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Free Market-ing Your Beliefs
Sigh...seems yet another bunny hugger group is getting their membership to deluge me with their sprout-fed ire about my column, Splendor In The Wheat Grass:

From: "Carolina Animal Action" To: "ar news" Subject: [AR-News] (US) syndicated columnist urges woman to dump her veg boyfriend Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 16:36:43 -0400

Note that the writer agrees that eating meat is morally wrong and is advised to dump the guy and eat meat.

Here's my exchange with one of them. His e-mail:

In a message dated 8/2/07 1:48:43 PM, greeninkpub@sbcglobal.net writes:

I do hope you're willing to see the meat-eating thing differently. If humankind had not ruined the earth for all of us, there would be no need for internat'l space stations and key boxes.
Most humans have a warped perspective on "superiority." Isn't living in peace, in a world without pollution, criminality, torture and hatred preferable to one that has been held hostage by one egocentrically controlled species?
If it helps to understand what I'm talking about, compare our species' control of the earth to the Bush administration's hold on our country..
Who are you to give this kind of advice? Smarten up...before it's (way) too late.

Max Green
Vallejo Calif.

My response:

Feel free to comment on the entry on my blog -- if you have substantive reasons why you think meat-eating is wrong. Furthermore, she (the woman who wrote for advice) didn't think eating meat was morally wrong -- people say things to "get along," as she was.

You believe it's wrong to eat meat; I believe something different. If you truly believe this, why not buy up cows and other food animals and let them roam free until they die? Too costly to put your money where your mouth is? Same goes for people who are anti-choice for abortion. They're free to pay pregnant women to have their babies and then pay for the care, feeding, and education of those children, as well as placement in a loving home. Instead, they stand screeching outside abortion clinics.

I love the notion that humankind has ruined the earth. The next time you come down with some illness, and the only thing between you and death is antibiotics, ask yourself where you'd be if we'd left the medical innovation to the gazelles.

The same goes for the next time you go to the health food store to pick up those little vegan food pucks (the ones that look and have to taste like dried, pressed turds). Be sure to take the form of transportation developed by the prairie dog to get there.

Here's Lucy, in Paris, inconsolable that she has yet to invent the flying car. Well, either that, or it's because I yet again refused to share my lamb chops.

Lucy%20triste.jpg

As for the rest of you, you've got to check out this page:

I was looking over a menu in a restaurant the other day when I saw a section for vegetarians; I thought to myself "boy, I sure am glad that I'm not a meat-hating fascist" and I skipped on to the steak section (because I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $15 for an alfalfa sandwich, slice of cucumber and a scoop of cold cottage cheese), but before I turned the page something caught my eye. The heading of the vegetarian section was titled "Guiltless Grill," not because there were menu items with fewer calories and cholesterol (since there were "healthy" chicken dishes discriminated against in this section), but because none of the items used animal products. Think about that phrase for a second. What exactly does "guiltless grill" imply? So I'm supposed to feel guilty now if I eat meat? Screw you.

What pisses me off so much about this phrase is the sheer narrow-mindedness of these stuck up vegetarian assholes. You think you're saving the world by eating a tofu-burger and sticking to a diet of grains and berries? Well here's something that not many vegetarians know (or care to acknowledge): every year millions of animals are killed by wheat and soy bean combines during harvesting season (source). Oh yeah, go on and on for hours about how all of us meat eaters are going to hell for having a steak, but conveniently ignore the fact that each year millions of mice, rabbits, snakes, skunks, possums, squirrels, gophers and rats are ruthlessly murdered as a direct result of YOUR dieting habits. What's that? I'm sorry, I don't hear any more elitist banter from you pompous cocks. Could it be because your shit has been RUINED?

That's right: the gloves have come off. The vegetarian response to this embarrassing fact is "well, at least we're not killing intentionally." So let me get this straight; not only are animals ruthlessly being murdered as a direct result of your diet, but you're not even using the meat of the animals YOU kill? At least we're eating the animals we kill (and although we also contribute to the slaughter of animals during grain harvesting, keep in mind that we're not the ones with a moral qualm about it), not just leaving them to rot in a field somewhere. That makes you just as morally repugnant than any meat-eater any day. Not only that, but you're killing free-roaming animals, not animals that were raised for feed. Their bodies get mangled in the combine's machinery, bones crushed, and you have the audacity to point fingers at the meat industry for humanely punching a spike through a cow's neck? If you think that tofu burgers come at no cost to animals or the environment, guess again.

To even suggest that your meal is some how "guiltless" is absurd. The defense "at least we're not killing intentionally" is bullshit anyway. How is it not intentional if you KNOW that millions of animals die every year in combines during harvest? You expect me to believe that you somehow unintentionally pay money to buy products that support farmers that use combines to harvest their fields? Even if it was somehow unintentional, so what? That suddenly makes you innocent? I guess we should let drunk drivers off the hook too since they don't kill intentionally either, right? There's no way out of this one. The only option left for you dipshits is to buy some land, plant and pick your own crops. Impractical? Yeah, well, so is your stupid diet.

Even if combines aren't used to harvest your food, you think that buying fruits and vegetables (organic or otherwise) is any better? How do you think they get rid of bugs that eat crops in large fields? You think they just put up signs and ask parasites to politely go somewhere else? Actually, I wouldn't put that suggestion past you hippies. One of the methods they use to get rid of pests is to introduce a high level of predators for each particular prey, which wreaks all sorts of havoc on the natural balance of predator/prey populations--causing who knows what kind of damage to the environment. Oops, did I just expose you moral-elitists for being frauds? Damndest thing.

UPDATE: More from Max Green, the California guy who's answered the call to arms from the Carolina tofu patrol list-serve:

In a message dated 8/2/07 11:28:10 PM, greeninkpub@sbcglobal.net writes:

buy up cows and other food animals and let them roam free until they die? that sounds reasonable. but you're right; it might be a bit costly. if I were a trillionaire I would most certainly do that.
re the abortion analogy - that's crazy. please consider other perspectives. it will only make you a better journalist.
thank you for inviting me to contribute to your blog.

Max Green

My response:

I've posted your e-mail. What I don't understand is your excuse here, "it might be a bit costly." So...you only stand up for what you believe in when it's cheap and easy?

Why do you assume I haven't "considered other perspectives" and rejected them?

I forgot "as idiotic."

Posted by aalkon at August 3, 2007 1:57 PM

Comments

Ha. I brought up the combine slaughter on the original post. Sure, it's no slaughterhouse on the Colorado plains killing thousands of animals a today in the worst possible conditions, but animals are still dying for the vegetarian or vegan meal. Fact is, if you live in the Western world, your breakfast, lunch and dinner was brought to you by corporate big-machine agriculture somewhere along the way and something was killed (either by a combine in the field or a truck on the highway) to bring it to your plate. So get over yourselves.

Not to mention that unless you or your restaurant grew the alfalfa, the spinach or the strawberries in your dish it was more than likely picked by an illegal immigrant. Someone suffered extreme poverty in their own nation, came to this country illegally under great duress, and now is supporting an entire family for pennies a day in the most appalling conditions--all while sapping a state's social welfare services. Where's the "guiltless" in that?

Really, I would put Max or anyone else on their high soy horse up against Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Virginia:

http://polyfacefarms.com/

Farmers like Mr. Salatin are the true "guiltless" ones in this debate.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 3, 2007 8:29 AM

I do hope you're willing to see the meat-eating thing differently. If humankind had not ruined the earth for all of us, there would be no need for internat'l space stations and key boxes.

Gee whiz, Max. A little unjustified self-rightgeous indignation, anyone? o_O

Posted by: Flynne at August 3, 2007 8:46 AM

Well, ethical veganism (EV) is nothing more than a quasi-religion. If you are going to choose pursuing a vegetarian or vegan diet, please do it out of health reasons and keep your irrational belief system like the million of other completive versions of b.s. to their fellow EV types.

I'm in favor in revising the 'separation' clause: The separation of public irrationality from society. Please keep your mental problems to yourself and stop sharing them with the rest of the world.

"Don't just eat that hamburger, eat the HELL out of it!" J.R. Bob Dobbs

Posted by: Joe at August 3, 2007 8:59 AM

Okay, I will play the cabbage head: what kind of "key boxes" are we talking about? Why do they go in the same sentence as international space stations as examples of a ruined earth? Is it an Earth Liberation Front term for my house or something?

My usual research assistant only brings up ads for locksmiths.

Posted by: martin at August 3, 2007 9:02 AM

Ha
Isn't living in peace, in a world without pollution, criminality, torture and hatred preferable to one that has been held hostage by one egocentrically controlled species?
Would someone please tell me when that period of time that this utopian human existence happened? For that mater, when was that period of time for primates?

Posted by: rusty wilson at August 3, 2007 9:05 AM

It is a consequence of ego that we consider the opinion of others best when it agrees with our own. We rarely challenge our own beliefs, especially if there is emotional investment. So being a vegan is vaguely religious. The participant feels good, as a Christian might attending a religious service, never noticing that the ability to choose a diet is granted only by the hard work of others.

The comment above shows little thought. The ISS isn't going to solve any social problems on this globe (nor will the invention of "warp drive" - we're stuck here by our mass) but the industrial expense is and will be returned in knowledge we have not had before.

And the key box? Hey, even vegans don't respect the property rights of others, a social trait which is produced by anonymity of the masses. What has been demonstrated is that the current methods of producing food allows more people to live. Object to that? Volunteer to be sterilized. Insist that others reduce their population. Reducing population is the real key to resource conservation. It's not pretending your diet is superior because of the methods used to collect your food.

Posted by: Radwaste at August 3, 2007 9:15 AM

Radwaste said: "Reducing population is the real key to resource conservation."

In fact, anyone who is completely sincere that "humankind . . . ruined the earth for all of us" has the option of personally volunteering to check out early. Not only would that person stop depriving other life forms of rights or goods or anything else, he (or of course she) would immediately return more than a hundred pounds of nutrients to the biosphere.

Posted by: Axman at August 3, 2007 9:33 AM

What a load of bile. In any population, there are moronic idiots bent on converting others, unable to defend adequately their own position. I do not eat meat, but I don't believe in preaching to others about it, as it only makes them angry, as is shown by the correspondence above. Anyone with a head on their shoulders should know that all mass produced food is bad for the environment. Animal slaughterhouses are not known to be humane, and that is why alternative companies exist. You agree, Amy, that humane death is desirable. Humane life is also desirable, so cage-free eggs are a good alternative, etc. If you don't care, that's up to you. I don't try to make people feel guilty, and I certainly don't support those militant vegetarian/vegan groups who clearly don't get that blowing up stuff and other such crap is doing more harm than good.I am a tree-hugger, and while I still live in reality, I try and make choices that are better, healthier, and more resource-conserving. No diet can claim to be perfectly free from exploitation, but I choose the one that is right for me. Hunting your own game and raising your own produce is actually superior to my diet, but I lack the stomach to do the killing, and by now, my taste for meat has long since died. By all means, do what you feel you should, but I submit that the carnivore chest-beating, splashily thrilling in the death that must occur, is just as obnoxious and annoying as the shrill whining of the other side.

Posted by: christina at August 3, 2007 9:50 AM

"In fact, anyone who is completely sincere that "humankind . . . ruined the earth for all of us" has the option of personally volunteering to check out early."

Radwaste and Axman bring up very good points. One of the greatest wastes of resources is keeping old people alive when they no longer have minds and are enduring physical suffering. I'd personally be willing to volunteer to check out early so as not to suck resources from the still productive or potentially productive. Morphine overdose, please!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2007 10:21 AM

People can make all the comments about inhumane killing of animals they want, but our most inhumane killing methods probably aren't any worse than what deer and antelope go through before when killed by wolves or lions. The animals we raise for food probably are healthier and have less fear in their lives than their wild counterparts. I'm not saying that we shouldn't make efforts to raise and kill them as humanely as possible, but I don't think that it's that bad for the animals now.

Posted by: William at August 3, 2007 10:24 AM

P.S. I love "it will only make you a better journalist." from Green's final e-mail.

Is there anything he could do to be more patronizing?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2007 10:45 AM

Amy,

I'll take some Morphine with a Demerol chaser for my check out time. Better living and dying through chemistry.

Christina,

"I submit that the carnivore chest-beating, splashily thrilling in the death that must occur, is just as obnoxious and annoying as the shrill whining of the other side."

My dear child, what was your post? Poetry to soothe our carnivorous chest-beating souls? Newsflash: we are omnivores and not carnivores. Someone please get her a hamburger with a side order of salad. All that compassionate living and no sense of humor? I could probably get a grant from the NIH for a study on the correlation of Cyanocobalamin loss and the diminished sense of humor found in bipedal mamals.

More words of wisdom from Bob Dobbs:

"Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."

Posted by: Joe at August 3, 2007 10:47 AM

Mammals and not mamal.

Posted by: Joe at August 3, 2007 10:49 AM

Amy,
Morphine now please, but I’d rather not check out.
Christina,
Discloser, I am a killer so it’s red meat around here.

Posted by: rusty wilson at August 3, 2007 11:24 AM

Joe,
I was trying to demonstrate that not all vegetarians think they're superior to everyone else, and that some of us are somewhat rational. Beg your pardon if I didn't make you roll over laughing, but my comedy is rather hit or miss, so I'd rather avoid it altogether in posts I don't find funny.

Oh, thank you, for enlightening me that you're not carnivores. I was referring to the people who call themselves "meatatarians" and otherwise act as self-righteous as the vegetarians who berate others. I missed the quotation marks that would have made that plain.

"Someone please get her a hamburger..." Oh please. If you're going to joke at my expense, at least make it funny.

William-
I don't agree. Look up "battery cages", if you care to. Animals raised for food aren't generally frolicking in the barnyard.

Posted by: Christina at August 3, 2007 11:30 AM

Posted by: Christina at August 3, 2007 11:33 AM

I'm a social meat eater. In my private life, I tend to avoid it. However if I'm in a social setting, I'll eat whatever is put in front of me (and I mean anything, including capybara). I dont mind veggie peeps/vegans as much as people who say:

"I'm not religious but I'm spiritual"

I'm planning on offing myself eventually. David Cross has a great bit:

[On death & euthanasia] I think its funny how, that if I want to die with peace and dignity that there's someone far away that can prevent it. Someone's like [strong southern accent] 'Hi, I just wanted to call. This is Jeanette Dunwoody from Valdosta, Georgia. I heard that you're trying to kill yourself and I just wanna say that, well, you can't.' 'What?' 'Yeah, its not right, because all life is precious.' 'No, my life isn't precious, Ive been reduced to a shit and piss factory. I hurt always. I'm going to die within a year and I'm in pain constantly.' 'Oh, but um...no. Because of the Bible.' 'Well, I don't believe in the Bible.' 'Well, I do, silly!' [Hangs up]

Posted by: PurplePen at August 3, 2007 11:39 AM

Hits,misses and a little temporary boredom too, Christina. Even a chemically enhance athletes like Barry Bonds cannot perform on cue. The side order remark was an omnivorous revision of the original Dobb's quote. Just in case if I was mistaken for a meatatarian. ;)

Posted by: Joe at August 3, 2007 11:42 AM

Christina

Suprisingly the thing that disgusts me about the link you gave, is that in these type of families the women tend to have really gross long hair. I'm really disgusted by their hairstyles. The fact that they have 17 kids does not make me want to vomit. Go figure.

Posted by: PurplePen at August 3, 2007 11:48 AM

"I submit that the carnivore chest-beating, splashily thrilling in the death that must occur, is just as obnoxious and annoying as the shrill whining of the other side."

I just want a fucking hamburger.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2007 11:56 AM

From the article link about the woman with 17 kids:

Among the "fun facts" listed on Discovery Health's Web page devoted to the Duggars: A baby has been born in every month except June; the Duggars have gone through an estimated 90,000 diapers, and Michelle, 40, has been pregnant for 126 months — or 10.5 years — of her life.

One of the fun facts not listed has to be a vaginal opening on the lady about the size of Cleveland. The guy could probably impregnate her from across the room if he has good aim.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2007 12:00 PM

That crazy Duggar lady makes up for 17 young women who chose to abort. And there are TONS of breeders like Duggar. Trust me, the species isn't going anywhere. I giggle at the thought that maybe a few of those kids aren't her husbands!! I'm surprised she needed contractions to birth it and that it didn't just slide out when it was done cooking. HAHA

Posted by: Cathleen at August 3, 2007 12:26 PM

I like the internet meme that there are less liberals today, as the liberals of yesterday tended to have more abortions and so less children to raise with their own values. Likewise, if vegetarians want to stunt their childrens growth by denying them animal protein, I think it is sad, but it does provide the omnivores with a competitive advantage.

Posted by: Daran at August 3, 2007 12:41 PM

"I submit that the carnivore chest-beating, splashily thrilling in the death that must occur, is just as obnoxious and annoying as the shrill whining of the other side."
I eat what I kill. I would rather look them in the eyes understanding what I am about to do, than pick up a clean sanitary steak that has no connection to the life I must take.

Posted by: rusty wilson at August 3, 2007 12:42 PM

Christina said: "I submit that the carnivore chest-beating, splashily thrilling in the death that must occur, is just as obnoxious and annoying as the shrill whining of the other side."

Yes, even though I'm a hunter myself, I too find the way some trophy hunters gloat to be in poor taste and wish they would keep their feelings private. I'm mostly thinking about the public relations effect here; I wouldn't expect them to squelch their private elation.

Thank you Christina, for saying, "I don't try to make people feel guilty." We don't have to endorse the attitudes of others, but we should try to tolerate them, and you set a good example.

Posted by: Axman at August 3, 2007 12:48 PM

Police Say Pair Tortured Animals During Sex
http://www.local10.com/news/13813001/detail.html

Posted by: rusty wilson at August 3, 2007 12:54 PM

(Apropos of nothing: Anybody notice how Thrusday is always the big comment day at Amy's? Anyone else notice how almost all her action comes during East Coast business hours? Also, whatever happened to that workout guy from the Carolinas?)

Posted by: Crid at August 3, 2007 1:01 PM

Axman,
Well if you are talking about some guy on a canned hunt shooting a trophy out of the window of a car, I agree. Other wise, I don’t. There is nothing wrong with excelling in what ever you do.
If I managed to bag a trophy that I had tracked all summer and then successfully bagged come fall, you bet I would gloat. Heck, I’d feel the same way if I ended up with a hottie like the Goddess.

Posted by: rusty wilson at August 3, 2007 1:02 PM

Amy, Rejoice, Denver Judge tosses asshat's lawsuit over ladies' night

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5657154,00.html

Posted by: rusty wilson at August 3, 2007 1:05 PM

I personally find mounting the heads of kills repulsive, but interestingly enough, the "meatatarians" are usually trumpeting over store-bought steak and not an actual carcass.

Rusty- I imagine that, as a hunter, you probably have a great deal more respect for the life of the animal that you take than these "meatatarians" do.

Posted by: Christina at August 3, 2007 1:52 PM

Christina,
I was born a man so I am very competitive......with every thing that I do. So guys, in general, like to one up other guys. We compete at everything, including mates hence the term trophy wife. It stands to reason then that we would gloat over our hunting successes. Also, if you take deer for instance, the life spans of these animals are quite short. Deer live about seven years so when you take a trophy you are taking a deer near the end of its life rather than at the beginning. (Where as a four point would be in the beginning of its life.)
These animals would be dead in a year or two anyway.

Posted by: rusty wilson at August 3, 2007 2:00 PM

The bunny huggers can prove their mettle by getting off their coin and saving this rabbit from the stew pot.

Posted by: justin at August 3, 2007 2:31 PM

Is Friday apropos of nothing-day?
this is a hoot:
http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/

Posted by: martin at August 3, 2007 2:50 PM

"Thank you Christina, for saying, "I don't try to make people feel guilty." We don't have to endorse the attitudes of others, but we should try to tolerate them, and you set a good example."

Well said, Axman.

You do indeed, Christina.

Also, whatever happened to that workout guy from the Carolinas?

If you mean Cat Brother, Crid, I've been wondering too. (Though didn't you make him rather cross in the end?)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 3, 2007 3:29 PM

> (Though didn't you make him
> rather cross in the end?)

What's your point? I work as fast as possible, Jody.


Posted by: Crid at August 3, 2007 4:11 PM

No point, as such Crid.

I just couldn't work out whether or not there was a studied nonchalance to your phrasing of "whatever happened to...".

I liked his comments, nothing more. And I recalled - possibly wrongly - the last noisy thread CatBrother was in with you because I wondered at the time if he was genuinely annoyed with the debate & was going to call a halt.

Possibly it's uncool to ponder these silly things!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 3, 2007 4:36 PM

Well, it's all pompous and mannered from this end... Ask anybody.

If it's a debate, how do you know when someone's pissed versus when they're having a rollicking good time of it? Don't you think that if you were to experience Chuck's authentic emotions --even for a moment-- that you'd slit your wrists before nightfall?

Posted by: Crid at August 3, 2007 4:56 PM

You talk great sense, Crid.

(It is possible to discern a little more between folk sometimes...but then my mother always crucified me for being oversensitive!)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 3, 2007 5:48 PM

Cristina, Axman, and Rusty, you guys make me feel better about people. Thanks for being so sane! I don't eat meat, but yeah I definitely think it's good to know what you're killing and see it face-to-face. I just don't have the balls to do it myself.

Posted by: Jill at September 6, 2007 9:30 AM

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