May 23, 12
In an MSN article today – a headline article – a Pit Bull mourned his friend for fourteen hours after she was killed by a car. Here’s the link, if you want to depress yourself for a while. This is front-page news because people still want to believe that only humans have “higher” emotions such as grief and love, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
When people write, discuss and link articles like this, it is usually because they are saying, “Well of course the dog feels that way,” and “How sad!” It is not until they think about what they eat that people will cite some outlandish fallacy to describe why this dog is different, and eating a pig or drinking cow milk is perfectly fine.
I disagree strongly with the idea that dogs mourn while chickens do not, and science backs up my belief.
When news articles and discussions like this come up, it’s a good time to interject some observations. Before people get to the point of citing inherited cultural stupidity as if it were their own (“Jesus ate fish 2,000 years ago therefore yay bacon and foie gras“), this is an excellent time to bring up a few discussion points:
- All animals mourn the losses of their loved ones. (See also: my “bear machines” article). These dogs are no different than pigs. What makes us so certain that we can inflict this kind of mourning on innocent animals?
- Killing the dog painlessly still inflicts a harm upon her friend, the survivor, even if you do not accept that removing all future experiences from killed animal is a harm. (Try telling a grieving family member that their grief is not suffering).
- Pigs are allegedly smarter than dogs. (Not that it matters). When we eat pork chops, bacon, pig lard, we create scenes like this for them.
- The location could change but the grief would be the same. Standing in line waiting to be slaughtered does not magically render the animals happy to smell blood and hear the screams of their friends and loved ones ahead of them in line.
- Going vegan= eliminates, among other things, the mourning a mother cow does when her child is ripped away so humans can steal her milk.
Many of us accept that animals love, play, fear and fight. We need not eat them to survive, therefore we cannot justify eating them for pleasure.
Mar 20, 12
Dear Ariel Kaminer,
I am writing in response to your contest, “Calling All Carnivores.”
Why must the NY Times encourage readers to eat meat? Why was the contest not called, ”Ethical Reasons to Stop Eating Meat?”
Those two are rhetorical questions. The answers are because the NY Times does not want to award people for insisting eating meat is unethical. On the contrary, this contest is strong evidence the NY Times wants to reward people for insisting eating meat is ethical.
In your article, you assert that “those who love meat have had surprisingly little to say.” How can you make this assertion and live in the United States, where every meal is pig, chicken, fish or cow, and where bookshelves are crammed with titles encouraging popular but illogical “compassionate carnivorism?”
My complaint is not that you believe meat fans are silent, or under-represented. As a meat eater, you are likely as unshaken by Turduckens and bacon as the rest of America, so your belief that meat-eaters have “had surprisingly little to say” is understandable.
My complaint is about the end goal. The result of this contest, intentional or not, is an article which causes readers to think, “Ah-hah. So that why eating meat is ethical. I knew I was right for doing it.”
The world does not need more reasons to eat meat, much less a contest recruiting the most convincing and popular logical fallacy. The world is not better for increased demand of dead or dying animals.
The world needs people who, as you said in another article, feel crummy when unnecessarily ending the life of another, and it needs articles from those people saying why they refuse to repeat the act.
If you like asparagus, this is a great side to a grain or starch-focused main dish. It also goes great on its own, with crackers or fancy bread of your choosing.
As an extra-curricular activity, try putting your television on the Food network and hold back the vomit as they prepare Bacon Something Something Wrapped With A Maple Bacon in Pork Tur-duck-ham Bacon Glaze.
- 1 bunch (2 to 2.5 cups) of chopped asparagus
- 2C almond milk
- 1C water
- 2T nutritional yeast flakes
- 1T Bragg’s liquid aminos
You know about proteins, right? Those things North America is insane with consuming far too much of? Well, there is one amino acid called asparagine, and guess where it gets its name? No, not an Italian racecar driver; the name comes from asparagus because is so full of this compound .
Stuff You’ll Need to Do
- Chop asparagus into 2” long cuts
- Steam 10-15 mins until soft but not mushy
- Combine water, almond milk, flakes in pot and heat to gentle simmer
- Once simmering, add in the asparagus
- Turn off burner
- Let sit with occasional stirring for about a half hour. (You can skip this step if you’re in a hurry)
- Scoopy 1C at a time into a food processor, but don’t do like I did and overload the thing or you’ll have a watery green explosion all over your kitchen.
- Pulse the food processor it each load of soup is smooth.
- Pour through a strainer into another pot or serving dish.
Feb 28, 12
I overheard a friend of mine explaining to a meat-eater, “Yes, but vegans believe meat equals evil.”
This is another subtle but pervasive opinion of vegans which I take issue with.
A phrase like “vegans believe meat = evil” trivializes the belief that killing innocent beings is immoral.
“Evil,” these days, is a hard notion to take seriously. “Meat” is a faceless, tasty product that most of us in the United States grew up eating. Most importantly, I think, a phrase like this keeps the animal out of the picture and the emotionless product, meat, as the focus.
A non-vegan listening to my friend would likely construct in his head an image of a wobbly, little, pink cut of meat and a red-eyed fringe lunatic vegan screaming “evil” at it.
Many vegans think killing innocent beings is immoral. Meat is a product of killing those beings, just like a black eye might be the byproduct of getting punched in the face. No one would scream that black eyes are evil, yet nearly everyone would object to an old lady receiving one (unless she works at the DMV).
In all dealings with those who think like us and with those who disagree, we absolutely cannot forget about those who, for food and entertainment, are stabbed, bludgeoned, slit open, drown alive, electrified, gassed to death, prodded with hooks, chucked with their brothers and sisters into grinders, chainsawed and even thrown into pits of despair (for “science”). At this very moment, by the thousands, all of that and worse is occurring.
If we think anything is evil, that is it. Not “meat.”
Jan 27, 12
Inspired by the currently-trending Twitter topic, #30WaysToMakeAGirlSmile. This is slightly tongue-in-cheek for those of you with your Serious Hats on all the time.
- Make her feel safe by not exploiting other females for their milk. Girls get nervous when they think you’re going to steal their breastmilk.
- Acknowledge that enslaving female animals and forcing them to reproduce is a human feminist issue.
- Cook her a truly happy meal.
- Don’t claw her to death with the big, scary apex predator claws which you do not have.
- Smile at, don’t bite her with, your stubby little “canine” teeth that are cavity-prone and need braces to keep straight.
- Don’t force your beliefs down her throat! Learn to kiss properly!
- Adopt, do not breed!
- Learn to count to 30.
30. Go vegan!
Even if you still eat meat, deviating even once from the social norms is going to get you reactions like this. If you have no interest in going vegan, then at least try eating a conspicuously vegan meal a few times in mixed company. For instance, vegetable fajitas when everyone else is having cow in theirs, or a veggie burger at a place which servers cow burgers. Watching people’s reactions as they try to figure out why you’re not joining in on the meat eating is fun and philosophically profitable.
You may notice the jacket looks really familiar to a certain sweater worn in another webcomic. For my first page, I wanted to pay tribute to Penny-Arcade, who have provided me with years of chuckles and a few outright guffaws.
Fresh from Obvious Pile, “Color additives are an inexpensive way to simulate absent fruit or vegetable ingredients, make white bread look more like whole wheat, or make sugary cereals more appealing to young children, according to CSPI.”
The result is that people eat garbage they might not normally eat because the garbage doesn’t look entirely like garbage. For instance, and with emphasis added:
Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix has no carrots, as such. Instead, it has “carrot flavored pieces” made with corn syrup, flour, corn cereal, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or soybean oil, a small amount of “carrot powder,” unspecified artificial color, and Yellow 6 and Red 40. Most varieties of Mt. Olive and Vlassic pickles appear greener and fresher thanks to Yellow 5. Kraft Light Catalina Salad Dressing contains Red 40. And caramel coloring and cocoa darken Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel Bread.
More at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
What can you do? Eat fresh meals made from whole ingredients.