter turning down the food she was proud and worked hard to raise her on?  (Not to mention... she always made healthy food made entirely from scratch)  Last I checked, kids that didn't eat what their mother made for dinner, went to bed hungry.    But her mother complied, and for dinner that night we had some nasty legume casserole... and fast food hamburgers after we left.   It's not only that, the girl had no appreciation or sense of guilt for insisting that other people go out of their way to tend to her lifestyle. It was more like her presence was doing the world a favor.    And it's not like any less animals are slaughtered for food because you only eat beans.  All those packages of ground beef that you pass up in the grocery store are from animals that are already dead, and will either be consumed by someone who's not as crazy as you, or will be thrown out when they expire. 

There are people starving to death all over this world.  Think about the impact of that statement.  People, children, innocent folk, literally not living anymore only because they couldn't eat enough to stay alive.  Imagine suffering your entire short life because your basic needs could not be met, within your own means.  You know... a fucking $1.89 McDonalds hamburger a day would have been enough to keep those people from dying.    They don't have a choice.  And if they did, they certainly would not choose to turn down a meal just because it had a piss poor quality of life.   People starve while vegetarians turn down food out of some self-righteous belief that they are doing the right thing. 
It's a bunch of bullshit.  If you're a vegetarian, and someone accidentally forgets, and serves you something with meat in it, don't turn it down.  The animal in that meal cannot be saved.  At least, if you eat it, that animal died for a reason... if you turn it down, and nobody else eats it instead, it goes to waste. That animal died for no reason... not even a shitty reason.  Do you want to be the cause of that?  What's worse? An animal dying for food, or an animal dying to be turned down and thrown in the garbage by a vegetarian?

The only way vegetarianism will work towards eliminating animal cruelty is if everyone becomes a vegetarian.  There's two reasons that will never happen. A) people are starving and will eat whatever comes their way.  B) Even people, like myself, who are aware of and disgusted by animal cruelty, still eat meat.   As wrong as that may seem, it's the way it is.  It's fact that cannot be argued.  People still go to walmart because it's cheap, even though their best buddy just lost his business because he couldn't compete.  People still smoke even though they have family members who have died of lung cancer.  It's not a good thing, but it happens, and it will continue to happen, no matter how well you educate.   And even if you did take meat off of every plate in the world, there will still be animal cruelty... hell even all-out, life long, vegans have benefited in some way  by our (ab)use of animals.... don't believe me, look up how vaccines are produced.   The very vaccines and medications that allow you to live your life as a vegetarian had mostly likely something to do with animal testing or worse.    Or think back to the day where horse power meant the number of horses you had hooked up to your buggy. 

There are many different ways to help put a stop to animal cruelty, that actually has an impact.  I'll list them off.

- Petition your government into creating and enforcing more animal rights. (For example, the Canadian government does not require imported furs to be properly labeled, while the cat and dog skinners of China admit to mislabeling in order to sell cat and dog to Canadians, where it's put into products that many people do not even know contain real animal fur, like winter gloves and kid toys... you can start there)
 - Become an animal foster parent or owner to pets who have been neglected and abused.
 - Help others become aware of animal cruelty, which will put pressure on the companies that mass produce animals for food and other consumer products.  Take "green" products and that movement as an example and goal.
- Lead by example and start your own farm that uses the most  humane innovative way to unsure that animals have the best quality of life before they are treated like the products people will continue to consume regardless.
- Kill yourself, because no matter what you do, or don't do, your existence has and will come at some indirect, or direct negative cost to an animal at some point.  Like it or lump it...

Do something that actually makes a difference.  Simply not participating in the problem will not solve it.   Don't make this an out of mouth - out of mind cop out.

Uploaded 04/27/2011
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