Friday, November 23, 2012

On Vegans and Vegetarians

Yup, I'm going there. I will state that I ultimately don't care what you've chosen as I probably am not even aware of your existence. Also, I'm not going to tell you to stop advocating what you believe in, either. If you think eating animals is an act of pure evil, then you should be talking about it, and that's why we're here.

Vegans often ask for compelling arguments to eat meat. Obviously, the fact that vegan food is disgusting does not matter. So, I'll skip that entire thing. But like an extremist of any kind, the typical Vegan tends to have no realistic understanding of actual agriculture and human history.

First and foremost, you can not allow animals to take over the farm land. If you let that happen, everyone is going to starve because of extreme food shortages. They will eat the crop, multiply, and continue to do so unless you physically do something to stop them. You can either have the land overrun with coyotes / wolves, bears, and whatever other dangerous cat predators you can find, combined with posting guards and more fences around the farm, which probably wouldn't work, and or keep the population under control by doing something like neutering bulls. However, that does not mesh well with the type of world we've built. Personally, I don't want to live in the wild frontier, and I don't think you do either.

Now like a good extremist, historical revisionism combined with ignorance is abundant. I'll tackle some of the more common propaganda and hopefully get my point across to some of you to stop using these horrible arguments to justify your position.

First up is the idea that if it eating meat was natural for humans, then we'd all be natural hunters and only eat our own game. Actual truth: We used to hunt in small groups; we are social animals, and as our groups became bigger, only the people who actually had a talent for hunting did it. The rest of us were given other jobs to do. I highly doubt there was ever a time in human history where nobody shared their kills with the group and everyone only ate what they personally hunted. There is a reason trade started, and it wasn't because humans were all identical clones of each other, with the same exact skills, and could do everything by themselves.

Then there is the argument that we can't eat meat raw so we shouldn't eat it? Well, we can. Yeah, you can get really sick from it, but animals can too. When is the last time you cared when a wild bear caught parasites? Anywho, it's our academic understanding that even our lesser evolved ancestors knew how to make fire and cooked. There is a lot of research on the importance of cooking food to release enzymes and increase the potential caloric intake to give us the opportunity to evolve into having bigger brains, in the first place. Also, animals eat naturally cooked foods all the time, left over from fires or just sun baked — not counting our leftovers in the garbage.

Lastly, I want to dismantle this stupid teeth argument. Many believe that our teeth more resemble a herbivore's. Personally, I have very sharp and pointy fangs along with flat teeth. I've had children act scared around me only to eventually summon up enough courage to ask me if I was a fuck'n vampire. Thanks for that Twilight. But the myth here is that our taxonomy limited the diet of our ancestors, as well as their ancestors, going as far back as you can go down the evolutionary ladder to strictly vegetation. Can I get an "LOL Wut?"

To be short, once you evolve to having the mental and physical capacity to manipulate tools, it levels the playing field with the more naturally equipped predators, and I wouldn't be here typing if that didn't work out really damn well. Anyways, scientists have pegged tool use, in our evolutionary tree, going back millions of years! So yeah, picking up a sharp rock and cutting something canceled out the need for having sharper nails and teeth to eat tougher game. And cooking our food just expanded our dietary options and aided in our ability to spread across the rest of the world.

The last one of these common arguments that annoys me is the pet one. Apparently, it's hypocritical of me to eat part of a cow and have a pet dog. Although, I'm not sure what happens if I shared part of that cow with the dog. Maybe I fall into some weird paradoxical zone? Either way, does that mean Vegans can't own a ficus if they eat salad? I'll have to ask around and get back to you guys.

Now with that stuff out of the way, I want to talk about morality of what we're doing. I do not think that it's OK to abuse animals, even as we raise them for food. And there is no way for anyone to turn themselves off to animal suffering, or to take pleasure in it, and not have that carry over into the rest of their psyche. We need to respect the life we take into us or lose a big part of our humanity.

Everything that's alive will die eventually and be devoured by something else. As I type this, there are countless amounts of microbes trying to kill me. There are even mites living on my skin and hair, mining me for food. And someday, I will return everything back to the Earth that I have taken from it.

Alan Watts made a great point about us being more of a system than an individual being. We sort of draw these lines based on our intuition, but what's a human being without air? And this is sort of my major gripe with Veganism. They have no continuity when it comes to defining a human being. One minute we're all animals, the next minute we're something more and should be held to higher standards. Where I see us all as one system constantly moving and changing due to entropy, they differentiate the environment form the organism and label what life forms are morally acceptable to destroy based on feelings.

I'm not a tree hugger, but I've always had this almost spiritual connection with them. I used to play on a tree that my grandpa had planted as a young man. And to see how big this thing had grown and how much older it was than me was just humbling. And in my heart, I see them as just as alive and important as my fellow mammals. And that may just be my own baseless idiosyncrasy, and I'm OK with being the weirdo about that. But that sort of subjectivity is not unique to me or any of you.

Anyways, I don't have a good reason for you to do anything that you don't have to do or that makes you feel bad. Right now, we do have a system that can allow you to survive off vegetation. Although I find the status of your health to be far more questionable than you believe. And it's not like I don't know anything about this being a former Vegan. Shocked? You shouldn't be. I'm always open to new experiences and information. My views are constantly evolving because I just want to be better than I am. Maybe I'll even have my mind changed on this again; who knows?


  1. Contrary to popular belief, being a vegan will not give you super human powers like the guy from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. I've researched into this, and found it to be false. That is all. Good post. :)