Thursday, March 18, 2010

Food Rambling: Vegetables, remember the competition

So, continuing on yesterday's theme, I'm increasingly convinced that it's a mistake for moral vegetarians to advocate vegetarianism for health, or a connection to nature, or the beauty of the cornucopia. People who normally eat four strips of bacon on Sunday morning are not interested in the healthy leafy argument. They know what bacon tastes like. Bacon tastes good.

Now, those people probably do dislike cruelty. They probably have pets. But, again, bacon tastes good. If you combine the messages "It's wrong to eat pigs." and "Fat-free beans are really very healthful," you're doomed to failure. The followup thought to the pig thing is, "Try a bite of these fried truffled potatoes with caramelized onions. Would you like some more salt?" Hey, with the truffles, you even bring in gratitude to the pigs, see?

That's all for today.

Photo: By Jess Sawrey. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I don't think I could ever become a vegetarian....well, maybe if someone put a gun to my head. But who would put a gun to my head and say 'Become a vegetarian, or die!' :P

    And vegan? I understand that one even less than vegetarian. No cheese? No eggs? Bleah. A chick at my work is vegan, and we were talking about it the other day. It's cool, 'cause she never tries to push it on anyone. But she was saying,'...the place I was at had mostly things with meat to eat. So I just ate french fries the whole time.'

    Any food lifestyle that says eating a load of french fries (cooked in veggie oil of course) is healthier than eating a slice of cheese? Hogwash!

  2. I agree with Kyna. Vegetarianism and Veganism can be beneficial, but never have I seen anyone outside of professional athletes follow the diet correctly. They have no concept of what is and isn't healthy. No one puts in their due diligence before they choose a trendy lifestyle.

    Another point I'd like to bring up is that killing plants should not be considered so much less of an act of cruelty than killing an animal. First of all, animals kill each other in the wild. Nature created carnivores. They aren't evil. Second of all, plants are just as alive as anything else. They have advanced networks of roots that are used to communicate intelligently with other plants and animals. They even respond to music and love for heaven's sake. How can you say we shouldn't keep a chicken on a farm and kill it for food while keeping a garden of vegetables that you regularly cut off and tear up. Is that so much more considerate? Do people think plants want to be snipped, pruned and harvested? I wouldn't assume so.

    The lesson here isn't that we should all starve. Nor should we lack compassion. We should accept that we too are a part of the natural balance in life and eating other things to survive is just the way things are on this world. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Perhaps in the next life we won't require death for sustenance. Until then, we just have to deal with it. The most we can offer is respect and appreciation for what we eat.

  3. Howdy, Kyna! Yeah, I'm not sure if I can become a vegetarian, but the book is Very Convincingly Guilt Inducing. The result might my be searching harder for truly humanely raised and slaughtered meat, instead of altogether cutting it out. (And the price of that is going to inevitably mean cutting _down_. :))

    AxiomWolf, sure, carnivores aren't evil, but if I don't have to kill anything, then it becomes a choice, so it's a choice that I should be thinking about. Carnivorous animals don't have a choice, many people don't have a choice, but I do.

    However, I do have to kill _something_, and I find it less likely that plants suffer than that animals do. Even ignoring the fact that they don't have an animal-style nervous system or brain, many plants distribute their seeds, and thus reproduce, by being eaten.

    For example, fruit is pretty-colored specifically to attract critters that will eat it and then scamper off before, er, depositing the seeds after processing. And many leafy pasture plants are replanted by being, again, processed through a grazing animal's digestive system. So I don't think that those plants mind.

    Now, one could argue that a head of romaine is irritated at being eaten before it can bolt and produce seeds, and I think that there are religions that do take that view of it, but, well, I'm setting priorities here. :)

    A plant merrily distributes ten thousand seeds and it's a given that most will be eaten or lost; a cow produces a calf a year and apparently mourns loudly for a long time when the calf is taken away. For now, the cow wins more consideration from me.

    That's not to say that I don't see your point, but eating isn't a choice, so I'll consider it a kinder choice to eat the stuff that has evolved to benefit from being eaten - even if it's not benefitting the least little bit by being eaten by _me_, as opposed to a raccoon or a deer.

  4. All I can say is that those onion rings look very yummy. Oh, and I love bacon too!

  5. Howdy, Melody! Ah, yes, bacon.... I'm trying to cut down, but we've started going to this restaurant for Sunday lunch, and bacon is such a Sunday food....