Dear Princess ‘Ishka,
Conservativism backlashes the most when a progressive practice threatens to become mainstream. It happens in politics, philosophy, fashion, art and many other social environments. However, I have very seldom seen a conservative reaction as argumentatively stupid and uselessly brute as the one against vegetarianism and veganism.
We are not in Kindergarten anymore and we can’t dig our heads in the sand to avoid facing our toxic (even if comfortable) eating habits. I am saying “toxic” in a metaphorical sense because, independently of possibly being unhealthy, our eating habits are surely ethically questionable.
First of all, eating meat means taking the responsibility of the death of animals for the satisfaction of our palate. To my understanding, that is already a strong enough reason to start doubting that there’s nothing wrong in the way we eat. But there will always be those Einsteins telling that they don’t care because they just “like eating”. No, girl, it is not that you don’t care. You don’t understand, and that makes a huge difference! Do you understand that you value the life of a sentient being, like a chicken or a pig, less than the satisfaction of eating something you could easily avoid without even missing anything in terms of pleasure? It is not that “you just like eating” it is that you are a damn egoist, and a pretty pig-headed one!
The value of sentient life doesn’t convince? Why not talk about the sufferings inflicted on animals for the mass production of eggs, milk and meat? Not to talk about crisis of overproduction, with the consequent mass suppression of animals in order to follow the demands of the market. But I am being too emotional and empathetic, am I not? Yes, because the convinced carnivores are proud of cherishing at the thought of unnecessary pain inflicted for their pleasure’s sake. So many hedonists out there! But very poor hedonists indeed, who struggle to defend what they are accustomed to, more than to actually explore more sustainable and equally enjoyable eating habits.
Are sufferings and utilitarian ethics overrated and not your thing? There is the environmental issue. The breeding industry has one of the greatest impacts on global warming, pollution and exploitation of natural resources. And here they come, the champions of the new Marxism-to-go, with their motto “no ethical consumption under capitalism”. These hipsters of philosophy are telling us that even the cultivation of cereals and other non-animal products is highly harmful for the environment. And, in the capitalistic machine, everything you buy and consume is the result of exploitation. So far so good. Conclusion: you are allowed to eat whatever you like and just don’t care.
Now wait! I was following you, I was enthusiastic of your argument (Marxist references can do no harm, after all) but then, you threw everything in the trash can with the garbage you hold as a logical conclusion. It is like saying that, “since smoking is bad for my lungs but air pollution could be even worse, I can smoke as much as I want”. Kindergarten! Of course capitalistic exploitation – which is often indistinguishable from capitalism itself, is one of the greatest issues in our modern world, but you won’t defeat it with a dumb slogan!
Buying fair trade products is a great idea, just like spreading the practice of eating local and home-grown biological food, not to mention funding and supporting NGOs fighting for sustainability. But only if you hold your mouth shut when it comes to poor vegetarians and vegans, who are just trying to do their best to help.
My beautiful Princess, I am sorry if I have been so harsh this time, but I badly needed to pour out a little, because certain argumentative catastrophes make me sick. I really don’t care if anyone eats meat, goes to McDonalds, is vegan, vegetarian, a saint, the pope or his horned companion. All I care for, is that certain people start thinking and do not blindly follow simplistic mottos, or bury themselves in their bigoted comfort.