a follow up cross-post to my previous entry on veganism:
“I also like to tell people who are pro-life, that they’re not truly pro-life if they eat meat. OH ZING!”
Vegans eat the unborn young of trees, shrubs, herbs and other plants. They must not be pro-life. (what the hell do you think seeds and nuts are?) Vegans eat the tender young (shoots) of plants.
by the logic of the original post, vegans must have a deep-seeded (no pun intended) hatred of every non-animal living thing. because by eating them, they can’t possibly love them. you all must be incapable of loving trees, young shoots and sprouts, flowers, fungi, bacteria, etc. it’s inconsistent and ridiculous. we MUST love all of it, and yes, we MUST eat some of it.
oh, and dung beetles must surely hate shit. otherwise, why would they eat it? unless they hated it?
violence is a fact of life. killing something to eat it is not inherently unjust nor oppressive. exploitation, control, ecocide and genocide are oppressive. life kills other forms of life to live. humans are no exception, unless you’ve bought into the cultural myth of the mind/body dualism that allows us to selectively decontextualize ourselves and our activities. life, however, does not systematically oppress [pardon the redundancy, but i wanted to be clear] and DESTROY other life. only our necrotic culture does that. we did it with the great auk, with the passenger pigeon, with the buffalo, we are doing it with the salmon. the fucked up thing? we don’t even eat that much salmon! not eating salmon hasn’t done anything to save the salmon. depending on salmon for our livelihood? you bet that would give us one hell of a good reason to ensure it’s continued health and survival! then we move beyond the shallow “hey, change your diet, asshole!” conversation to, “how can we remove the dams? stop the industrial agriculture? the clear cutting? the pollution? the overfishing? the acidification of the oceans?”
eating (ok, doing) ANYTHING is unjust and atrocious within the context of our modern industrial production system, but veganism doesn’t do anything about that. it’s weak lifestyle activism. it’s like saying “save the environment and fight global warming by riding your bike.” [disclosure: my bike is my main form of transportation] if everyone did that, it would have a negligible impact on env. destruction, because we’ve done nothing to end the exploitation, enslavement and profiteering off the land. if by “eat vegan” you mean “reduce your footprint and increase your dependence on your local land-base” then yeah. but that’s not what “vegan” means. not eating meat doesn’t stop animal cruelty, nor does it make any of us less dependent on the system and mindset of cruelty that defines our culture.
it’s a tangential relationship only. take a look at the multi-layered environmental catastrophes of fossil fuel dependence and tell me that industrial fossil fuel faux leather is an inherently more “ethical” choice than animal skin. how many people here feel sick thinking about slaughtering another animal for food? why don’t you feel that way when you cut off a head of lettuce? when you pop pumpkin seeds into your mouth? under this vegan logic, animals are the only thing worth saving because “level 5 vegan” (don’t eat anything that casts a shadow) isn’t possible and suicide seems to be off the table. the logic is flawed.
the natives here ate salmon, and also said that they loved the salmon. they used leather products. for thousands of years, with no appreciable deprecation in the land-base. before modern white culture came along and systematically destroyed everything wild. “not eating meat” has no direct correlation with love of animals or animal justice nor does it have any direct correlation with sustainability. a vegan can (and often does) have a massively larger footprint than meat eaters, by virtue of class, gender and racial privilege.
here are my recommendations:
let’s end animal ownership and slavery (what we call “domestication” up to and including “pets”). let’s be strategic and incremental, while keeping the long-term goal always in mind. we’ll say, “yes, i’m so glad you switched from mystery meat to country natural beef!” and mean it, because while it’s domestication of a domesticated (and, like us, invasive) animal, it’s more just and compassionate than before.
let’s end vivisection, animal testing. let’s end animal abuse (which is inextricably linked with the abuse of other humans).
just, let’s not pretend that veganism is somehow inextricably tied to any of that. cuz it’s not. so go ahead and be a vegan, that’s great. no skin off my back (haha…ahem). just don’t inflate the importance of being one with posts like this. all it does is distract us from the core issues, needlessly shame people from a position of moral superiority, and allow a small segment of folks to pretend they are actually accomplishing something meaningful by “not” doing something