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bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Special Article Done! and Thoughts on Vegementalists

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yavanna earth
My special article for DS is d-u-n done! I just sent it off--and an invoice for an astronomical rate--to the editorial staff. The title of the article ended up being "The Balanced Diet: Becoming an Eco-Friendly Vegetarian." Maybe next time I'll do Elves. ;) If I'm being given a more-public-than-usual platform, however, and a higher-than-usual degree of creative freedom, then I felt I should do something socially responsible. Idealism and all that.

The article ended up being one of those deceptively difficult articles: I know the subject quite well, but it's not enough for me to spout off with ideas and statistics remembered off the top of my head, so I had to track down sources--some of them first read 14 years ago--to back up what I was saying. This is hardly a complaint. I love research when it's something I care about and, as usual, I ended up learning quite a few new things while tracking down sources for the familiar.

One of the things I needed to illustrate is how idiotic naive uninformed single-minded the vegementalist movement can be in excluding sustainability concerns from their reasoning. When I say "vegementalist," I don't mean vegetarians or even vegans: Obviously not, as I am myself a vegetarian, have been for 16 years, and have no plans to change until I can behead a chicken on my own, and given that I got lightheaded looking at pedicure products in Target the other day, I don't think that's soon forthcoming. However, I'm not a vegementalist; meat eaters don't dread my sneers and comments about their meals, and I can even cook a mean piece of meat, in my mom's memorable words. I'm talking about the people who bleat out "meat is murder" in response to any attempt to discuss our country's food system and who think honey and manure are produced via exploitation on the order of human slavery.

Since I needed an illustration of how these people think, where to go but PETA? Ah, PETA--we had a brief fling when I was 12 and handed over $15 of my allowance to you for a dubious membership in your organization (only to be pestered for the next ten years with the same "survey" about animal rights as you attempted to squeeze more "memberships" from me) before I realized how ridiculous you were and dangerous your ideas. I realize that picking on PETA is like shooting a fish in a barrel ... and there, yes, I begin flailing wildly down the slippery slope of speciesism, where I will soon be beating dead horses, throwing stones at birds, and skinning cats in more than one way. Or maybe voicing the whispered thought that all meat eaters aren't evil or murderers. (Maybe even marrying one!)

So I was poking around PETA's Vegetarian Starter Kit and, on page 6, I ran smack into the reason why vegementalists annoy me so badly. While inviting omnivores to "make the transition" to a vegetarian diet (actually, they lure you in with "vegetarian" and then mostly propose veganism), PETA helpfully suggests eating "faux meats and dairy" and "vegan microwaveable meals." In fact, as I pointed out in my article, among their many meal suggestions, only two can be made fresh with ingredients most U.S. vegetarians could find locally or grow on their own. There is a preponderance of soy cheese and fake meat--in short, processed foods.

Seriously, PETA? I wonder sometimes where they think all that processed food comes from--or more like, where they think the energy for all that processed food comes from. I suppose they think the millions of barrels of oil BP pumped into the Gulf last spring was in the name of other people's oil habit. But then, these are the same people who, with a straight face, make the argument that humans weren't meant to eat meat because most people cook it first. And then suggest soy "meats" as an alternative. Because eating soybeans raw is great idea. (And how does soybean processing compare to steak tartare--or even steak well done?)

Anyway, yes yes, I know that this just illustrates once again the disconnect that exists between the radical animals rights movement and reality of the animals they claim to love so much and the world in which those animals live. Because in their happy little world, we're degrading our topsoil, pouring petrochemical fertilizers into our waterways, dousing with poison the soybeans we will ship one thousand miles to be mangled into "tasty faux meats and dairy" and "vegan microwaveable meals," then shipping them another few thousand miles so that some self-righteous vegan can chow down on one in his climate-controlled condo ... but at least no animals were murdered to make this product! Right?



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/263615.html
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