Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Vegan the Beguine
I like animals.
I used to go out looking at them for enjoyment in the not too distant past.
In fact, for 20 years I was a bird-watcher who also helped to tag animals in the hope of better understanding them and looking after the various species out there. Through my job, I helped in the creation of Marine National Parks in my state several years back. I helped to identify links between the marine environment and the geology of an area as the sole focus of my postgraduate work.
I also eat animals.
I wear bits of them as well occasionally.
I'm sure there is a contradiction in there, but I'm currently okay with it...or am I?
I have/had vegan friends, and as of yesterday afternoon I seemingly have vegan enemies, and I see their positions.
Not once in my 20 years of bird-watching did I think, "wow, I'd love to eat that!" - not once. Yet I refuse to eat duck. Chicken, no problem. Turkey, sure, I'll have a nibble. But that's it for birds. No pheasants, no quails, no pigeons and no ducks.
So what did chickens do to piss me off I wonder?
How was I wronged by a feathery friend to such an extent that I've resigned myself to a life of revenge?
And don't even get me started on cows. They clearly did something horrible to me that warrants the relentless munching I indulge in with those buggers. Talk about sins of the father. Some long dead bovine really must have crossed me.
I DO like animals.
I don't support whaling. But, what's that all about?
Is it because they are smart that I feel wrong about someone eating them?
Cows are dumb, so it's okay?
Eating animals is one of those things most people don't really think about because if you really did think about it, you'd probably be pretty upset with yourself and what happens to Buttercup and her friends.
A lot of us got pretty distressed by the live export debacle from 2011.
I don't like the thought of someone eating a dog.
"What's for dinner?"
You'd be mortified!
Why though? Because you have an attachment to Spot? Because he's your bud?
So why am I talking about this today?
Well on twitter someone accused someone else of having a fur hat.
" guess animals being tortured then slaughtered makes good fashion sense to people without compassion"
I replied with "it's faux fur".
"I am vegan, fake fur that looks real promotes the idea that fur is glamorous, especially if you cant tell its fake"
And we were off.
Faux fur is just as bad apparently because it not only looks like fur, but it glamourises fur. You know, cos it looks the same as fur. Except this was purple. Presumably from that Purple Chocolate Milka cow.
But then the vegan lady talking to me said something about Ugg Boots, suggesting I didn't know they were made from Sheep Skin, not just wool.
I may be omnivorous, but I am also not an idiot.
And this is the point of my post.
I make no judgements on those who eat meat or wear leather, yet it seems to be okay that a Vegan can have a go at me for my choices. Of course, I know they have the best interests of the animals in mind when they're publicly ridiculing you and misrepresenting your comments on social media, but when is it suddenly their issue?
I'm an atheist, but I'm happy for you to believe what you want.
I'm a North Melbourne supporter, but I'm happy for you to support someone else.
I don't particularly like Tony Abbott or what he stands for, but you're free to vote for him if he floats (or tows) your boat. Hell, I'll even ridicule you if you support him....but you're free to vote for him - we clearly have different opinions.
...I eat meat, and I'm happy for you to not eat meat.
But eating meat or wearing ugg boots (which I don't, so stop laughing) is not a measure of intelligence or compassion. Just like being a Muslim or supporting a different football club isn't a measure of intelligence.
There seems to be a special place up on high for vegetarians and vegans where they look down upon the meat-eating majority with not only disdain, but with an air of superiority. A bit like a Scientologist now that I think about it.
Tom Cruise was interviewed a while back about attending the scene of a car accident and said as a Scientologist, not only was it his duty to help, but he was the only one who COULD help.
This air of superiority is the problem with vegans and vegetarians.
I'm not anti-opinion, far from it, and I'm certainly not anti-judgement on occasions.
But I stick to the topic of my judging.
Your personal politics is largely based on your family upbringing, as is your religion, as is your choice of football team to support...as are your carnivorous leanings.
But to a non-meat eater, your eating meat makes you heartless, ignorant and stupid it would seem.
I like animals.
I'll probably stop eating them one day.
But I'm not stupid.
I'm not heartless.
And I've probably done more to help animals than any vegetarian might have done simply by not eating them.