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Stupid Defences of Meat Eating

September 4, 2014

Here is Gary Yurovsky on the ‘plants feel pain too ‘nonsense:

It amazes me how vociferously many people defend their ‘right’ to eat the flesh of some poor animal. It sometimes feels like they must be in love with killing and that you, the spoilsport vegan, are a terrible person for reminding them that the stuff they are eating is a lump of some sentient creature who had the life force in her, strongly, as they do, and fought to live when threatened with death. You, the vegan, are the unkind one, for telling them the unpleasant truth, for making them see that what they are doing is completely wrong. They resent you for it and attack you or ridicule you and call you judgemental.

Sure, I’m judgemental. I make judgements every day.If I did not, I couldn’t live. I have to judge which path to take, what decision to make, choose between one thing or another, I can’t just sit still, like a plant, and wait to be acted upon, can I? I’m an animal, not a plant. And no, I am not judging anyone when I tell the truth about the harm being done through animal agriculture, I am speaking a truth that needs telling – it is you who get defensive who are making the judgement on yourself. When you hear what I say, and feel  threatened by it, it means that you know, deep down, that I am right and you are wrong, you feel uncomfortable because you are being faced with a truth you already know, and you don’t want to own up to that. You judge that you are doing wrong and you don’t want to see yourself like that, so you blame me and tell me to stop judging you.

There are no defences of meat eating which are not stupid and lacking in compassion. And yes, that’s a judgement. Not of you, but of the arguments you might put forward to defend the indefensible.

I do think veganism is a superior ethic and a fine way to live on this earth. If I did not think that, I would not have adopted this lifestyle myself. Why would I follow something I didn’t think was better than my old way? That would make no sense. I judge that the habit of killing animals for food is barbaric, a relic from a survivalist, different past, and now well overdue for abolition. In our modern world, with all our technologies we have no need of such primitive methods of feeding ourselves.

The defence of eating animals that begins with ‘but it tastes so good’ is about as shallow as you can get. It shows you up as someone ruled by your taste buds. It shows you up as a person of uncontrollable appetites and a dangerous lack of self control. It shows you to be unwilling to lay aside your pleasures for some greater good. I judge that to be a despicable thing, a kind of slavery. I might pity you if you did not grin when you said ‘mmm, bacon’. I would help you if you were sad that you could not escape your entrapment in the spell of bacon’s taste and truly wished to change, but defending your eating habits with stupid remarks just make you look insensitive to the nth degree – very like a plant in fact.


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