Meat is murder!
Yes, I know.
And I’m comfortable with that.
I saw a lovely post on Tigers and Strawberries yesterday that summed up the issue of being an “ethical omnivore” quite nicely. The author’s daughter, by killing and preparing her own meat, really got a sense of where her food came from. The experience wasn’t ghoulish or terrible, said the daughter; they made sure the animal–a calf–didn’t suffer.
And even as I read it, I thought good lord, wait ’til the PETA people see this. In my time I’ve encountered some angry, angry vegetarians, people who remind me more of Jerry Falwell’s hatred of dissent than Buddha’s love of all creatures. I dread talking to these people, folks who can’t accept or even understand the eating of meat and who think that because I eat everything from beef to flounder I must either be uninformed about how it gets to my plate or, alternately, a terrible person.
“Meat is murder!” They chant. Yes, it is. I’m terminating the life of another living thing so I can eat it. When they see this knowledge doesn’t provoke wide-eyed shock, self-loathing, and a conversion on the spot, they follow it up with a diatribe about how I must not care about the pain animals suffer. Not so–I loathe factory farming and think every animal should live a comfortable life prior to its demise. But I won’t feel sad for whatever majestic creature fell to feed me; if anything, I’ll feel grateful. It died so that I might live.
I’ll continue eating meat ’til the day I die, and that’s okay. I’m not stupid, I’m not just uninformed, I’m not a craven, evil ghoul who doesn’t care about the plight of animals or who despises them. I’m a guy who likes meat, plain and simple. I find it delicious, nutritious, and necessary.
As a final note, I hold no ill will towards vegetarians/vegans and think they make some real damn good food. Similarly PETA is an organization that has done considerable good in the field of animal rights. But those of ‘em who hate meat eaters, think they’re stupid, think they’re evil–criminey, zip it up already.