My fellow meat eaters
We’re a bunch of weirdos.
Some topics will set off reflexive defenses and meat eating is one of them. If you’re a meat eater and you’re picturing Ron Swanson as you’re spirit animal right now then I’m talking to you in particular. I love ya, Ron, but listen…
I’m not against hunting or meat eating and I understand its appeal. I do it, too. But the moment someone says anything about being vegetarian or vegan someone else will always always always say “but bacon and burgers taste good.”
Can we have a discussion about the merits of changing our diet without getting all weird about it? Objectively and with as little emotion as possible I can see that eating less meat is the best thing for the planet. You can try to twist yourself into knots saying that ain’t so but the data says it would likely reduce pollution by over 20%. During water shortages going vegetarian would possibly save heaps of water.
And then there’s the fact that animals have complex emotions and that the bacon was smarter than your dog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not someone who anthropomorphizes their pets. In fact, I think many of my sweetest friends are projecting a lot of higher-level thinking on their pets that quite simply doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean that animals won’t suffer. And that doesn’t mean that we meat eaters should turn a blind eye to how animals suffer for the sake of our optional dietary choice.
Also, I don’t understand the cognitive dissonance of people who are angry about cultures that eat some kinds of meat (from dolphin to more common household pet animals) but are blind to their own meat-eating habits. Why is Bessie the Cow okay but Fido the Dog is not?
I have respect for my vegetarian friends and I think they probably get sick of the weird meat-eater’s need to self justify a morally dubious habit far more often than meat eaters have to listen to a vegetarian lecture them.
I have only weak justification for my continued reliance on eating meat. I enjoy the ease of choices and I like the flavor. Plus, a diet that includes meat seems to agree with my digestion and health more than a plant-based diet. I’ve flirted with vegetarianism in the past but can never maintain it. It’s probably a failure of my own will power.
Several of my close friends are life-long vegetarians and they are never moralistic. I think it’s easier for them though as they tolerate bland food and lack of choices with more maturity than I do.
But anyway, I don’t get weird about it when someone calls me out on my meat eating or points out that vegetarianism is a better choice. They’re probably right!